Friday, December 28, 2012

New Salt Cellars

Have you tried the new specialty salts yet? You should, they are really exciting by adding a hint of unexpected flavor to your food. You can find lots of different flavors which might even be fun to mix. These specialty salts have gotten me thinking about making salt cellars so I tried making a few new varieties.  You may remember the salt pigs that I showed you a few months ago.  These are a little less fun but at about 3 inches across they are still cute.  Which one do you like best?

salt keepers by Lori Buff
Salt Cellars

This picture was taken around noon, don't you love how the winter sun makes the shadows long even in midday.

I'll likely be taking a little break from blogging until after the new year.  Have a terrific New Years celebration and stay safe.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Michèle Hastings Mug

Yesterday was boxing day, it's a holiday the day after Christmas when gifts are exchanged.  We don't always celebrate it in the States but sometimes we do.

I did because the mail carrier delivered this beautiful mug from my friend Michèle Hastings.  This mug is totally my style.  It's the perfect size, comfortable to hold and has some great carbon trapping.  I'm a sucker for carbon trapping.  This mug will be one of those that I reach for when I'm making my morning coffee mug selection.
Meesh's Mug

Today it's back into the studio to make some pots.  I hope all my Northern friends are warm and dry and have had no problems with the snow.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays

Whatever holidays you celebrate this winter enjoy them.

You Never Know Who's Going to Show Up At Your Door

Best wishes,
Lori & family
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gary Rith Mug

Santa's helper in a blue USPS uniform came to the house yesterday dropping off gifts.  One was a package from my Pottery Pal Gary Rith.  It's an awesome fun mug with a robot face on it.

Needless to say this was the mug of choice for my morning coffee.  It's a very generous cup, what I would call a weekender because it's a great size to use on a weekend morning when you can just sit around and enjoy the coffee and maybe the Sunday comics.  The handle is comfortable, it drinks well and who could not be happy when looking at this cute robot face.  Yes, the glaze is even fun, you have to take my word for it because this picture isn't great.  Or just head over to Gary's Etsy shop.  It also came with the cutest business card I have ever seen in my life.

I love it, thanks Gary, thank you so much.

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rainbows Before the End

This morning the sky was glowing a golden color as the day was dawning.  It was really beautiful and energizing.  When we looked out the back windows we saw this amazing rainbow.  It was very tall but you could still see the curve and where it started and ended (well, almost).

Can you see it?  Look between the trees. The light was still low enough that the camera flashed but the rainbow was bright enough to be captured.  When a day starts off like this you can expect a certain amount of magic.

I'm not really sure what time the world is supposed to end tomorrow so just incase I don't get to chat with you before then have a great apocalypse.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Refreshment Time

Holiday season means hectic season.  Many of us have shows, we have to make sure galleries and stores have enough pots in stock, on-line orders are filled and shipped, plus we have to deal with our own lives and how hectic that becomes around this time of year.  It can all be fun and exciting as well as draining.

The good news is that January is a slower month that gives us an opportunity to refresh our energy.  We may still have to make pottery, at least I hope so, but we can do it at a more relaxed pace.  This is a great time to experiment, to try some new technique, form or surface decoration that has been dancing in our imaginations.
Experimental Pitcher Form

It's also a good time to play around with some other creative outlet.  Sometimes doing something completely different and just for fun can add a whole new freshness to your work.  You may start drawing or painting and find a new form to throw or a new idea for decorating surfaces.  Lots of things may happen if we let our minds and our hands play.

This is also a great time to take a few minutes everyday to take yourself for a walk.  You may have to bundle up against the cold but you will feel refreshed physically and mentally after just a short time.

What do you do to refresh yourself and your work?

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meatless Monday - Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

We don't always think of salad as a cool season dish but we still need our veggies. Besides, most greens are cool season vegetables and can have some really good flavors right now. So how about combining natures bounty of root vegetables and greens to make a winter salad that will make you happy.

This is my adaptation of Jamie Oliver's salad, much of this was made directly from our winter garden.

