04 March 2012


I am very excited to finally share the news that I hinted at awhile back!

Two dear friends of mine have spent many years overseeing the renovation of a wonderful civil war era Naval Hospital on Capital Hill in Washington, DC (our nation's capital!). With the completion of this new community center they asked me to help organize a 'signature' event focused on the only thing I know, pottery. 
I visited several shows last fall to do a little research and I had some very useful conversations with Bob Briscoe and Mark Shapiro and Michael Hunt and I drove home from Karen Karnes/Mikail Zakin's Demerest show with a plan. 

Mark and I have had many conversations since....we came up with a framework and mission statement of sorts and then we had an interesting back and forth as we put together a 'dream team' to join us. There are so many great makers to consider and our formula was not scientific and if your not on the list please don't feel bad...we are starting small and will grow as we get established.  We tried to choose a good variety of styles and geographical locations as well as considering folks who have already established markets in DC.

Here's our 4 point plan:
1) Assemble an excellent group of functional potters.
2) Create an exciting market.
3) Raise awareness - educate the public.
4) Fundraising for a good cause.

I have never been very interested in the big shows that we have here in the US...hundreds of exhibitors...every craft imaginable...looking a bit like a gypsy encampment with everyone providing their own unique display. I have always admired the more focused shows that I've visited in the UK....there are lots of craft shows that specialize in a single medium, especially ceramics. It's also not unusual that many of Britain's best are assembled at the same show! We are just too big of a country for that to happen, but we can certainly aim to have some of the best!
    So, this show will be held in an intimate and elegant setting in a city that has great potential as a market for excellent pots. 
    We have plans for a series of events highlighting 'pots at work'. The Hill Center has a demonstration kitchen where classes will be held showing students how and why pots can be used in the kitchen.
    We will provide a uniform display for each exhibitor with the idea of bringing focus to the pots rather than to a particular display.
    I will continue to provide updates as time goes by. We hope to create a model for an event that can be held all over the country. The times keep a'changing and it is up to us to keep up. Stay tuned!


doug Fitch said...

Fantastic Dan, you are ever energetic. What a great line up that will be.

Anna M. Branner said...

Fantastic concept Dan. So glad to see that British style ceramics show here in the States.

Dennis Allen said...

Now that might be worth a visit.

Hannah said...

Blimey! That sounds like its almost worth me booking my ticket to come and see it all. You are a bundle of energy and enthusiasm.

Joe Troncale said...

Very exciting!!
I love the Capitol Teapot, by the way!
Good luck with the endeavor. I hope I will be able to come down for it.

Liberty Stoneware said...

That sounds like a great event, Dan! And a great venue! A festival near here that acts as a fundraiser for the arts council has a low registration fee for the exhibitors, and then 20% of your profits are donated at the end of the festival. It seems like a good setup and is certainly a good fundraiser! Good luck!