Bennett’s back with many Molokai Mugs
“I like a pot that shows where it came from,” says Dan Bennett. The Molokai potter makes sure his stoneware shows its sculpting by human hands – doing so gives the glaze a texture.
Bennett will also show where his pottery came from at an exhibition and sale on Dec. 9. For those that make the trek to his home and studio in Kalae, Bennett will give a demonstration “if people ask for one.”
Bennett used to have a sale at least once annually since 1974, the year he came to Molokai to teach math at the high school. However, in 1999 he was evicted from his house and studio in Kipu. He built a new house in Kalae, but did not have a place to work or put his kiln until a recent addition of a studio and bedroom.
The new workspace holds two wheels to build the pots as well as shelves to display the work. It’s a step up from his studio in Kipu, which was little more than a shack that let in the elements.
Now that Bennett is retired he spends quite a bit of time on his hobby. Finished pots and dishes line an entire wall of the studio. Shelves on the other side hold work waiting to be fired in the kiln or to be glazed.
“I try to make honest pots,” he says. “Things you can use.”
One honest pot Bennett has perfected is the Molokai mug. Costing around $10, the bluish mugs have MOLOKAI emblazoned across the front. On either side is a kukui leaf design.
Bennett says that sometimes he’ll make a set of four to six dishes, but when it comes to mugs he may produce up to 20 at a time. “When I run out of things to do I know I can always make more mugs,” he says.
Besides the annual sale from his house in Kipu, Bennett’s pottery has been sold at Big Wind Kite Factory, Hotel Molokai and the R.W. Meyer Sugar Mill among other places. But, Bennett says, “Selling pots direct is best. You get to build a relationship with the customer. Plus there’s no markup.”
The show and sale take place Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bennett’s house in Kalae. Take the Kalae Highway and turn down Kalama Road (Mile 4). Take the second right on Analu Place. For more information call Dan at 567-6585.