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus - Lori Buff
Roasted Carrot Salad

  • 1 pound medium differently colored carrots, with their leafy tops
  • 2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 small dried chillies, crumbled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • white wine
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • red wine vinegar
  • 4 x ½-inch-thick slices of artisan bread
  • 2 handfuls of interesting mixed winter salad leaves (like Treviso, arugula, radicchio or mustard greens), washed and spun dry
  • 2 bunches of watercress
  • goat cheese (we used lavender and fennel goat cheese but plain will do fine)
  • 4 tablespoons mixed seeds and/or nuts, toasted (like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, or slivered almonds)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Parboil your carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. You should flavor them while they're steaming hot, so while the carrots are cooking get a pestle and mortar and smash up the cumin seeds, chillies, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. The idea here is to build up the flavors. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of white wine. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one.  Stir together, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut-side down. These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.

While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel your avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados. Carefully, using tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Broil your bread slices.Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and cress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Crumble the goat cheese over the salad, sprinkle on toasted seeds and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What To Do When You Are Down

Do you ever get a little down this time of year? Maybe it's the holidays, maybe it's just because it's winter and we can't go play in the sun. Maybe it's memories of something sad, many of my friends seem to be dealing with those issues.  Whatever the reason it's not really good to spend the day with the blues unless it's some good blues tunes.  So maybe it's a good time to crank up some Leadbelly or Stevie Ray Vaughn and do something creative.

For me it was carving this little jar I threw the other day.  It's always helpful for me to have some music while I carve, I guess my hand just likes to go with the rhythm.  

What do you do to pick yourself up when you're down?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Post Stacks Lofts + Artists Tour

The show this past weekend was a lot of fun, we had singing and dancing and carrying on plus some art sales and really great customers.  The committee that made the show happen did a great job of setting everything up and communicating with the artists.  The show was promoted well, I heard someone say they had more people walk through the door on Friday night than any previous show in the past six years.  I know from personal experience that it's a lot of work to put on a show like this and I think the commette did a great job.  I'd also like to thank the loft owners who opened up their homes to artists.  It could not have happened without the community coming together as it did.
Stein of Rainbow and City Skyline
Atlanta Skyline Rainbow Mug

One thing that happened which I loved was a preview party the night before the show.  The artists, loft owners and volunteers all met in the community center (where my pottery was displayed) and had a few cocktails & snacks then went around to visit all the lofts for a few minutes.  This really gave us a chance to see the show without trying to find someone to booth sit.  It's a great idea and it was a lot of fun.

Since the show didn't start until 2pm on Saturday I was able to take the historical tour.  This was a lot of fun and rather educational.

My only complaint was our location.  It was actually a great space, I was able to get set up on the Monday before the show which meant I didn't have to unload the truck after the Decatur Holiday Market.  The floor had a wonderful thick, padded carpet which is so fantastic when you have to be on your feet all day and worry about pottery getting dropped.  The problem was that we didn't have a lot of traffic on Saturday.  On Friday the luminaries to the building helped a lot but on Saturday we were almost invisible, even with a sign.  So where I'd love to do the show again next year I'd really like to help the committee get more visitors into that space somehow.

Other Stuff:
Old Images Blog Post

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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Meatless Monday - Butternut Squash And Pasta With Walnuts

This is a bowl full of healthy comfort food. The flavors are rather mild but the walnuts and sage add subtle interest. It's also pretty quickly made and reheats well for terrific leftovers.

  • 1 pound Butternut Squash, peeled, cubed and steamed
  • 1 pound Pasta, cooked and drained
  • 15 leaves Sage, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped and roasted
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oile
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1/4 cup Marscapone Cheese
Heat olive oil in a pan, add butter and melt. Reduce heat to medium low, add walnuts and sage leaves, cook until sage leaves start to crisp. Add to pasta with squash and marscapone. Stir until blended and the cheese is melty. Enjoy

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Stacks Lofts + Artist Tour (Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote about participating in the Stacks Lofts + Artists Tour in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta.  Today I'll continue with the history of this place, now it starts to get really exciting.

