Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tygris Spring 2003- March 10, 2009

In memory of Sweet Tygris. These were some of the very last photos, named by Becky, Soft Paw. Because her sister Euphrates was the Queen, Tygris had to abide by the rules. When Euphrates died last year, Tygris became a new cat with the Queen no longer dictating the household. She acted like a four year old cat, youthful and energetic. My cats never talked and suddenly I had a talking cat. she ran freely about, sounding like a herd of horses in the hallway. She reminded me when it was time to go to bed, sitting patiently in the hall as I watched the end of show. She was so soft, everyone always commented on her fur, and she was just the sweetest loving of cats. Gentle and patient. I will miss my sweet loving cat.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Black Hearts

Toasted, not quite what I was imagining...but we are learning a new technique, glad these are only tests.

There are three missing too... someone at the studio said: stolen hearts?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy late valentine's day

Here are some of my hearts I made as test tiles for the next barrel firing, which is Sat/Sun. Using the terra sig made during Jim Whalen's workshop at Clayworks. Just love these hearts and shiny terra sig.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday at the Studio

Several of us were there working away, talking, listening to Michael Fronti, Avett brothers, Prince, among others!!

I am working on making more plates for the next cone 10 firing.

Check out new blog: clayworkers....all of us are posting there....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas cupcakes

If you are on Facebook, this is a duplicate entry. But tonight my mom arrived to celebrate the holidays. As my first gift was perishable, I enjoyed some tonight: cupcakes. I have been searching all year, more in the summer, and really gave up on it. And finding none that I liked in Charlotte, in fact I think there is only ONE cupcake shop?!! But this dozen arrived tonight, and they are yuummy. Mom and I split one. luckily they come frozen, and if you do not thaw them, they can stay frozen, so I kept half a dozen in the freezer for a little later. But those other 6, mmm mmm the next days are going to be sweet. so if you happen to be visiting me in the next few days or so, guess what you get to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ho ho ho

The holidays are what I am about. I wish it were cold here and snowing. but no, it is 60ish, my my. I am bad blogger. Busy times.

I recently had some photos taken with Becky, we shared the photographer, so here is a photo to enjoy while I continue through these crazy holidays. Hope you are all enjoying the time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Barrel firing number 6

It's firing away here. Photos of the results tomorrow.
Working with clay at home the other day and my cat insisted on part of the action.

Such a cutie!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mermaid close up

Another photo in addition to the post below. I have a friend Quinn (he's 2 and almost a half) and I hear he likes this book with mermaids in it. This one is for you kid.

It's not just a lot of hot air!

The first cone 10 firing with our new glazes that Becky and I made, tested, retested and finally are put to good use!! We were both excited with our results.
After seeing these results, which I liked, I made 7 plates today to get ready for the next gas kiln.

Details of the mermaid's tail. A close up for you Quinn.

My personal favorites. but am pleased with all the results from this firing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Did I mention I made my own crust?

When I turned 40 this year, yikes, still a bit of a shocker to see those numbers, I said the one thing I will do is make my own crust for my fabulous pie. (not that I am NOT ambitious! but there is beauty in keeping it simple, and in a good crust!)

Some feedback from friends, a little research on google, and I was set to make it. I am sure somewhere in my past I have made crust from scratch. But nothing that I carried with me to my adults days.

I learned the most important part: temperature is cold. I would even ice my hands a bit before mixing in the drops of water.

And it came out GREAT!! Mmmmm. Flaky, made with butter and actually quite easy.

So ta-DA!! I've accomplished my goal. (nothing like John's 100 pots though!! Maybe someday when I am older...ouch, sorry John.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Pie time!

The Third annual Pie bakeoff arrived again. A bakeoff between Steve Fahey and me usually. but this year we had a new addition: 89 year old Nunzio!! he claims his is a five star pie. we all had our secret methods and look at the results:
Nunzio displaying his prized pie.

All three pies are proudly displayed:

I would have to give awards as follows: lower left (Nunzio) for most exotic--he had white raisins inside and coated his crust with egg white...look at it shine. lower right (Steve) for best looking and top (mine) for most apples.

Actually I have been on a 10 year quest to reach the apple limit, and I think I did it this past Saturday. Look at how high it is. Looking at it makes me crack up.

In fact, while it was cooking part of its side fell off!! A true sign. So I have reached Mount Pie-everest. And can begin the climb off the summit. Now I will search for the perfect combination of apples to topping mixture.

Of course the babies were there, I knew you were wondering. Would they miss out on their first ever pie bake off? They were climbing all over the place, even in the trees...

And Sue --well I do not know what she was doing with the babies, looks like they each had a bit too much. (her hubby Steve peeking behind her0 The pie was deee licious!!

Another important part of this Pie Day, was Serbian dinner day!! While not pictured, Zaqlina and Lee cooked up a storm of stuffed pickled cabbage, spinach cornbread and broccoli. yummy!! We were treated like royalty this day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Some photos

A few more shots of the barrel firing

The above was taken outside, sorry it looks so washed out. But here a few more of the bottles, but inside.

And here is a shot Becky took of the babies--her production and a great ending to this post.

Check out John, Amy and Becky's posts for more barrel firing shots.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Barrel Firing Number 5

Our first Halloween Barrel Firing was a huge success. Many from clayworks participated. And it was fun to see the colors in the fire. Here's a clip of the banter generally found around barrel during the night.

