Goblin pottery has arrived

Goblin Mug $55.00

Yes, it seemed that only gnomes would enter the realm of little people seen on hardwickhandmade pottery, but the dark side has made an appearance. A small one granted, but an appearance none the less.

Two mugs have been designed with drunken goblins dancing about in a mushroom filled background with slipware highlights.

goblin detail

This series will draw from the slipware pottery (which are extremely difficult to pull off well) as well as from landscape painting traditions.


I hope you enjoy.

Next up is the lonely ogre walking in the forest…

Recent Firing

Hiker Dinner plate

I finished a load of pottery and fired over New Years which was alot of fun.  I had several items that I fired for a commission and then others that I was doing to figure out some design work.

Virginia Bird Series- Titmouse, Goldfinch & Chickadee

The whole kiln came out well. As discussed in the last post, I am working on a commission of eastern songbirds.  I’ve got to do plates and bowls which makes the layout a little more complex.

A group of gnomes were fired as well and I liked how they came out. Also, I did a group of drunken goblins dancing around which came out well.

Here are a few examples.

Bird Bowls & Plates for Hardwick Handmade Dinnerware Commission

Titmouse process painting

I’ve finished painting the bowls and have moved on to painting the plates for my Eastern Songbird commission. I’ve very excited as the results are turning out better than I anticipated.  Some bowls are glazed and out of the kiln as indicated by the featured image of this article, but others are still waiting to be fired. This weekend I will finishe painting the plates. My last one to do is the Goldfinch which takes extra time as I have the bird sitting on a group of sunflowers that requires more work. Luckily, I love what I do.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker dinner plate process

This picture was taken after the underglaze was painted, but before it was glazed. The color is muted, but will pop once the durable clear glaze reaches temperature of 1948 degrees Fahrenheit.


13oz. mug with Chickadee in the snow



The bird cup is an example of what can be done with this imagery on other forms.

I completed a new sample series that came out of the kiln last weekend and looked really good. I made a chickadee bowl, a goldfinch bowl and a titmouse bowl with an abstract pattern background.

Chickadee dinner plates

All my work playing around with backgrounds is starting to pay off. I’m using a combination of painterly brushwork and stamped color that together is organic and colorful. It took a while to find something subtle enough that let the birds stand out.


My next round of imagery should be just what I want. 🙂


Chickadee bowl process
Goldfinch & Sunflower plates

Freer Gallery in DC

Japanese Tea Ceremony ware

I was able to see the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC this past weekend. It is my favorite museum on the Mall and I really enjoyed seeing the treasures they have there.

There were only a few different items set up in the 20 rooms they show items in, but it was worth the trip. They had a Japanese tea room utensil set up which I really admired among the other items.

Tea Ceremony vase
Whistler’s painting from his Nocturne (night) series.

Whistler’s paintings were also up and they had 3 of the Nocturne paintings that I really like. I’ve been thinking of including them in my paintings. I think the Nockturne idea will work well with the goblins and dark fairies I’ve been trying to create as imagery.





In the 80’s I was lucky enough to inspect the vault below the Freer. I hope to do that again once I can get enough people together to do it. It is free, but you have to arrange a meeting. They may have a minumum amount of people to go as well.

Guan ware

Handmade Holiday @ Hardywood Brewery

Hardwick Handmade Booth

I just finished a weekend showing my work at a craft fair at Hardywood Brewery. There were a little over 60 booths showing their wares and trying to move their merchandise to at least a thousand people a day. It was a great turnout and I’d like to say thank you to the vendors around me that were nice and gracious with advice.

What a great show! I hope I get in to do it again next year.

Wood Fired Pots

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

Yes, the annual firing was done the week after Thanksgiving and I went and picked up my pottery last night.

I am so thankful for Mike and Alex firing my pots at Tree Hill Pottery, here in Richmond, VA. My work turned out great and I’m excited to show you the results.

I reformulated my clay body to create a red flashing clay body. Unfortunately, I failed again. I researched and studied flashing bodies in Graduate School and lost the recipes I created, so now I’m working to create a new body with less expensive and readily available ingredients.

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup
Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

I have 4 glazes that are really looking good in the firing. My favorites are the Tenmoku, Amber, Cobolt and Pumice. I have a great Oribe, but didn’t use it in this firing. My next glaze will be a white.

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

I hope you like these as much as I do. They are an Asian aesthetic. The cups are small holding 5-6oz. The trays are 14-16in long.

🙂 Matt

Smooth Afro-Cuban Jazz

Hotel X- Legend brewing

My friends Hotel X just jammed out again at Legend Brewing Co. on the south side of Richmond, VA. I took pics and they turned out extra special. Let me know what you think.

Tim & Chris- groovin’

I love the blur that to me, depicts motion and fits perfectly into the jazz ideal. Also, I tried to darken the pics as there was tons of light streaming in the room.

For those that don’t know… Mike never lets up.

New Work is out and in process

Green Turtle Dinnerware set

I’m having a great time working on designs inspired by my recent trips to the National Gallery in DC and the VMFA, here in Richmond. Mostly, abstract work have been coming out of my head, but some new motifs are out that are based on realism.

Each kiln load spurs me on to create new designs. I feed of small areas where brush strokes and stamped color collide and promise new material for the next piece.


As the holidays are approaching I have created a new series of snow person mugs where I really got into the background abstraction, trying to represent a landscape. It felt to me that I was creating slipware which I am inspired by as I enjoy the different historical representations and designs.

Also, I have made more Gnome pieces. I think they represent the Christmas spirit well and I like the childhood memories they bring back when I paint them.

Gnome lunch plate and mug

Pop-Shop by Jo-Louise

Yes! I got into a 2 month sale over in Norfolk, VA called the Pop-Shop by Jo-Louise. It starts in November 2nd and runs til the end of December. I have around 100pcs there of all shapes and sizes.

Come on down if you are interested in hand made crafts. It isn’t just pottery, but all sorts of local art. The prices and types very greatly, so it is a good place for everyone to look into.

Pop-Shop by Jo-Louise in Norfolk, VA

The Pop-Shop is open:

Pop-Shop by Jo Louise!
10846 Warwick Shopping Center
Newport News, VA  23601
Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6, thru Dec.30

Feel free to drop by and see all the different crafts. If a great deal sells in November I will be restocking in early December!

Green Turtle Dinnerware set

RVA International Folk Festival 2017

I was lucky enough to go to the RVA Folk Festival this past weekend. I was so psyched to see all the different musicians and hear what their traditions and cultures had to offer.

My favorite was the Go-Go band Bella Donna from Washington, D.C. They not only sounded great, but had the stage presents to get the whole tent rocking. What a performance on Saturday night.

Bella Donna singer
Guitar player for Bella Donna









The whole weekend was awesome and I hope to have gotten some information from the Army Jazz Band to get some pictures of my Grandfather. More on that if anything materializes.


Bitoo Snger from Cabo Verde
Bitoo Snger from Cabo Verde with angle iron instrument