My first recollection of the mill was in 1999 when it caught fire during the renovation of the mill into lofts.  This horrible fire was made more exciting by the rescue of a crane operator who was trapped above the blaze in his crane.  Firefighter Matt Mosely was lifted by helicopter to the crane where he rescued the operator and lightened the situation by telling the worker that his boss said "he could knock off early." Of course the news broadcasts where filled with this story for about a week.

Images from the rescue

The renovations continued after the fire and some very nice lofts were built.  One of my friends bought one and I loved to visit him, you could just feel the history in the building even though the lofts were built with a very contemporary look and feel.  It is an interesting match.  Then in March of 2008 an F2 tornato hit the Lofts causing significant damage including a crushed elevator that was believed to have people in it and structural damage to 5 of the 7 buildings.  Thankfully nobody was killed and the elevator was actually empty when it was hit with 4 floors worth of debris.  My friend was allowed to return to his unit after a few days and reconstruction started again on the damaged buildings.  Now they are completely restored and perfect for an art show.

Map of the Community, I'll be in building B

The show is tonight, Friday, Dec 7 from 6pm - 10 pm and Saturday, Dec 8 from 2pm - 7pm  I'll be in Building B which is the community center, it's near the front entrance, I hope you can stop by, have a glass of wine and enjoy some good art.

Their is a $5 entrance fee (cash only) which goes to support local, worthy causes.

The preview party for the artists was last night and it was fantastic, you really don't want to miss seeing the art and the archetecture.

Other Stuff:
Directions to The Stacks Lofts
History of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Stacks Lofts + Artists Tour (Part 1)

This Friday and Saturday I'll be participating in the sixth annual Stacks Holiday + Artists Tour.  I'm really excited about doing this show because I've been chatting with some of the people who I'm going to be showing with and they seem like a lot of fun, plus their web sites show some really nice work.  Besides that, the venue is really cool.  They will be giving tours on Saturday but I won't be able to take one since I'll be selling pots.  So I did some exploring when I was there to check out the space and some further exploring on-line.

Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill

The building complex was originally named the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill.  It was created around 1889 and was a huge employer of men, women, and children in the area known as Cabbagetown.  Being a factory meant a few labor disputes and strikes.  This was a family owned business and it stayed in the family of the originator Jacob Elsas from 1889 until 1968.  Elsas is also known for being instrumental in founding Georgia Tech and his philanthropy in supporting the Grand Opera House, the Hebrew Orphan's Home, and Grady Hospital in Atlanta.

The Stacks

The history doesn't stop in 1968, or even in the mid-1970's when the factory closed.  I'll write more about that tomorrow.

When I was walking around the factory grounds I started thinking about my friend Laura's farm in Central Georgia, it's a cotton farm that has been in her family for hundreds of years.  I can imagine that some of the cotton that was grown there was then milled here and made into grain bags.

The show is Friday, Dec 7 from 6pm - 10 pm and Saturday, Dec 8 from 2pm - 7pm  I'll be in Building B which is the community center, it's near the front entrance, I hope you can stop by, have a glass of wine and enjoy some good art.

Their is a $5 entrance fee (cash only) which goes to support local, worthy causes.

Other Stuff:
Directions to The Stacks Lofts
History of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rough Start

This past weekend was the Decatur Holiday Market at The Clairemont School.  I was told this was a great show by other crafts people but they were people who make jewelry and soap and stuff like that. Pottery can be different in that type of show, many people with elementary school age kids don't like to buy pottery, probably because it's breakable.  I understand and had normally had some other show to do that weekend anyway.  This year was different so I sent in my application and crossed my fingers that it'd be a good show.

Set-up for this show is rushed, you have an hour and a half to get everything carted in, unloaded and set up.  With 2 people on a good day I can do this, but by myself is a different story.  I was told the school had a lot of volunteers who would help.  Great, maybe I can do this.  I got there a few minutes early to get the room assignment, get my truck unloaded onto the curb and moved out of the way.  Then I got a couple of hand truck loads up to the room when the elevator broke!  I told someone about it and they assigned me one man to help me carry my shelves and several bins of pottery, a 6 foot table, etc. upstairs.  After the first load I was ready to pull up the truck, pack-up and go home.  I was contemplating this the elevator was fixed.  That was fast.  And they got another person and another handtruck so we were in business.  I finished setting up just as the first customers came into the room.

