Over the weekend I went to Fredricksburg Virginia for a workshop with Hannah McAndrew and Doug Fitch on making slipware pottery.Dan Finnegan who organized the event at his wonderful Libertytown Arts Center had met them a couple of years ago. Many of us had become acquainted with them in the Blogosphere and it was great to turn virtual friends into actual friends.Doug makes very traditional pots in forms that have been around for hundreds of years.He likes to work on a little larger scale and says 8 lb jugs(pitchers) are his favorite.He then torches the pots with a weed burner and covers them with slip.Final decoration may be a quick finger swipe or a more elaborate scraffito design.He is in North Devon and bases his designs on local traditions.The earthenware pots are clear glazed over the slip and woodfired to cone 03.
Hannah is working in rural Scotland but is highly regarded throughout the U.K. (and now the U.S.) She makes red earthenware pots that she slips and then covers with slip trailed designs.She says it's all squiggles and dots but she combines them in wonderful ways. Where Doug uses the big torch, Hannah generally uses a pet dragon to warm up the pots and stiffen them a little before slipping.( Some mix-up with inoculations and Homeland Security prevented the dragon from coming along.) Her Wee Little People ( WLP'S) seem to keep the dragon happy with offerings of fruit and pie.
I really have so much information that I can't process it all at once. I spent a little time at Harper's Ferry and Manassas Battlefield on the way to Fredricksburg and have lots to share about that part of the trip as well but that will have to be in upcoming posts.Before I turn this over to the pictures, I must add that Dan is planning future workshops at Libertytown and he does an excellent job of putting it all together and showing that southern hospitality to everyone.It wasn't just informative, it was fun. Isn't that just what you want from a workshop?