After 45 years of focus, good fortune, and challenge, I’m heartened—and 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. I lacked trust fund, employment, financial capital, and mission plan—but I had a sense I would work as long and as hard as necessary to succeed.
I was determined to honor my obsession as a Maker.
That my plan to make a living from clay was foolish never occurred to me! 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 72, my determination to share my idealistic attitudes with minds of similar bent has become an obsession.
The time has come to transfer experience and accumulated potential to benefit others.
I intend to intelligently re-purpose 4 decades of Maine Kiln Works infrastructure to create unique experiential learning opportunities.
My plan to establish a non-profit, hands-on educational facility is specifically intended to empower a new generation of Artisans to work with both hands & minds, despite enormous cultural and economic disincentives.
The success of this transformation will hinge on the skillful tenacity of myself, my partner daughter Joanna, and the generous help and encouragement of our community of supporters, who value and look forward to participating in the success of this new enterprise.
We invite you to consider joining our effort (if you’re enthusiastic, motivated, and have a complementary skill set). Please visit our Partners page for more detail.
Our metamorphose is a carefully planned work-in-progress, to which, I dedicate the remainder of my life.
My deep trust—that unconventional endeavors complement and leaven the conventional—fuels this transformation.
Reorganization will progress as our resource base develops and will unfailingly honor the wisdom and encouragement and full-tilt examples of Kurt Hahn, Lance Lee, Jon Wilson, and numberless un-recognized defenders of true compassion—the root of common sense.
“I mention six decays, which surround and influence us all, young and old: There is the decline of fitness due to the modern methods of locomotion. There is the decline of skill and care due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship. There is the decline of initiative due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis. There is the decline of self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of tranquilizers and stimulants. There is a decline of memory and imagination due to the confused restlessness of modern life. There is the decline––worst of all––of compassion, which William Temple called ‘spiritual death.’” — Kurt Hahn
“The world breaks everyone and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places”
— Ernest Hemingway