Friday night I sold two pieces.  That did not even cover the booth fee.  The other people in the room seemed to be selling.  So I thought this was just not my market.  Oh, well, live and learn.  It was still really nice to just leave the room at the end of the night and know that it was safe and would be exactly as I left it when I returned on Saturday.

It was also nice to get to the show only 15 minutes before the door opened and not have to do any set-up, I just rearranged a few pieces to make them look better.  It must have worked because Saturday was a great day.   Lots of people from Friday night returned to purchase pieces they had admired and lots of new faces were present also.  And everyone was really nice, they asked meaningful questions about the work, nobody wanted a discount, they shared with me how they were going to use the pottery.  It just made me feel good.  The other artists in the room were fun and supportive and helped to make it a good show.

At the end the parents swarmed in to help us pack out so that happened in record time.  It was a good show after the rough start.  I'd do it again.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the artists and the school (it's a fund raiser) and to all the volunteers who really busted their butts to make it easier for us.

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meatless Monday - Provençal Vegetable Tian

Doesn't this sound like a fancy French dish? It taste like it too so don't tell anyone how easy it is to make. Let them think you're an amazing chef, especially if that's exactly what you are. This Tian can be put together really quickly but does cook in the oven for one hour and 25 minutes so it's best made when you have that kind of time and want the kitchen nice and warm.

Provençal Vegetable Tian
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 C thinly sliced leeks,white and pale-green parts only, rinsed well (1 large leek)
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small eggplant or butternut squash (12 ounces), trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large zucchini (8 ounces), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 C pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves divided, plus some for garnish

1. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Layer half the leeks in dish, cover with half the potato, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with a layer each of half the eggplant or butternut squash, half the zucchini and half the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper again.Scatter half the olives and half the thyme. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Repeat the layering and seasoning with remaining vegetables. Drizzle with remaining oil, cover loosely.

2. Place the casserole in the oven than turn it to 450 degrees, bake for 20 minutes then remove the lid. Press the vegetables down with a spatula and bake until potato is tender and the edges are well caramelized, about 45 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving

Friday, November 30, 2012

Decatur Art Show and Stacks Loft Tour Art Show

Future Relics at The Clairemont School Holiday Market Nov 30 and Dec 1 and Stacks Loft Artist Tour Dec 7 and Dec 8

White Pitcher by Lori Buff

Decatur Holiday Market and Cafe at The Clairemont School

Friday, Nov 30 from 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Saturday, Dec 1 from 10am - 8pm

Clairemont Elementary School transforms into a lively and festive market where more than 95 local and national artists exhibit their wares.

Kick off your holiday season by shopping for unique handmade gifts, paintings, glass art, jewelry, pottery and much more. Be sure to stop by the café for mouthwatering homemade soups and decadent desserts, as well as toe-tapping tunes performed live by local musicians and carolers.

155 Erie Ave
Decatur GA

The Stacks Holiday Lofts + Artists Tour

Friday, Dec 7 from 6pm - 10pm
Saturday Dec 8 from 2pm - 7pm

You are invited to join us as we show off our fantastic loft homes at the historic Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill. Browse and purchase the works of our talented artists. Stroll our grounds, hallways, and residences. Enjoy fine food from local restaurants, wine tastings, and other treats. Holiday ambiance will warm your heart.

I will be set-up in building B, just follow the luminaries.

Address: 170 Boulevard Avenue, SE 30312. Enter from the gate at Boulevard. Limited parking available on the premises. Follow luminaries to The Tour tables for tickets and registration, located in the entrances of both E and H Buildings. $5 guest entry fee (cash only).  Profits will be contributed to a worthy, local non-profit endeavor.

