Posts By: Dan Finnegan

Early 1980’s

Forty years ago this month I arrived in Fredericksburg, Virginia with all of my worldly possessions packed into my ’66 Chevy van. The Fredericksburg Pottery was founded by two local families in 1976 and was located at the corner of Sophia Street and Hanover Street in the historic district. .Fredericksburg in 1980 was a very… Read more »

It was 40 Years Ago Today… (close enough)

40 years ago I packed up my Connestoga wagon with all of my worldly possessions and sailed down the Interstate 95 corridor from Poughkeepsie, NY to Fredericksburg, Virginia. I thought that I was accepting a job managing the Fredericksburg Pottery, turns out I was starting a life! I will share some of the stories of… Read more »

Nostalgia Sunday

I made this pot in the autumn of 1979 as I was winding up my time at the Winchcombe Pottery. That was 40 years ago, an impossible concept to comprehend. Exactly 39 years ago this week I arrived in Fredericksburg to become the manager of the Fredericksburg Pottery and I still call ‘the ‘Burg’ my… Read more »

Ten Past Five

I always enjoy the start of a new cycle in the studio…it’s always a time of great anticipation as I reinvent myself yet again. I have plenty of ideas for new work, but I also need to build up some of my standard inventory. Juggling those two is always a challenge, but I have a… Read more »

Bartmanns and Me

I have always been drawn to this medieval bottle form with it’s robust form and often over the top sprig decoration. I have had a beard all my adult life and it’s hard not to find some connection to the bearded men depicted on them. When I first learned of them they were referred to… Read more »

My Origin Story!

I received a bulky package in the mail today from my one and only Uncle Mike! He was going through papers from his father, my grandfather, John Jerome Murray. The package contained dozens of letters that I wrote to him and my grandmother in the mid-1970’s…when I left home at 18 I didn’t really ever… Read more »

Firing Ruminations

The firing that I first thought might happen last Wednesday eventually happened on Monday. Now the kiln is cooling and I’ll unload tomorrow. The firing of the first chamber lasts about 16 hours and I start early in the morning so we’re not here too late into the evening. I hate getting up early, but… Read more »

It’s Firing Season!

I’m loading the first of 3 firings on the trot. This photo shows the back half of the chamber loaded up. I’ve never had a a sabbatical, it seems I’m always juggling the ‘make-fire-sell’ circus. But I did manage to set aside a rare chunk of time this winter to do nothing but make and… Read more »

Looking Forward

A potter’s life is all about cycles…I made pots like mad this winter, tucked away in my studio in the woods, and then 3 firings in a few short weeks before, as the last pots are cooling, loading up the van and putting in some miles to do the shows needed to pay the bills…. Read more »

Pots for the Holidays!

I never imagined the interest in my Brown Friday sale would be so keen. With plenty of pots remaining we will continue to sell them at LibertyTown until our Open House (December 12th). I will have ALL NEW WORK ready on the 12th including a NEW FLOCK OF BIRDS! Today was the day I had… Read more »


Autumn is my favorite season and it was made even more interesting 3 years ago when we opened the doors for the very first “Pottery on the Hill” exhibition and sale. I never did many shows myself, which makes me an unlikely organizer of an event like this, but with plenty of good advise and… Read more »

Virginia Earth: Ceramic Arts at the Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center

This exhibition runs until October 18th. Artists include Sukjin Choi, David Crane, Kevin Crowe, Randy and Catherine Edmonson, Dan Finnegan, Warren Frederick, Steven Glass, Silvie Granatelli, Chris Gryder, Diane Hottenstein, Mike Jabbur, Marlene Jack, John Jessiman, Elizabeth Kendall, Andrea Keys, Barbra Kobylinska, Josh Manning, Dale Marhanka, Stephen Marder, Richard Nickel, Adam Paulek, Bill Pinkham, Brian… Read more »

On The Road Again

I was born and grew up in Buffalo, New York and I’ve lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia since 1980, but I also call a little picturesque village on the edge of the Cotswolds home as well. I spent the late 1970’s living there in the west of England, mostly as the teaboy and general dogsbody at… Read more »

Potters of Madison County

I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to this 5th annual show in Marshall, North Carolina on April 5th, 2014. It’s nice to return to NC again with my work and to share a venue with plenty of other fine potters. If you can’t make that show perhaps you can join Gay… Read more »

Dan Finnegan – Star of Stage and Screen

Several years ago I was asked to be the subject of a short film by a young local filmmaker, Timothy Ryan Poe. It was an interesting process and I really like what he did. If you know me at all, you know that I can be a bit overenthusiastic, but this film shows a very… Read more »

Murder in the Library

I’ve learned from Tony Clennell that a catchy title can draw a lot of readers, so, if you’ve made your way here, we can both thank Tony! So, I’ve been making variations on these birds for a 4 years or so and I’ve tried to continue to find new ways to go forward. Lately (actually it’s… Read more »

Recent Acquisitions!

I had a visit at the studio today from John and Kathy, old friends who have been buying my pots for a VERY long time. They showed me a photo of their newly painted display case that contains a lovely retrospective of the last 20 years or so of my work! Having made and sold… Read more »

Searching for Momentum

With a good size kiln to fill. my making cycle is a long one and I seem to  creep up on the next  one somewhat stealthily. I was on the road for most of 3 weeks and it was weeks before that when i made the last pot for the last firing (#16). I tend… Read more »

Buffalo, My Hometown.

I was able to spend a day and a half in Buffalo, New York on my return from Pinecroft. I was born in the 2nd ward in South Buffalo and grew up amidst the working class families, mainly Irish and Catholic, who supplied the labor for the steel mills and chemical plants that stood like… Read more »

Buttoned Up and Letting Go

I have been mooching around the kiln the last couple of days, taking care of a variety of odd jobs as I fill time before Wednesday evenings ignition. I often struggle with the timing of my firings…it’s the one part of my working life that I can’t do alone and juggling the schedule of my… Read more »

Pottery on the Hill the 3rd

October 31, November 1 and 2 Washington, D.C. Preview Reception Friday, October 31, 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $25/advance, $30/day of Purchase tickets Pottery Show & Sale Saturday, November 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, November 2, 12 Noon-4 p.m. Free admission Preview Reception Friday, October 31, 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $25/advance, $30/day of Purchase tickets online or call… Read more »

Making Choices

I am choosing pots for my upcoming exhibition at the Cooley Gallery in Leesburg, Va.  The opening is this Friday night, April 4th, from 6 – 9pm. I have participated in very few exhibitions over the years and when I have, they have tended to be as part of a larger group show. This, for… Read more »

Old School

As promised, here are some of the earliest things I made while in college. The photos are rough but I still enjoy remembering those early days as I began to explore the possibilities and the limits of clay. I was lured to the ceramics class during my freshman year at S.U.C. at Geneseo, NY. after… Read more »

And Now, for Something Completely Different!

  My earliest work with clay tended toward the sculptural…I love this material…from industrial sanitary ware to the roughest of sculptural forms and most things in between. I left college (after 3 attempts) because I didn’t see a future for the work I was doing and the only other option that I could see was… Read more »

To NCECA or not to NCECA, that is the question…

I’ve been making pots now for 40 years and I’ve attended the NCECA conference just once (in Loiusville, Ky.) Each year as it approaches I have an ongoing internal struggle…it is a thrilling idea to  be surrounded by like-minded folks and to see all of the  exhibitions and sit in on some of the panel… Read more »