Fifty Years

Early ’70 Maine Kiln Works business card drawn by Marc Drogin (then New Hampshire resident)

After 50 years of focus, good fortune, and challenge — I’m more than a little surprised to find I have sustained myself and my family solely through works of hand via clay, wood, metal, and digital media. No trust fund, employment, financial capital or mission plan—but a sense I would work as long and as hard as necessary to succeed.

I admit — I was irrationally determined to honor my obsession as a Maker. That my plan to make a living from clay was foolish never occurred to me. In 1988—my exasperated wife, Mary Lou, said as she left, “Dan, you don’t know when to quit.”

I began this adventure in 1971— age 25. Now, at 75, my determination to share my idealistic attitudes with minds of similar bent has become my focus. If I could enjoy modest success making a life with my hands — why not help others to do the same.

The time has come to transfer experience and accumulated potential to benefit others.

“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives.”

I intend to intelligently re-purpose 5 decades of Maine Kiln Works infrastructure to create unique experiential learning opportunities. This will not turn ‘lead into gold’ but the Metamorphose to Artisan Lab will offer potent opportunity to build flexible capacity and resilience through 10 Finger Thinking.