Special Bonus: In addition, we will also offer special guided tours of the Historic Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill complex led by Rebecca Burns. The guided tours will be offered on Saturday, December 8. This special bonus lasts approximately sixty minutes. The guided tours will be conducted at 12:30 and 2:00 and are free, but reservations are required. Please email interest along with preferred time and number of guests to stackshistorytour@gmail.com. Your reservation and time will be confirmed back to you by our historic tour coordinator, Virginia Harris.
Reservations are limited to 25 per group and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pottery By Future Relics Gallery

Save the Date

Feb 9:  Rail Arts District Studio Cruise
April 12 - 21:  Fired Works, Macon, GA

Where to Find My Pottery

At The Collective
280 Elizabeth St Suite B103
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 696-5845
Charis Books and More
1189 Euclid Ave, NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 524-0304
Donna VanGogh's Artist Market
1651 McLendon Ave NE,
Atlanta, GA 30307-2152
(404) 370-1003
The Mercantile
1660 Dekalb Avenue Northeast #150
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 378-0096
175 Laredo Drive
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 377-8033
Spring Place Pottery and Artist Gallery
15 East Main St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(770) 383-9910
Trilogy Book Store
126 N. Avondale Rd
Avondale Estates, GA 30002
(404) 228-3828

Read More

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Remembering a Hand Made Gift

When I was a little girl I received a hand made poncho as a holiday gift from one of my grandmother's best friends.  I'm sure I got some store bought gifts that year.  I also am sure that I didn't get every toy that I wanted but I don't remember being sad.  I loved the poncho, it was warm and it was blue, it even smelled nice.  It was comfortable but still dressy enough to wear to church.  I guess it was knit from wool because it was also durable enough to put up with a little girl that did not play like a little girl.

Hand crafted carved covered jar
Hand Carved Covered Jar

I was sad to grow out of it but that was easily remedied.  Mrs. Wheeler simply added a few more inches of yarn to the bottom of the poncho and I was able to wear it for another year or two.

Isn't it funny how I don't remember any of the store bought toys I got or didn't get but all these years later I still remember that poncho with love for it and the people who gave it to me.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pottery Demonstrations at Walker School

The Walker School invited me to do some pottery demonstrations at the art festival that they put on for the students.  I was one of several artists including a metalsmith, a painter, a weaver and a basket maker.  It seemed like it was a great experience for the kids.  They were so enthusiastic and interested in what I was creating.  I wished I could show them more.  I'm not used to being around kids, I prefer the company of adults but these kids were fun and it was a great day.

Throwing demonstration for students Lori Buff
Pottery Demos for the Student

I can't tell you how many times I heard the word "magic" as I was pulling up the walls of a pot.  It does feel a bit magical to be honest.  But it was not a trick, it's just throwing.

I asked the kids what they wanted me to throw, then I explained the difference between pottery and sculpture. The requests were for turtles, cats and even a person.  Once they understood the difference the requests were for volcanos, hearts (I made heart shaped bowls) and cups/mugs.

Walker School Pottery Demonstration Lori Buff
Walker School Kids Art Festival

You may notice that many of the kids were wearing white, that was for lung cancer awareness.

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meatless Monday - Sweet Potato And Red Pepper Soup

This is a great soup for winter, it's great tasting, warming and healthy.  It's also a very easy soup to make.  You can make a double batch and freeze some, it reheats very well.  This recipe makes about 4 servings.  It's also much prettier than it looks in this picture, sadly my colors are a tad off.  Sorry about that.

winter warming soup Sweet Potato and Red Pepper
Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup
  • 2 Sweet Red Peppers, seeded and cubed
  • 1 1/4 pounds Sweet Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 5 cups Vegetable stock or broth
  • Hot Sauce, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper
Dice some of the red pepper and set aside for a garnish. Put the remainder into a saucepan with the sweet potato, onion, garlic, wine and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until all the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

Let the mixture cool down a little then transfer it to a food processer or blender and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return to the saucepan and reheat for a few minutes, do not return the soup to a boil.

Add the garnish.  Serve with a dash of hot sauce and crusty bread.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving To All

Here's wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving Day.  I hope you all have many, many things to be thankful for in your life.  One of the things that I'm most thankful for is how following my dream has lead me to make so many new friends and meet so many fantastic people.  But enough of that, let's eat.

Brick Statement

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dragon Fire

You may remember that I was considering putting pots with underglaze on them in the wood fired kiln.  Of course I had to try it based on your comments (thank you so much) and Amoco's information.  I tried it on 3 different steins.  One came out really nice and was purchased at my Open Studio last weekend.  I didn't get a picture of it but the dragon was green, the color was very, very muted but the mug still looked really cool.  I suppose that's why it sold.

amagama, underglazed ceramics
Wood Fired and Underglazed

This mug got a really nice blast of ash glaze which is pretty but covered a good part of the image, the blues washed out entirely as did the straw, deep yellow and browns that I used in the hair.

Anagama fired, underglaze pottery - Lori Buff
Underglazed Dragon From Wood Kiln

This one came out the best as far as keeping the colors.  I used a lot of turquoise and that held really well.  I also used deep yellow for the chest of the dragon but lost that. Sadly, this mug has lost a chunk. I missed the unloading but can assume that something fell over or was a bit too close and the glazes stuck.  Such a shame but it's what I've come to expect with a learning environment.  It's all good, I'm keeping this one for me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Open Studio - Thank You

Meatless Monday's will return soon.  Today I thought it was important for me to express my thanks to the people who came out to my Open Studio and Sale.  It was great to get to visit with some friends that I haven't seen in a long time.  It's always nice to meet new neighbors and customers and it's really great to get feed back on the pottery.  So thank you and hugs to everyone who was able to come to the studio.
Display of Horse Hair Raku pottery
Horse Hair Raku Pots on Display

I think traffic could have been better, I have to figure out more and better ways to advertise.  Getting the word out to the public is always a challenge.  I'm an artist, not a marketing expert but in this business we have to wear many hats.  At least I have something to think about for next year.  What advertising works best for you?

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Future Relics Open Pottery Studio and Sale Nov 15-18 Art Visions Nov 17 - 18

Ash Glazed Pitcher

Open Pottery Studio and Sale

Thursday Nov 15th Thru
Sunday Nov 18th 

12pm - 5pm Each Day
Open studio with special guest Marci Sharko of Fresh
  • Functional and decorative pottery
  • Handcrafted soaps and candles
  • Handcrafted paper items
  • Pottery throwing demonstrations
  • Unique handcrafted gifts
  • Hot Cider and homemade cookies
The studio is located on Willow Place off Bouldercrest Drive one mile south of East Atlanta Village

Future Relics Gallery and Studio
991 Bouldercrest Dr
Atlanta, GA  30316

map to studio
View Larger Map

Art Visions at Paideia School

Saturday Nov 17th 10am - 5pm
Saturday Nov 18th 12pm- 5pm

An artist market featuring the works of local and regional artists
  • Offering affordable art during the holiday season in all mediums
  • Fine art, decorative art including Chanukah and Christmas gift items, ornaments, garden art, folk art, funky and functional art in all mediums
  • Admission and parking are free
1509 Ponce de Leon Av, Atlanta, GA  30307
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Pitcher Design

This pitcher just came out of the kiln and I must say I'm really happy with the way it turned out. All three parts of this piece were thrown then assembled. While assembling it I ran into a few challenges that caused me to make some design changes. I was feeling like I put more time into it than I would have liked to but I also learned a few things. The pitcher it about 11 inches tall with a nice, full belly but is really light, something most people want in a pitcher because it's going to get heavier when it's full.

Hand made ceramic pitcher
Thrown Pitcher

I have a really full week but I'd still like to get a really good picture of this piece before my open studio and sale which starts on Thursday.  I suspect it will be living in someone else house by Christmas.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Visiting The Senior Center

The Lou Walker Senior Center in Dekalb County Georgia is a really nice facility that provides various fun and interesting activities for the older residents of the area.  Of course they have pottery classes.  I was invited to give a talk on Wednesday as it was the end of the semester for the students.  I was happy to do it but wondered exactly how I would fill an hour long talk.  I knew a question and answer period would be wanted but what could I talk about that would start those questions?

