Posts By: Dan Finnegan

Food Show Winners!

Our 5th annual “FOOD SHOW” opened Friday night to wide acclaim.,We always open the show with an “Art made from Food” competition and the entries this year were delightful to behold…and to consume! After the judging is complete, the eating commences! Most things don’t last long. Thanks to all who entered. Start thinking of next… Read more »

Snow Falls on Spring

Just as we were getting used to spring-like weather, winter has returned for another visit. I don’t really mind…if spring arrives early here it means summer can’t be far behind…the dreaded season of heat and humidity. 

Bird on a Bowl

This is about 14″ wide. I’ve got a few proto-types for a bird bowl in the studio but this is the first one that I’ve finished. I know that there is an awesome idea here, and this is just fine, but I think I have to increase the scale to really make it work. I’ve… Read more »

A Treat for Doug?!

Just a couple of weeks until “The British Invasion” gets underway with the arrival of Doug and Hannah in Boston. Doug was hoping to ship some of his local clay over but I’m hoping that this beautiful ocher clay will do the trick.  I’m sending some to Hollis, Doug, and I think you might like… Read more »

Big Boys…and a Return to Chattering

I’ll never be a great big pot maker but it’s thrilling to take ’em on! 10 -15 lb. planters…still to be slipped and combed. I have, from time to time, played with ‘chattering’ on the surface of my pots.  I like any decorating that involves the wheel going ’round and ’round. Traditionally the ‘divots’ would… Read more »

Les Ismore

I don’t seem to have the time to organize thoughts into words these days, so I’ll let my little camera do the talking…with all the news in the world I’m feeling blessed and worried all at the same time. Fat and juicy handle. Pies and planters.


5lb. +  3 1/2lb. + 1 3/4lb. = 10 1/4lb I can’t face any more ‘feathers’ at the moment so I’ve put the birds aside to make some ‘real’ pots…8 pie dishes (that’s for you, Marie N.!) and three large planters. I need to fill up that big-ass kiln!

Got Wood?!

The wood pile has been growing quickly now that Jason and his muscles have joined our crew. We’ve spent several days running back and forth to the old lumber yard I mentioned a while ago to collect fuel for the kiln…free for the taking! This stack is 5′ high by 4′ deep and close to… Read more »

Where Ideas Come From…

I’m not sure who first suggested to me that I turn a piece that I had made upside down, but I’ve been doing it for a long time! Stacking forms on top of each other is another way to try and see things differently. I think that ‘seeing‘ is the most important part of a… Read more »

Just Photos Today

24″ high Detail Before… After…I tried to make the wings appear to overlap…it’ll be more evident when glazed.


At 44″ this is hard to photograph… A detail in the shade I made 8 of these so far…still need stoppers I think this ‘slate colored junco’ must have been stunned as I was able to get within a few inches of it.

Mug Making Ideas

A couple of months ago John Bauman wrote a post about making mugs and I’ve had it in mind to respond ever since. John makes an argument for a simple straight sided cylinder with a turned foot and he extolls the virtues of those horrible diner mugs (the ones that often come filled with tepid… Read more »

Expanding on an Idea

Jason and I fetched more wood for the kiln yesterday and there is a few years worth on the site now! Wood has been a struggle lately and my friend Rudi’s connection to the old saw mill in Massaponax is the gift that keeps on giving! We will go back again next month for more. … Read more »


1976 – Tempe, Arizona I must say that blog awards strike me as silly at best. In fact, I’m not too big on awards of any kind…somewhere in my attic are the various ribbons etc. that anyone making art for decades accumulates. Years ago I got a best in show award at a local fair…my… Read more »

A Whole New Pace

I’m starting to get an idea of what full time bird making is like. I am used to making LOTS of pots when I get to the studio…some weeks I’d throw and finish a 100 pots or more. That’s the Winchcombe way and it has served me well all these years. Now it can take all… Read more »

The British Are Coming!!!

OK  kids, it’s time to mark those calendars and make a date to join us as we spend a weekend with these two masters of red clay Hannah McAndrew and Doug Fitch!  You can join us here in Virginia…or with Hollis and the Cape Cod Potters in Massachusetts to the north of us, or with Ron in… Read more »

The Year of the Bird!?

It’s been several months since I’ve made pots (such is the life of an art center owner) and this week I’ve been slowly working in my studio, trying to build some momentum. The studio starts out somewhere between 32 degrees F. and 40 when I arrive, but my little heater gets it up to the… Read more »

More Handles from the Met

I spent a couple of hours on the wheel today…the first pots I’ve made since my November firing. I need to ease back into a routine…I have so many ideas at the moment that it’s hard to slow down and be as focused as I’d like to be.  Feast your eyes on these beautiful appendages!

The Mongol Rally Fundraiser

Hugh Milway, son of Toff and my favorite godson will graduate from Durham University later this year and before putting the engineering degree he is earning to use he is determined to see the world and go exploring. A man after my own heart! Stock photos of previous rally-ers So some time this summer he… Read more »

Handle Primer NYC Style – the first

I like the way the decoration emphasizes the handle shape. I spent an entire day at the Met in New York and took dozens of photos of pots…mostly looking at handles. I’ll post more as the week goes by. If you read the literature that the Met provides, you would wonder if there were many… Read more »

60 Hours in the Big City

Times Square I’m still a bit worn out from my trip and still reveling in the glow of big city life. As much as I love my small town I am always energized by a visit to any city of note, I love the energy, the cultural life, the food(!), the architecture and the people watching…. Read more »

The Big Apple

I’m off to New York City for a couple days of museum visiting and theater attending. See you when I come back. Coming Soon; “the Mongol Rally”!

The Big Apple

I’m off to New York City for a couple days of museum visiting and theater attending. See you when I come back. Coming Soon; “the Mongol Rally”!


In 1994 I traveled to western Massachusetts to do an ACC show with a body of work quite different from the useful pots that I am better known for. My first interest in clay was as a sculptural material and  while I have made my living as a functional potter I have never let go… Read more »