There was lots of work to load, as seen on the cart, and behind, lots of food to eat, as you can see where everyone is gathered!

And later, 12:50am, the costumes arrived, with Becky's sister, Cinder, arriving incognito....and I caught Becky's expression.

More tomorrow...great results for all!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This and that

Becky and I finally finished preparing for the tests of the cone 10 glazes..8 in all. The things you learn on the way, like add epsom salt to Yanagahara, or else it will be like cement on the bottom....here is Minke working it out for us..
and we loaded the kiln for Friday's halloween Barrel firing....And the babies are getting ready too (from GNO this past Friday)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kitchen update

I've been in such a great mood the past 2 days, which has been a shift having a couple of intense weeks (I think months!!)

But tonight I am in the kitchen cooking with the babes, pizzelles are on the menu. They are excited and jumping on the ingredients like monkeys. Did they forget who they are?

So who is Clabber Girl anyway?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Photo of big bowl

Thanks for the beer John, not that I enjoyed it at all, but it came in so handy for size reference!! Working on a large bowl like this has brought up new physical considerations. One, at this size, and on the table, I cannot even reach to the bottom from where I sit. So I need to build a contraption of sorts to hold it my lap to work on it--my lap is not level (I am out of balance again!!)....As it is now, imagine working on your pot with your arms shoulder height...not a good place ergonomically.

You all know this, but making larger pieces is much more physical.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Very large bowl

I made one tonight at the studio....a photo to follow. but I took it with John's camera and am waiting for him to send it to me. And with John making a 100 pots, he could be at the studio for awhile...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New work at studio

Pottery from the weekend. Here is a shot of those bottles I mentioned last post that I am having fun building. And a lovely gift this late into the fall: gardenia, which we enjoyed smelling at the studio. Here they are displayed in one my recent favorite pots from a firing from this summer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Barrel Firing Results

What a lucky day to arrive at the studio and find a cd with some images of the latest barrel fired pots!! And so fun to see the pots again. Tonight, I pinched some new bottle forms I am playing around with (that I learned from Amy)and just stared at the surfaces of the barrel fired pieces. Here are some shots. many thanks to Max McLeod for his love of photography, having fun with it, and sharing it with us-- This is about 12 or 13 inches high. I make the point, since most of my pots shaped like this fit into the palm of my hand. It was built with slabs coiled around, some pinching.

A close up view....(yes this pot did crack, all the way around too!!!)

This little set does fit in your hands. Some different surface marks....This guy is a pinch pot, if I had to guess without measureing... about 7 inches across, 6 inches high.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

About fluffy and slumpy

Those are the names of the two pineapple cakes that were enjoyed at the studio this weekend.

In making the cakes, I wanted to do a test run on Thursday night. I have over 30 years of baking experience. I can remember standing next to my grandmother, very young, cracking eggs for her to make something, who knows what it was. But we were baking. And my mom (you have permission to read this!!! excuse the side joke everyone) continued to teach me. I am sure we all have those tips in our heads that come from our grownups that raised us. I can still hear my mom tell me how to measure out brown sugar and demonstrating for me.

So this background information is leading me to my cake story. As I was about to crack in the eggs for Ada Darlings cake, I thought, I really should crack those eggs in a separate bowl first. Especially because I have been getting fresh organic local eggs. But I did not heed that sound sure gentle advice in my head. So you all know where this is headed!! And I also want to point out, knowing that cracking in a another bowl is the proper technique...mostly the reasoning I heard was to ensure no eggshells were included in the mix...leaving you to dig them out. And I also want to point out that in all my years baking, I have never encountered a rotten egg!!

So, yes I cracked into the bowl with my sugar and other eggs, and boy was it rotten!!!! UGHHH. And that smell!! Well that really colored the rest of the baking that night. The smell never went away. Although I started over, and using the proper technique, things just weren't right. Plus I ran out of sugar, and had to use raw sugar, that was larger and not finely processed.

So the cake went into the oven, homemade from scratch. And I noticed it fall at the end!! I feel like suddenly it was 1932 or something. Rotten eggs, fallen cake. Where am I?
The next day, I bought sugar and a store bought yellow cake mix (sorry Ada!!) and made the cake again. I really wanted a fluffy version.

But at the studio, slumpy (above) was the more popular cake. Everyone just loved that brown sugar butter crusty edge. One stick of butter and a cup of brown sugar!! yea Ada!

More barrel fire photos this week. Forgot the camera today at the studio. And there is a dooozy beautiful one to follow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A sneak peek barrel firing number 4

In prepping our pieces, Becky started getting a little carried away and tried to eat the Pawleys Island special: seaweed, (ok I made her do it!!) especially gathered for barrel firings!! Mmm mmm good way to begin the morning.With the piece prepped and ready to load....Of course, the babies were kicking about wanting to inside the kiln to see what the fuss was all about. so they took a sneak peek (peak!) before loading the kiln with fuel: newspaper, charcoal, and apple wood, special from Becky's apple tree limb that fell.Nice fire.....

A common site around the barrel ...by many. Peeking in the holes to see what is happening inside....
Nice hot fire.....beautiful embers.
To keep everyone fortified, two upside down pineapple cake options, courtesy of Ada Darling via Tom Gray!! Yummy, more on the cakes in another posting.

A sneak peek at one of the pots and results from the firing today.....what is so nice are those music like ghostly looking notes floating up...how neat is that!! More to follow....it was a wonderful firing!!!