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Five Questions with Robert Briscoe, Potter

Every year, Robert Briscoe loads up his van in Minnesota and makes the almost full day drive to Washington, DC for Pottery on the Hill. While we are freezing in the chilly late October weather, Bob can often (always?) be seen in his shorts, kicking around the Hill enjoying the balmy weather! We asked Bob – and all of our potters – a few questions about pottery. Here’s what he shared with us.

Why are you a potter?

I am a potter because it makes me feel like a whole person. The first time I saw pots being made and I touched clay, I was convinced this was for me and for life.  After 50 years I am still passionate about this adventure. I continue to be deeply challenged and changed when I make pots. I am a much better human when I am making pottery.

What would you be if you weren’t a potter?

I think I would be a cinematographer, or a restaurant owner. A couple of my other interests are film and food.  Whatever I could do seriously and to be able to mostly hang out a lot with my wife and our friends.

What do you like the most about Pottery on the Hill?

Pottery On the Hill for me represents those things I love about putting, what I make, in front of real people.  Conversations occur there about our lives, about food, politics, passions, and community. A great group of potters and knowledgeable pot enthusiasts gather here.  It also doesn’t hurt that it is located in one of my favorite cities.

What do you think it the biggest misunderstanding/incorrect idea about pottery – and what’s the truth?

I think there is some public misunderstanding about the purpose in making and using of handmade pots – their functionality. I think the majority of potters love that their pots get used, completing of the circle.

Anything you want to add or tell people who might come to Pottery on the Hill?

The potters that are a part of this really look forward to talking about pots.

Pottery on the Hill runs October 27-29, 2017.

Visit his website and see more work at



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