Dan Finnegan

Artist 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 but my earliest work in clay was sculptural and those very disparate bodies of work continue to inform the pots that I make today. 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. 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!

Artist Bio

I moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia in September of 1980, where I was hired to be the manager of the Fredericksburg Pottery. I set out to make useful pots that honored the tradition of Winchcombe without being mere imitations. Using multiple layers of materials and techniques, I’ve tried to make pots that fit in with today’s world. Fredericksburg has been my adopted home ever since…for many years (20+) I ran a retail shop and gallery directly from my studio in the heart of downtown. Until recently I sold almost all my work in town, keeping regular shop hours and immersing myself in the community. For the first 10 years or so I just kept my head down and made thousands and thousands of pots. In the early 1990’s I was invited to teach a regular course for the Art League at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. About this time I also began traveling to lead workshops at schools and craft centers along the East Coast. I also began hiring assistants to help me with the shop and learn to make a line of pots that I designed. For some reason that led to the start of a small school for pottery which led to the founding of the LibertyTown Arts Workshop which is another story for another time. …..I closed the Hanover Street studio this spring (2005), dividing my time between LibertyTown and my workshop in the country. I completed construction of a two-chambered, wood-fired kiln there last fall and intend for it to be my primary means of firing in the future.