30 January 2014

A Winter Post

Last night's sunset
    I had hoped to show you a few short films from the studio, but as is too often the case, Blogger won't cooperate. This seems fitting as I am about to move from this platform to wordpress. I am having a very sweet new website built by Adam Desio that we should have ready in a few weeks. Adam is a very talented artist in his own right and I'm excited with what he's done so far. I seem to always be a bit behind the times, but this new site will connect all of my social media stuff to my website and I will be adding a shop for all of you folks desperate to buy my work!? He's encouraged me to join Pinterest which I just did, so more photos will be forthcoming. Just in case you don't already spend too much time on your computer..
My studio door!
I grew up in Buffalo,NY and I still love it when we get a bit of winter here in ol' Virginny, but it has slowed me down and giving my a major cold so I'm happy to see the big thaw coming this week-end. I just finished over 100 big mugs and next will be a bunch of smaller ones. But, for the evening it's beer and poker...there's more than one way to pay the bills!
Snow lobster?
The squirrels are great athletes.

22 January 2014

Artistic Obligations

I have several exciting opportunities to show and sell my work this year and I've been revisiting the obligatory Biography and Artist's Statement    

"My work stands at the intersection of traditional and contemporary pottery.  I have a particular interest in medieval European salt glaze and 17th century English slipware as result of my training at the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire, England, but my earliest work in clay was sculptural and those two disparate bodies of work continue to inform the pots that I make today. 
    I started making my own pottery in 1980 In Fredericksburg, Virginia. Making pots for a living is satisfying on many levels. I enjoy working long and hard and being productive, all of which are necessary to success. Of course, the opportunity to go in the studio each day and exercise imagination and skill is enormously satisfying. I believe that my job is to make each pot as well as I possibly can. No shortcuts!
    Making pottery is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a career choice…it is an integrated way of living, where work and play and everyday life all dissolve into each other and that suits me. It also allows for a great deal of variety: not only do I make pots, but I teach workshops, exhibit, write a blog and promote a show.    
    My own pleasure in making pots is made all the better by the pleasure that they bring to others. I've sold most of my work directly from my studio and the opportunity to meet and talk with my customers brings me great satisfaction.
     I enjoy the aesthetic challenges of making pots as well as the physical labor that being a potter and firing with wood entails. It is important to me that my work be finely crafted and made to a very high standard. I love the architectural qualities of clay, the permanence of stoneware, and the sweet magic that occurs when good pots, good food and good people come together!"

Any critique is welcome. I'd like to sound smarter than I am.

08 January 2014

Dan Finnegan - Dumb Ass

Another good title for this would be "Pride goeth before the Fall"
My studio is a fairly primitive place...no running water and no electricity (I run my wheel on a generator) and the littlest gas heater I can get away with. This is mostly by choice, both environmentally and financially motivated and a wee bit dictated by location. I am overly proud of my self regarding this and I've paid a price this week that has put me back in my place. 
I thought that this color enhanced the icy cold feeling!
When I leave the studio in the evening I turn my little heater off. This means it can be very cool the next morning...38 degrees F is not unusual. But Monday night's big chill should have made me reconsider...and I didn't. I discovered several big pots ruined by freezing the next morning. That hurt a bit, but I got over it quickly and then filled the studio with 8 pound bowls planning to leave the heat on all night. Which I did. But the gas ran out. And the bowls froze even worse than the previous day's jars! I lost heart and left early (after buying more gas and leaving the heater on....again!), But not to worry, I'll be back tomorrow and get back on the wheel. But I do hate work that's gone to waste. 
 Even a tough day is improved by wildlife encounters. Today I came across at least 40 turkeys feeding on winter wheat in a field near the studio! I've never seen so many in one spot before and I got to watch them for a while. That lifted my spirits!