Sunday, February 7, 2016

My life away from home

On Saturday we had a great workshop at the school with Hal and Eleanor Pugh from New Salem Pottery. 
It was very informal, with a lot of good solid information for the students.
In the afternoon we were able try our own hands at slip decorating.

Of course I had to try my hand at some of the slip trailing as well, It made me think about how I could use this on some tiles.
The number one thing you learn when watching someone who has been working as a potter for 40 years is this is not a overnight success. There are many hours that go into learning to make and produce a body of work to sell. It was interesting to listen to how they moved from Salt ware to Earthenware and the path that has taken them on.
One of the things I try to tell the students when they want to try something is to remember that the person who is working in that tradition or style might have been doing so for 5 to 50 years. That no matter what you decide to do you must be willing to go there.
 Willing to lose as well as win.
Clay can be so forgiving, but it can also been the beast in the room.
My thoughts have alsways been, "what are you willing to chase"?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A diffent kind of cooking

I posted on FB that I had made English Muffin on Tuesday Morning before I left for school.
Folks wanted the recipe so here goes cooking in the kitchen.

Many moons ago I baked all our bread. These days I baked as the mood, desire, want, needs arise.
the other day it was English Muffin.
I like them toasted in the morning and we were out.
I thought, because I am able to do so, I use to make these.
I went on line and started reading.
There are a lot of recipes out there that seem to take more time than I remembered spending on these.
I went with the first step I thought I needed, a simple sourdough starter.
I put equal amounts water and flour in a cover casserole, a large one, and tossed in one teaspoon yeast.
Mix well.
I left this alone on the counter until mid afternoon.
Then I looked up a recipe giving to me by one of my oldest BFF, I don't use this term lightly. We are sisters from another mother, and father, but sisters from the first time we crossed paths.

That night I took 1/2 cup of the started and made these.

English Muffins (Recipe from Agnes Almquest, Washington State.)
1/2 cup starter
1 cup milk ( I used dry milk and water)
2 cups of flour ( your choice here)
Mix all of this together, cover in a large pottery bowl, and leave at room temperature 8 hours or overnight.

Mix together and sprinkle over the mixture above:
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbs. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
I ended up with leftover mixture, I think I will add less flour in step one.
So sprinkle this over the dough until it is knead-able, toss out and knead until smooth.
Divide into 12 pieces- or 10 if you want a bit bigger.( I had 11-)
Shape these, flatten them and place them on a cookie sheet that has been covered well with cornmeal.
Sprinkle tops with cornmeal as well.
Let rise 45 minutes.
Heat a pan or skillet, grill to the same heat as you might use for pancakes, but turn it down if needed.
Cook 10 minutes per side- I found that using my gas cook-top it was more like 6-8 a side.
I then read this trick- if you like bake them for 10 minutes at 350.
They were perfect.
On the list again.
Out to the shop now.
No pictures of muffins.
Next time, I promise.

disclaimer- store bought muffin with cheese and herbs, orange was not grown by me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Using it.

This is the bad and the ugly all rolled into one.
Don't tell me again about how easy we have it.
This is not bliss.
Nightmares at Whynot.