Friday, October 9, 2015

Condiment Dish

One of the best times to use your handcrafted pottery, besides everyday, is when you have guests. Yes, you could put out a can of nuts, a bag of chips and a jar of salsa and call it a party. However, your guests may feel a little more special if you serve them any of these items in a nice vessel.

The design of this condiment dish is based on the relish tray my grandmother always used to serve pickles. I love pickles so I loved the dish. This piece doesn’t feel as grandmotherly as hers did but it still serves the same purpose, you can serve two items side by side and only use one dish.

Hand Made ceramic condiment dish by Lori Buff
Condiment Dish

I like it for cheese dip on one side and guacamole on the other. Or two flavors of dip for veggies or chips. It would also be terrific for nuts, say mixed nuts on one side and rosemary cashews on the other. Oh, the combinations are limited only by the imagination. What would you serve in this dish?

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Penland Auction Mugs

When Penland School of Crafts holds it’s annual benefit auction they make it a weekend party for the patrons. They hold luncheons, dinner, cocktails, and even breakfast. The Breakfast in the Barns event is held in the place where the resident artists do much of their work. This gives the patrons a chance to meet the artists and discuss the art. They also get a nice, handcrafted mug for their coffee, which they take home as another memento of the occasion.

I normally volunteer for the auction and have watched the patrons look over each and every mug before making their choice. It’s really fun to watch and it is great to know how meaningful these are to people.

This year I volunteered to make the mugs for the 2016 auction breakfast. I’ll have to make 500 mugs and my goal is to make sure that the patrons have a great variety to explore. The majority will be fired in salt or soda at Penland but I’m going to make sure a few get into some kilns around me just so they can have that variation in glaze and firing type. Of course the biggest challenge is making 500 mugs that are different shapes and sizes. I will even hand build a few just to have that be part of the mix.

It’s going to be a challenge, especially considering how small my studio space is but I’m feeling like I’m up to it. It’s only 500 mugs plus a few extra just incase some get broken and all the work I have to make for holiday sales. I’ll sleep next year.

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

Monday, October 5, 2015

Meatless Monday - Charred Broccoli Salad

When I first moved out on my own I did not know how to cook. The joke was that I knew dinner was ready when the smoke detector started screaming. Things have improved drastically since those days, now when something is blackened or charred it’s because I want them that way. A little char ads a nice flavor to many dishes. This salad is a great example.


1 medium sweet potato, washed and cubed
4 Cups Broccoli florets
5 tsp olive Oil + 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 Chili Flakes
Handful Cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp Toasted Sunflower seeds
1/2 Hot Pepper, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp. Capers
Sunflower Seed Dressing (recipe below)
Lemon Wedges, for garish


1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Combine the chopped broccoli with 3 tsp. Coconut oil, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, and chili. Roast, stirring often until nice and crispy, about 25- 30 minutes.

2. Use the remaining 2 tsp. Coconut oil on the yam slices. Sprinkle them with 1/4 tsp. sea salt and pop them in the oven once the broccoli has been roasting for about 10 minutes. Roast them for about 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring once throughout.

3. Once the veggies are nice and crispy, toss to combine them. Arrange in a bowl along with a generous helping of dressing, the chopped cilantro, chili, and sunflower seeds, as well as a slice of lemon.

4. Just prior to serving, heat the last 1 Tbsp. of oil in a small pan until hot. Gently pat the capers dry with a tea towel, and carefully place them into the hot oil, stirring to coat. Once the capers become white and crisp (about 1 minute), remove the pan from the heat and scoop out the capers (place them on a towel to drain). Sprinkle the salad with the hot capers and serve, season with salt and pepper as needed.

Sunflower Seed Dressing


1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. Sunflower Butter or Tahini
2 Tbsp. Liquid Sweetener of Choice (such as honey or agave)
2 Cloves Garlic
2 cm / 1 inch (or about 1 thumb sized piece of ginger)
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Toasted Sunflower Seeds

1. Combine the oil, lemon juice, sunflower butter, garlic, salt, and ginger in a blender and puree until smooth. Add water a tbsp. at a time to reach desired consistency. I like mine to be nice and thick, so I only added about 1 Tbsp.

2.Add the zest and the sunflower seeds and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  This dressing is supposed to be very thick but you can thin it with some more olive oil if you desire.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Strutting in The Rain in East Atlanta

When it rains during an art festival it usually means your day is going to stink. The festivals I’ve done on rainy days usually means either nobody comes to the show or the few people that do are looking for a great bargain. I guess they figure that the artist just wants to sell all their work and go home. Of course my pots are water tight and so is my tent so I’m just sitting in my tent chilling. At the East Atlanta Strut the crowd was pretty good for a rainy day. The people that came into my booth were wonderful. They chatted, bought pots, placed orders, and generally made it a great day.

Lori Buff’s Ceramics at the East Atlanta Strut
At the East Atlanta Strut

My Ez-up tent handled the weather pretty well.  I had given it a light coat of Scotchgard to protect it from the rain just a couple of weeks ago and I was glad I did so. It kept me dry. I felt bad for all the volunteers that were walking around in the rain but they were troopers and did a fantastic job of getting everyone into the show and set up. They are a fantastic group and I’m so glad we have people like them in my neighborhood. Besides organizing and promoting the festival they also clean any trash from the streets before and after the festival. That’s not an easy task but it makes it a nicer event for everyone.

Although sales were okay they were down from last year so I’m still looking for some more funding from you all with the promise of a nice pot as your gift. Since today is my birthday let’s give each other a gift. For more about the why’s and what’s of the funding please see this blog post:  http://futurerelicsstudio.blogspot.com/2015/09/funding-fun.html

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Meatless Monday - Roasted Pepper Salad with Capers and Avocado

Don’t you just love roasted vegetables? Something about roasting them really brings out the best flavors. Now that summer is fading it’s cool enough for me to want to have the oven on to roast the veggies but it’s still summer enough to enjoy a good salad. Of course a salad like this would be good in the depths of winter or the hight of summer because it’s so incredibly delicious.

Seriously, you owe it to yourself to try this salad. It’s got a bit of spice but not enough to hurt you if you’re sensitive. Of course you could always try even milder peppers if you’re super sensitive to spicy foods.

Roasted Pepper Salad

Roasted Pepper Salad with Capers


2 lbs bell peppers (or other)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 cup (or more) halved cherry tomatoes
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced to yield about 1 cup
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute with almonds)
roughly chopped basil or cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 avocado


1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Cut each pepper in half through the core. Remove seeds and stem. Cut each half into three or four strips. Place strips in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.

2. Arrange peppers slices, cut-side up, on a large baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender and slightly browned on the edges — thinner peppers will cook more quickly, so start checking at 20 minutes if thin.

3. Serve warm or at room temperature or continue on and make the salad.

4. Toss together the diced peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, capers, toasted pine nuts, herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and avocado to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Enjoy.

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