Friday, December 30, 2011

I've been a baaad Blogger

Yeah, it's true I'm a bad blogger.... and I'll probably continue to be one !

I watched this one minute video this morning and I just sat here for a long,
long time afterwards.

As 2011 is coming to a close and a new year about to begin, this video has such a beautiful message about  time and how we spend it, use it, view it,  treasure it...
Long after my screen saver kicked in I had the urge to share it with several people as well as post it here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birthday Antics

I celebrated another birthday the other day... somehow they are coming 
faster and faster as the years roll on !
My kids were all home so it was really good to be together and get teased about the grey hairs in person.
My two girls baked me a cake and decorated it so pro !

Among my gifts was this big box and they all told me not to shake it as I 
was going though the 
"I wonder what it is ?" guessing game. 
Well, they had played a trick on me and 
this is what was in the box :

This is a teapot made by Brandon Phillips of Abilene,Tx. I have been admiring his pottery for quite sometime. Brandon has the eye of an artist and the touch of a fine craftsman.
About three weeks ago he posted some new pots in his online store and I decided to treat myself to this zinger. After clicking the "purchase now" button I told myself that I wouldn't start getting impatient about it, I would just push it out of my mind and chill... 
But towards the end of last week really I started wondering where the heck it was and had to stop myself from anxious thoughts. The day of my birthday I was really thinkin about how nice it would be to have it arrive that day and asked my daughters  to make a special trip into the post office but they only came back with the usual - no box from the states.

Anyways - they got me ! 
The teapot had arrived on the 19th and they had scooped it up and hidden it from me !

But more importantly, I got the teapot - intact and even better than the online pictures. Although I must say, Brandon does a really good job of photographing his work. The person purchasing his work from one of his photographs can rest assured that they are seeing a good representation of the work.

I think I'm going to learn alot from this teapot.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lotsa Pots

 The shop that carries my work called a couple of weeks ago and said their shelves were getting bare so I rolled up my sleeves and heated up my wax pan and did some glazing. I took photos as I was packing and the pots are gone and I am not especially pleased with the photos... oh well. As you can see - I don't stay with any one "look" for very long, so I guess it doesn't matter. These photos are more for my own use rather than a marketing use. Here are some of the results:

10" x 2.5" baking dish


7" x 3" altered bowl

squared baking dish wheat impressions

small octagon 6 1/4" medium octagon 91/4" diameterlarge tray with handles

mug with wheat impressions

1 quart coverd casserole

tray is approximately 13" and the small plates are 6.5"

standing plate 10 1/4" small octagon 6.5

same small plate as previous picture

8" carved bowl

7" bowl, 10 1/4" plate 11"x 4" bowl in the back
These are really bad pictures of some nice pots. The reds are much nicer and the pots look really lumpy and bumpy here but they're not !!

10 1/4 " plate behind the 11" bowl

10 1/4" plate again - still not a good representational picture - oh well !
Th-Th-Thaaat's all for now, folks.
I may up load a few more pictures of recent pots later but.... on to other things for now

Monday, April 18, 2011

But... what would I use it for ????

But... what would I use it for ????
This is a question that I occasionally get asked by a customer.

Well, when it comes to baking dishes, I could probably write a whole cookbook on how I use the many
pottery baking dishes in my kitchen.
Not all have been made by my hand. 
I bought this baking dish about 25 years ago and it was made by Richard and Carol Selfridge of Edmonton, Alberta.

Here's a great recipe for a 9 - 10 " baking dish:

Greek Spinach and Feta Quiche
6 oz fresh spinach
6 oz crumbled Feta cheee with tomato and basil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 1/3 cups milk
3 eggs
3/4 cup Bisquick
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 10" pie pan and set aside. Steam the spinach while assembling the other ingredients and chopping the onion and tomato.In a medium bowl combine milk, eggs, Bisquick, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the spinach, onion, tomato and Feta and place in the bottom of the pie pan.
Pour the Bisquick, milk and egg mixture over the top.
Bake at 400°F for 25-35 minutes, until puffed and set.

 More of Carol's majolica painting:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is that your natural Color ??

Was he born with it or is it .....
This is a new look for my 19 year old son, Quinlan.
 A 2nd year student in Agriculture and Heavy Duty Mechanics at a college in Alberta.
When the call went out for a volunteer to dye his hair for a Breast Cancer fund raiser 
he was quick to step up. 
Not afraid to go pink for a good cause !
We are really proud of him that he has the self confidence to do this, 
especially within such a testosterone faculty !
My two girls have also supported cancer fund raising by cutting 8 inches of their hair off and sending the hair to an organization that makes wigs for patients in cancer therapy.
So, it's Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil days -  buy some daffodils, do what you can and give generously !

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'd Rather be Potting

If I was a bumper sticker kind of girl, the title of this post is what my bumper sticker would say !

Instead of making pots I've been:

Moving equipment across wintery roads

March 23, 2011. My 16 year old daughter had a day off school and she was quickly enlisted to move
 the extractor out to a field
I'm following behind with the 15 ton tandem grain truck

here the extractor is set up to a bag and auguring the grain into the truck

I'm standing at the end of the 10,000 bushel bag here.
There's quite a bit of snow in the fields this year so that has to be cleared away from the bag with snow plows and some human shoveling before we start .

dumping the grain into the storage bins in our yard

during harvest, out of necessity, some of the grain is bagged with a high moisture content. It must be dried before shipping or storage.
The high moisture grain goes into the wet bin on the right, augerd into the dryer (you can see the steam) the the dry grain is then augered into the holding bin on the left before being shipped or stored

here we are loading railroad cars for shipment. The grain is usually shipped by rail across the  prairies, over the Rocky Mountains and out to ports on Canada's west coast, either at Vancouver or Prince Rupert. 

This is a shot of my studio from my kitchen window... where I'd rather be !

Sunday, March 06, 2011

East meets west over the breakfast table

I hear that the maple sap has started running and the sugar shacks are gearing up for a sweet season !
Since I can't jump on an airplane and go to a maple festival, I decided to do the next best thing and make these buttermilk and flax seed pancakes.

Nothing better than combining the best canadian grown grains with the natural maple sweetness from Quebec !

Heres my recipe if you'd like to make some too:
1 cup all purpose wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 rounded tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
 3 cups buttermilk * 
 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  1. Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. In a 4 cup measuring cup add buttermilk, eggs, and 4 tablespoons melted butter; whisk to combine and warm gently in microwave untill warmed through. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
  2. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush 1/2 teaspoon of butter or  bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.
  3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
  4. *you have to use the real buttermilk or the batter will be runny
  5. smother in warm maple syrup and enjoy !

I hope that this years sugaring off season is a bountiful one !
I'm going out to the studio and make some maple syrup jugs

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Color to Dye For

As I said in my last post, I've been out in the studio just not yet into the clay this year.
I've been having a great time mixing up colors and then seeing them pop or fizzle as they either work - or not - next to each other. 

Working on fabric is so different from working on clay and yet there are many similarities. Unlike clay, the process is almost immediate. Like clay, the ideas flow like crazy and I can't keep up with what I want to do next... if I only had another frame/wheel ( or 6 ) I could work more ideas instead of impatiently waiting and scribbling and sketching in my note book. While working on the fabric I am exploring 2d and then once its complete it will be 3d as it wraps and drapes in use. Sometimes I have the urge to throw my brush aside and use my fingers to push and manipulate the dyes in the same way we work with clay, and I do... should have taken a shot of my hands. Oh well, once I get back into the clay my multi-colored fingers won't draw such attention in town .

Juicey color, sparkle and sheen ! Great therapy for dull winter days !

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best to Ya !

Happy New year to All !

small copper enameled hand made tree ornament
given to me (years ago)  by my Mom

I hope everyone reading this blog; family and friends old and new have enjoyed a lovely Christmas season and are revved up for this new year.
I think I can speak for everyone here when I say that we all enjoyed a quiet, restful break.
Things can get pretty hectic around here through harvest and then my christmas sales season overlaps and I have a difficult time getting the things done for my own family in time for Dec. 25th. But somehow it all works out and I have been pretty chill since then !

10 inch dinner plates finished in time for a good customer

Heres a picture I forgot to post last year... My friend Lillian traveled to England and dropped in at Muchelney Pottery and here's what she brought me ! Lillian and her husband met John Leach and the rest of his crew and had quite a good visit with them. I've been using this as a tumbler and have been throughly enjoying it as such although it could probably be a vase as well.

Lillian was also in California last year and brought me back some sourdough starter from a
( famous ? ) restaurant called The Cheeseboard.
      mmmmm !! lucky me !

So, recently, I have been out in the studio but haven't been into the clay yet. My friend Bonny came over the other day for a studio play date. Going to her website you'll see that Bonny is an accomplished artist who has been painting with watercolor and oil for years. She has recently gotten into painting on silk. While in art collage I took several classes in the textile department and then did alot of surface design/painting on cotton and silk when my kids were really young. So Bonny came over to experiment with the many different dyes I have and I tried hard not to overwhelm her with technical data ! It was a very enjoyable day and now I'm playing around with bright colors and shorter work cycles - for awhile but not long - I love the immediacy of working with textiles and all the juicy colors but I am a potter at heart .

That's all for now. I hope some of you will post more to my blog this year. I really enjoy hearing from all.

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin