Friday, February 27, 2015

Dogs, Wolves, and Mugs

Yesterday’s blog post showed some pictures of dog sculptures that I made when I was in elementary school and high school. You can see the post here if you missed it yesterday. Many of you expressed support for me making more animal related art. Thanks for the support and encouragement. You may know that I make pots with dragons and horses and sugar skulls but did you know I also make mugs with wolf images? Well, one of those wolves is actually a dog.

His name was Blue because a dog like him only came along once in a blue moon. He was a pretty special dog, very good, very sweet, and very beautiful.

A Dog Named Blue
One day a neighbor was out walking with her little boy. They passed our house and the dogs, who were in the yard ran to the fence and barked a little. The boy was interested in the dogs so we let them meet, he gave Blue lots of hugs and pets. As he was leaving he said “good-bye dogs” to the others. It seemed strange because he clearly connected most with Blue. Then he said “good-bye wolf” to Blue and we understood what he had seen.

Wolf Mug by Lori Buff
Wolf Mug

I tried to make the image on this mug be a wolf but it always came out being Blue. That’s alright, he deserved it.

Other Stuff:

Defenders of Wildlife

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Old Dogs

Does every kid that takes a ceramics class and loves animals make animal sculptures?  I know I did, it was a show of affection. My first dog and I explored all the woods and alley’s of the town I grew up in.  She was a constant companion and I have many fond memories of time spent with her. She was a really good dog so she was welcome in a lot of places. She knew that she was not allowed to cross a street until she was told it was okay. She respected this rule so I usually walked her with the leash in my pocket. That’s something I would never do today now that I know better how dogs think. But she was one of a kind. Sadly, this sculpture doesn’t do her justice, it doesn’t really look like her much at all. The main similarity is that she was black and white also.

Dog Sculpture

She died during my senior year in high school, we were all devastated, we loved her so much. A week later a neighbor saw someone giving away puppies outside the local grocery store so she sent my mom to look at them. Of course she picked out a puppy to help fill the hole in our hearts.

This new puppy was playful and energetic, she raced to greet you and jumped up to say hello. After living with an older, quieter, more submissive dog this was a big change. It felt like we were being mugged whenever we came home. So mom decided to name her Muggsy. This was a little bit of a problem because one of my friends from pottery class had earned the nick name of Muggsy due to the number of mugs she made. I had to make sure the name was okay with her but she was gracious and said she was honored not insulted.

I made this sculpture for her. It’s a good size, about 18 inches from nose to butt. It was not protected in any way while it spent a few decades in the basement so it has suffered a few breaks over the years. I didn’t try gluing her back together but I do love her face.

Ceramic Sculpture of a Dog by Future Relics Gallery
Muggsy Dog Sculpture

Maybe I should try to make sculptures of my current dog pack.

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why We Love Pitchers

This morning Meredith from Why Not Pottery asked her readers if they still use pitchers and how they use them.  I started to answer but it got too long for a comments section so I jut told her I’d answer her here.

I love pitchers.  They are easily one of my favorite pots to make. They are very functional and useful but they are also a piece that lets me play with design.  I can make pitchers in various shapes and sizes for multiple uses. Many potters do this with teapots, some even make non-functional teapots that are really imaginative. I have yet to do that, I still want to keep my functional pots, well, functional. Of course that may change at any time.
This pitcher is being used as a vase by the current owner. It was made of a white stoneware of three thrown then altered and assembled pieces. It’s a form I want to revisit.

Pottery Pitcher by Lori Buff
Altered Pitcher

I use a small pitcher, also known as a creamer every morning to steam and froth the cream I put in my coffee.  I put the cream into the creamer, microwave for 30 seconds then froth with a tiny emersion blender.  I have three little creamers for this purpose so the used ones can sit in the dishwasher until it’s full.

I use medium sized pitchers for whipping up sauces and dressings when I’m cooking. This is especially nice if the dressing is going to be served with the meal.

Bird Pitcher by Lori Buff
Bird Pitcher

When we have guests over I always put out a pitcher of cool water for them.  That way they can fill their cup whenever they want. One of my friends likes this idea so much she has asked for a pitcher to give as a wedding gift. Maybe I’ve started a trend.

An idea I got from Martha Grover is a pitcher that comes with a juicer that fits on top. This is really handy for fresh squeezed orange juice, Margaritas, and Mojitos.

Another customer bought one of my larger pitchers to use as a kitchen crock. I make a crock just for your utensils, it also doubles as a wine chiller, but she wanted to use the pitcher. Who am I to argue?I’m just happy it’s being used.

How do you use pitchers?

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Naked Raku Firing

It’s been a cold winter for Atlanta.  I know it’s been much worse for people further north but we aren’t used to temperatures in the teens here.  Call me a whimp but I don’t like to raku fire in the freezing cold.  I did it when I was the studio assistant for Linda and Charlie Riggs at Penland, and I was happy to do it but at home I can wait for warmer weather...usually. Right now I am getting ready to go back to Penland for an 8 week concentration and getting prepared to have pots at Fired Works in Macon, GA in April. Add to that list a lid for an urn for someone’s kitty that needed to be remade and I had to fire.

This weekend seemed to have the most promising temperatures and a little break between rain drops so I got everything set up and fired away.

This firing was strictly iron fumed and horse hair raku. These are my two favorite styles of naked raku so I was pretty excited to do this firing. It would have been nice if the sun was out but you don’t need nice weather to raku fire, as long as it’s not raining or snowing.

Creating Horse Hair Raku Pottery by Future Relics Gallery
Applying Horse Hair to a Jar Lid

Fumed Lidded Ceramic Container by Lori Buff
Fumed Pottery Box
I love how the colors from the fumed pots are mirrored on the foil.

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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meatless Monday - Quick Lemon Pesto Penne Pasta

It’s Monday night, you’re tired, you worked hard today or maybe you’re still recovering from a very fun weekend.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat well.  Actually, when you’re tired is when you should really make sure you eat well.  That’s why I like to show you gourmet style meals that are quick and easy to prepare or that can be made a day or two in advance.

This dish is one very fine example of quick, easy, and delicious.  You could make your own pesto in advance if you want to do that or buy a jar of high quality pesto. Since this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup you might have some leftover to put into another recipe later in the week.

Lemon Pesto Penne

8 ounces whole wheat penne
2 cups broccoli cut into florets
1 cup oven roasted tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup pesto
¼ cup feta cheese
juice of ½ lemon
fresh basil, cut into ribbons


Cook the penne according to package directions. Add the broccoli to the pot of boiling water for the last 2 minutes of cooking. It will turn bright green. Drain and return to the pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan with the pasta and broccoli; sauté 1-2 minutes. Add the pesto, half of the feta, and the lemon juice. Toss in the pan until well combined. Remove from heat and add the basil. Sprinkle with remaining feta before serving.

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