Posts Categorized: News

And Now, The Wait…

The firing seemed to go as it should…better even temperature in the wood chamber with some new ideas about small side stoking to keep the front hot on both chambers. 18 lbs of salt. A good crew ( thanks to Jeff, Beth, Bill, Michael and Elliot) makes this all possible. And a couple of future… Read more »

Firing # 6 in a Series

The world’s slowest loader of kilns is almost there. I added another day to the schedule, which is a great way to take the stress out of the situation. The salt chamber and Jeff are below. Jeff very kindly bricked up the door while I worked on the wood chamber. Did I mention that I’m… Read more »

Sprung is Spring

Today is the first day of spring and everyone and everything seems to have gotten the memo. Trees and bulbs and bushes are suddenly in bloom, rabbits are everywhere, a couple of red-tail hawks were courting overhead and lovely temperate weather seems to be here for awhile. Here in Virginia, we always hope that spring… Read more »

Cape Workshop Report

I got home early this morning from a wonderful visit with the Cape Cod Potters. Michael Giaquinto and his staff did a fantastic job of arranging the almost 300 pieces in the show. I gave a speech at the Museum in conjunction with the exhibition that I judged for them. It gave me the chance… Read more »

Cape Cod Potters

Several years ago (5!) I taught a workshop for the Cape Cod Potters group that was very well received and I’m happy to be going back for a second command performance this weekend. The CCP asked me to judge an exhibition that opened a couple of weeks ago at the Cape Cod Museum of Art… Read more »

Kiln Shelves

I won’t load the kiln until I get back from Cape Cod in the middle of next week, but I’m doing all I can to be ready before I leave. Painting shelves always makes takes my mind back to Winchcombe. The wood kiln has about 140cu.ft of packing space and was fired every 3 weeks… Read more »

Hollywood Preview

The confluence of traveling to England and back, 8″ of snow, postponing the firing and car trouble have left me out of sorts. I need to find new momentum. The only thing I’ve really accomplished lately was writing a ‘speech’ for my visit next week at The Cape Cod Museum of Art. I judged a… Read more »

Kilnus Interruptus

I had a tight window of opportunity to get a firing in between my trip to England and my trip to New England and I was excited about seeing some of the last weeks’ work finished. But the gods have conspired to thwart me….7″-8″ of snow last night and car trouble means that I need… Read more »

Secret Revealed!

One of the problems when writing a blog is that sometimes people read them….this makes planning a surprise a little difficult and that has been my dilemma the past couple of weeks. My best friend, Toff Milway, was turning 60 years old! last week and, just like his 50th, he was throwing himself a dance… Read more »

Things I’ve Built Series: Studio #3

This is the kiln shed I built with Shannon Elder back in the ’80’s on Claradan Farm. I love stone and wood. We collected the stone from all over…mostly along the edges of farm fields, poking through the underbrush with sticks. We called it divining for rock. Detail: This bit is made of granite cobblestones… Read more »

Photography Stew

I grew up in the land of snow, but here in Virginia it is a rare thing. It is even rarer in England , but this winter has been an exception. Georgie, here, often gives Toff his making list and on this day asked him to make a snow jug…that led to the teapot. They… Read more »

Brick Icicles

I was searching for architecture blogs and came across these photos from a site called They are from a brick fortress in Russia that was used to test napalm. The heat produced melted the bricks and cooled into stalactites (or is that stalagmites?).

The Winds of Change…

Sad to say that our little spring break is over and winter is returning with a bang, not a whimper. 24 hours of big wind that sometimes herald the collision of two fronts. Canadian frost versus the heat of the Gulf of Mexico. Michael Kline reports the same weather in the mountains of North Carolina…. Read more »

Nice Article

I just got the Annual Report from Penland and it includes a ‘Donor Profile’ of myself…pretty cool. I’ve taught 4 different workshops at Penland and I happily donate a nice pot each year to the annual auction. It’s a wonderful event and makes that amazing place a pile of money. One year I volunteered to… Read more »

Testing, 1,2,3

I threw a few dozen beakers/cups the other day to use for tests. I’m looking for a copper green that might work in both chambers and to improve on a a couple of shinos. Our brief but refreshing warm weather is being chased out by some strong cold and wind. Scary thunderstorms expected. That’s just… Read more »

An Off Day

I went to the studio today with a few specific ideas in mind…to make an even taller bottle (10lb) than the last few and some wide lidded jars. My ideas of form are classic and simple, but I have fun by exploring different variations of those themes. I want the bottles long and lean these… Read more »

Young Fredericksburg Exhibition

Another First Friday means another exhibition opening at LibertyTown and last night’s event was wonderful. This is the 4th year we’ve invited the young artists of Fredericksburg to show in our gallery and each year it gets better. (Bill Harris curates this one. There was a time I thought of him as a ‘young artist”!)… Read more »


I finished slipping and glazing all of the wee bottles and then threw a dozen 4 pounders ’cause this is my newest obsession. I have to force myself to make other things, but this is what I’m most excited about lately. We would call these ‘Cider Jars’ at Winchcombe, especially if they had a spigot… Read more »

Details, Details.

I should have been cutting wood yesterday for the firing because it turned warm and sunny, but getting to finish pots when they are ready trumps almost everything. I spend w-a-a-y too much time on the littlest details, but I also truely enjoy this part of the process. I said it before here, but I… Read more »

Super Bowls

Coincidence…or not?! The big game is tonight and I’ve been throwing lots of what I call ‘drum bowls’, they have a more upright demeanor than most bowls. I like the challenge that the change of curves offers and the vertical-ness presents a great surface for ash and salt to meet. These are 8-12lbs., somewhat larger… Read more »

Snow Day

I’ve resisted showing photos of our big snow today…almost 2″ which brings this part of the world to a complete halt. I wish I could have been making pots in the woods on such a rare day, but I’m building a wall in one of the studios at LibertyTown to create a little storage hideaway… Read more »

Pouring Slip

I raw glaze and slip most of my pots, but rather than dip them I invert them over a series of containers set in a wide plastic pan. This is a typical group; it varies pot to pot. This allows me to pour everything which gives me more control of thickness and drips. This whole… Read more »

A Good Week

It’s been a quiet week as I’ve been staying on the farm looking after dogs, cats and horses while the Cymrots are away. Our freezing temperatures have remained and I’ve been chopping through ice to keep the horses in water. But the days are clear and this is my kind of weather. In case you… Read more »

Weekend Update II

Living so near to DC, it is hard not to be caught up in Obama fever. I had dinner with Hollis and a bunch of friends who are all here for the festivities. As I am allergic to being surrounded by millions of people, I won’t be there for the event, but it was good… Read more »

R.I.P. – Ratzo Rizzo

For those of you who are paying attention, I will now tell you about yesterday’s mystery.A few days ago my assistant, Beth, mentioned that she had seen a big mouse or a small rat in the pottery studio at LibertyTown. Eventually, with the help of Stephanie’s dad’s Hav-a-hart trap, we caught him/her. I never got… Read more »