Friday, May 29, 2015

ARTucker 2015

Last December a few artists and I got together and did a home show at one of the artist’s homes.  We so enjoyed that type of interaction with the customers and each other that we started talking about doing something on a slightly larger scale.  Then we started planing and now we have the show. Even though I was not as involved as I would have like to be since I was out of town and totally immersed in the class at Penland I am very excited about this show. I’m very proud of my friend Patty Young for making it happen and all the hard work she put into it. I’m proud to have been some small part of creating it, and now I’m excited about being in the show.

The show is in the Tucker Recreation Center, which is great considering the rain we’ve been having. It’s also where I did some substitute teaching several months ago. I like that I can talk to people about the program there from first hand experience. It seems that someone always asks if I teach or know of someplace that does. Here I can direct them the them studio so they can see the facilities for themselves.
Art Show in Tucker May 29th and 30th

Not only will I be selling my pottery there but I’ll also be doing demonstrations. That’s always fun for me, the customers, and the kids.  It’ll be nice to be doing the demos in a place where I can wedge clay on a real wedging table and clean the tools in a proper facility.

You should come to the Tucker Rec Center Friday or Saturday, it’s going to be a good time with some great art.

ARTucker 2015
Tucker Rec Center
4898 LaVista Rd, Tucker 30084
Phone:  (770) 270-6226

Friday May 29th 2015, 5 pm - 9 pm
Saturday May 30th 2015, 10 am - 6 pm

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Time Blues

“I just haven’t felt very creative lately.” Those words were spoken to me by a fellow artist the other day. I told her that I am with her in these thoughts. I thought I’d just be unable to stay out of the studio after returning from Penland but it’s been more the opposite. I’m happy to plan some projects that I want to do, I’m happy trying to learn to play my new guitar, I’m even happy when I do get into the studio and do some work. I’m just not very motivated. Apparently I’m not alone so we talked about it for a little while.

My last show for the season, ARTucker is this coming weekend at the Tucker Rec Center and I’m excited about that. I’ve got enough inventory for it to be a good show. I’ve filled all the outstanding orders that I’ve gotten recently. Basically, I’m in a good place. That freedom should lead to creativity but instead I’m just not really feeling like working right now and neither is the other artist I just mentioned.
Blue Glazed Lidded Jar by Future Relics Pottery
Blue Lidded Jar

As we were commiserating I was reminded of when I heard that most people who commit suicide do so in the spring.  Part of the thought is that there is a pressure to feel happy because the world is being built anew and life is beautiful. Neither one of us is feeling even remotely that blue, we are just in a creative funk. The point is, we are also feeling pressure (probably completely self imposed) to feel creative.  What we realized is that by taking a little time away from the studio and following our hearts we are building up creative energy and will be able to return to the studio refreshed and renewed.

How do you handle creative lulls?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, May 25, 2015

Slivered Vegetable and Soba Salad with Mapled Tofu

You won’t find very many recipes that contain tofu here. I’m not a huge fan of tofu but some are really delicious. This is one that fits the bill because the tofu takes on the maple so nicely.

Slivered Vegetable and Soba Salad with Mapled Tofu

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienned into long strips
  • 1 small zucchini, julienned into long strips 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large avocado 
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste (if you have a darker color, just use less)
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (plus more for serving)
Drain the tofu and press out excess liquid in a clean dishcloth. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the hot pan. Saute gently until the edges begin to brown. (in order for the tofu to crisp up like I wanted, I had to do this in two batches). Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, and a healthy dose of black pepper. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are crisp and the tofu is nicely browned. Set aside to cool.
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions, and rinse well in cold water, and drain. Put the noodles, bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini in a large bowl and toss together.
For the dressing, put all of the ingredients into a small container with a lid and give it a good shake.*
*when I made this, I completely forgot to add the sesame oil – it was great without it, but the dressing seemed a little thick. Later, when I realized my error, I just added the oil to the noodles/veggies and tossed them sum more. 
When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the veggies and noodles, add the chopped cilantro and toss well to coat. Top the bowl with the green onions, sesame seeds, and tofu. Serve each portion with a half of an avocado.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Memorial Day

On most Monday's you'll find a meatless Monday recipe here but not today. Enjoy your Memorial Day, may you find peace and happiness in the thoughts of whoever you remember.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Squaring Pots

One of the techniques that I played with while I was at Penland was to square and texture a pot. I started by making a pitcher with fairly straight sides.  Before taking it off the wheel head I squared the corners by running one finger from the bottom to the top on the inside while simultaneously running 2 fingers on the outside if the pot at the same corner. I then removed the pitcher from the wheel and let it dry to leather hard.

When the pitcher was dry enough to attach the handle I started flattening the sides with a rasp. This creates quite a nice pile of shavings and an interesting texture. I could have smoothed it out with a rib but I liked it and thought the glaze would play well on the surface. Once the rasping was complete I could attach my handle and do any trimming at the foot that I wanted.

Squared ceramic pitcher by Lori Buff
Square Pitcher

 The square pitcher is really nice for beverages that you want to serve cold because it sits very nicely in the refrigerator with all the square cartons.

Next I tried making lidded jars with this same technique. These were a lot of fun because I wanted to keep the feel of the thrown, round pot while having the square sides and texture. I tried a few styles of lids, these are my favorite.

Squared ceramic lidded jars by Future Relics Pottery
Square Lidded Jars
Finally I knew I had to make a squared teapot. I threw the base and squared it off then set it aside to dry while I worked on a few other things. While it was sitting on the shelf in front of the window the light hit it just right and another student remarked about how beautiful the shape looked. I was busy thinking about the next steps of the teapot and failed to notice that until it was brought to my attention.

Squared handmade teapot by Lori Buff
Squared Tea Pot

I really liked the look also so I didn’t texture it but just left the grooves from the squaring.  Once it was assembled and glazed I really like the way the light plays on it. At first I didn’t love the simple lid but it has grown on me. It seems right due to the simplicity of the pot. I’ll be refining this form in the future.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff