Posts Categorized: News

#5 Review

I haven’t posted much about my firing last week because I’ve been struggling with the’s my math…5 firings x 2 chambers = 10 chambers fired. I’d rate the salt chamber this time in the top two and the wood chamber in the bottom two. I missed reduction in the wood and I’m still troubled… Read more »

Palin Nation

As I write this, the republican faithful are gathering in the park just a block from LibertyTown and two from my home. I just took a walk around the perimeter, vaguely uneasy that people would think I was there to support her (NOT!). I headed out with my red Nationals’ baseball cap until I realized… Read more »

Nicky’s Garden

My pottery sits on the edge of Claremont farm in Caroline County, Virginia. This gazebo with it’s bamboo roof will whistle if the wind is right. The gourds add to the magic of this shelter in the middle of the garden.

Remedy: Feta, Eggplant and Onion

I spent many hours in front of my computer yesterday, looking at 500 or so images as I finalized my decisions for the Cape Cod Museum of Art’s exhibition “Clay: Cape Cod Potters” to be held next February and March. I enjoyed looking at the many ways we use clay to express ourselves and I… Read more »

V.T.B. Vase pt. 3

If your still watching the vase that I made while doing a demo a few weeks back, here is the finished piece. It is the light colored pot on the second shelf from the bottom. Below are some closer views.I fired it in the second chamber, where salt is introduced as the kiln approaches temperatures… Read more »

A Tale of Two Chambers

Here’s a basic report:I’m still a bit lost re: the wood chamber. It has me baffled. I’ll write more about that tomorrow. The salt chamber has all kinds of prizes. My mood swings between the two. Wood chamber / front stackDetailDetail Salt chamber / front stackDetailDetailSalt chamber / back stack

First Glance

This isn’t a brilliant photo, but at least you can see that the pots are still standing. The little bit that I can see looks quite promising. I’ve been beating myself up since Saturday because I know I blew up a big sculpture and I’m hoping that it hasn’t taken too many others with it…. Read more »


2 chambers.16 pounds of salt.20 hour firing.12 hours of sleep. I’m happy to report that ol’ #5 went very smoothly. Jay and Rabah took the nighttime shift and once again did an admiral job of coaxing the slow rise that is essential to the care and feeding of my raw fired pots. I had a… Read more »

It’s Firin’ Time!

No time for photos. Ignition is at 9pm. I’ve got 20 – 24 hours of fire to look forward to. I’ll report in tomorrow night. Go Red Sox!

Salt Chamber : Loaded

I’m headed out this morning to finish bricking up the ‘wickets’ (that’s the kiln doors, for those of you on the west side of the Atlantic. Then back home to rustle up some food and drink before lighting up at 9PM this evening. I have lots of new ideas in this kiln and I’ll continue… Read more »

Wood Chamber: Loaded

There were several comments about the bottom of this chamber being empty, and, of course, Michael Kline had it figured right. I’ve only fired this kiln 4 times and I have struggled to get heat to the bottom. It is a very tall chamber (6′) and I worry that I’ll never solve it. This is… Read more »


I got a late start today after 2 meetings in the morning at LibertyTown. Didn’t make it out to the studio until mid-afternoon, but I’ve been eager to get underway with loading the kiln and it felt good to make a dent. My title today refers to the weather…when I dreamed of building this kiln… Read more »

Teapot Lids

I think my photos yesterday might have been a bit deceptive…I got several questions so here’s my attempt at an answer. Below is a before and after photo from the side. It is a very shallow bowl with a big flange and a little ‘spout’ which prevents the lid from falling when the tea is… Read more »

And Finally….

TEAPOTS. I really shouldn’t save these for last because my mind is turning to loading and firing now and drifting away from making. But, conversely, I can’t fire without making at least one batch. I figure there are 84 parts to make 14 of my teapots. (112 if you were willing to count the sprig… Read more »

Finnegan’s Folly

Dr. Seuss’ bird baths – tallest is 4 1/2 “.

V.T.C Vase pt.2

Now that the pot is leather hard I poured a slip on the outside. A slip is a thin coating of clay, something like the consistency of milk. I usually prop the pot upside-down. The second photo shows the sheen from the freshly slipped vase.After the slip set up I applied a cobalt slip to… Read more »

Bird Scratchings

Since I’ve joined the blogging nation I’ve discovered lots of new (to me) and wonderful potmakers. Ron Philbeck works in Shelby, NC and I’ve become a big fan. I need to own some of this lad’s pots one day. He has an easy way with sgraffito decoration and this is a planter of mine inspired… Read more »

Virginia Tourism Corporation Vase/pt.1

Last week 18 folks from Richmond visited Fredericksburg to spend a little time getting to know our town so that they can spread the word about what a gem we have here. They visited LibertyTown for a short tour on Friday and then I threw a couple of pots for them. I was shamelessly plugging… Read more »

Firing Graph

As firing #5 approaches I am trying to get a little more focused on kilns and fire. I fired a small gas kiln about twice a month for most of 25 years. I could fill the kiln and be firing in 10 days if I needed to. It takes 2-3 months now to fill this… Read more »

Pitchers and Planters

It’s been a while since I’ve made these pitchers and after looking at these photos I’ve decided that the next batch need to have short little necks…I’ve been pushing the long neck for a while and all of a sudden I feel the need to tilt the pendulum in the other direction. And so it… Read more »

Cupcake Wedding

On a beautiful autumn evening, Nathan and Cat were wedded on the farm where my pottery is. Great music and a simple ceremony under the gourd-laden gazebo was followed by a lovely meal of Thai food from Tarntip Restaurant and incredible cupcakes made by Elizabeth. I’m not sure that the photo is sufficient to see… Read more »

Lidded Jars

I’ve been saying for some time that the wider I get, the wider my pots get (or maybe it’s the other way around). Either way, I like these sturdy round forms. The taller ones in the background are better for a kitchen counter, but I guess in the end I prefer the presence of the… Read more »

For John Tilton

It really makes me happy to know that a great potter like John Tilton is taking a look at my musings. He asked for some photos of my pottery, so here’s my chance to tell you a little about my little piece of paradise. I am commuting to my studio for the first time in… Read more »

Award Winning Baked Goods

Kathy Harrigan is an enabler. Perhaps my biggest gustatory weakness is any kind of homemade pie, cookie, sweet bread or cake. Kathy has won numerous prizes at the Virginia State Fair for her baking and I am proud to say that have been an official taste tester and ‘critic’ of hers for many years! She… Read more »