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Danmade Pottery

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We've all heard of handmade, but what about Danmade?

"I'm interested in quirky, bizarre things," Dan Siegel said.

Meet Dan Siegel of Danmade Pottery. His unique, graphic designs ride the edge of where cute and sinister meet.

"It's pottery that's useable, but has a cast of bizarre characters I've developed over the past 10 years," Siegel said.

That cast involves snails with attitude and shady sea creatures. Each design is painted freehand on everything from bowls to vases. No two are exactly alike-- each changes to fit the pottery it's going on.

"They're not just cute little characters, they all have their own personality they're expressing," Siegel said.

Some of them have a scowl; something Siegel might know all about.

Dan Siegel: Sometimes I can peg people really well and say, oh, that person wants an owl mug.

Gina Bullard: What kind of person am I?

Siegel: You? I think you're going to get a donut.

Bullard: (Laughs) You know me!

Siegel's biggest seller is coffee mugs. They're big, yet thin and surprisingly light. Each mug is about one pound of clay.

"When you're drinking a cup of coffee you don't need to sprain your wrist when you're picking it up," Siegel said.

He's a pro now at the pottery wheel, but Siegel has been drinking up art his whole life, focusing on painting in college. But something clicked after taking a pottery class.

"I got really interested in pottery and there was something about it that drew me in," Siegel said. "I wasn't sure what it was, but I knew there was something to it."

Danmade sells about 50 pieces on a good week-- a step up for the guy who once had three jobs. He's now down to one and a half. Siegel supplements his pottery business with a few hours as a cook each week. A step in the right direction for this one-of-a-kind artist and his Made in Vermont art.

You can find Danmade products at the Burlington farmers market and online.

Danmade Pottery -- www.facebook.com/danmadepottery -- www.etsy.com/shop/Danmade

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