When I got there I was told which room we were going to meet in, it was a very large open room with a stage and lots of people having a good time.  We had some space sectioned off from the rest of the crowd and some women were setting out food and it was really, really noisy.  The instructor realized that it would be impossible to give a talk so he suggested we eat first then go back to the class room for my talk.  No problem, looking at all that food was making me hungry.

Lou Walker Senior Center

As they were setting up the lunch someone started playing some music and the crowd started singing along making up new words to celebrate President Obama's victory on Tuesday.  I looked around the room and saw that a line dance had formed and people were singing and dancing even if they needed a walker to help.  That kind of celebration just makes you smile.

My hour long talk was shortened to about 15 minutes but stretched to 20 because of the questions and answers.  It was a great visit, I hope to be invited back.

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rainier at the Anagama

Yesterday I brought some pots up to Shorter University for the anagama firing that will be happening this week. Since Rainier hadn't been for a ride in the car or even a walk through the woods in a while he came with me.  He loved it of course.  Maybe we are both super excited about a wood firing.

The plan was to load the kiln yesterday and today then start firing on Wednesday.  I'll be taking a turn stoking the kiln on Thursday morning.  If we are really lucky we can have the kiln unloaded next Wednesday so I have those pots in time for the open studio on the 15th.   I'm crossing my fingers but I'm also trying to be certain that I don't need those pots for the sale.  I will have plenty for a good show. And I'll have a special guest.

Wood fired pottery kiln
Rainier and I At The Wood Kiln

Don't forget to vote today.

"My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union." ~ Georgia Rep. John Lewis

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meatless Monday - Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Every cook should have some cast iron cookware.  It may seem funny for a potter to be telling you to have some cast iron but, it's versatile, and lasts forever and it can add some iron to your diet which is healthy.  I cook lots of soups and sauces in cast iron but I also use it for baking cookies.  Cookies, in a frying pan?  Yup.  Easy and delicious cookies too, and because of the possibility of them being higher in iron content I can pretend they are healthy.  Oh, and clean-up is easy also because you make everything in the pan.

  • 1 stick butter or margarine 
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 whole Egg (or egg substitute)
  • I 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt plus a sprinkle or two of sea salt
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate, Cut In Chunks
  • Handfull of chopped nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat. Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.
2. Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks. Place in the oven for 15-25 minutes, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but still soft in the center. Sprinkle the sea salt on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Painting For The Wood Kiln

These are three mugs that I've painted with underglaze for the anagama firing I wrote about last month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the colors, really about everything.  Wood firing can be hard on ceramics, but it's worth it for the look it gives.  I've also got three of my woman vases to go into the kiln.  I'm imagining they will come out looking just beautiful.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to these glazes in cone 10 (or more) reduction.  That was actually a large consideration when thinking about the glaze colors.  The blues, browns, and golds should stay the same and not even burn out but the green could change drastically depending on what is used to make the color of the glaze.

These were painted at Mudfire where members often drift by to see what I'm doing.  Everyone learns something from interacting at a community studio.  I was telling one student, who did wood firings a lot about 20 years ago that this was the destination of the pieces and that I really didn't know what they would look like when they were done.  He said "that's a little disconcerting considering your experience." It is disconcerting to me too, but in pottery we can also call that "playing."

This post can also be found at Mud Colony

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Family and Friends and Sandy

I grew up in Northern New Jersey.  My parents, one of my brothers and his family and many friends still live there and I know they are not having a great morning.  Over the next few days we will spend a lot of time on the phone if possible and checking email and facebook in the hopes that electricity or cell towers have been restored so we can communicate.  It makes me feel so helpless but really, what can be done?

It could never hurt to make some sort of donation to a disaster relief organization.  I've listed a few here but you may know more, please share your ideas.

My parents are older which often means wiser even if they don't know how to use an iPhone or the latest techno gadget.  They have taken precautions of stocking some filtered water, good beer and flashlight batteries.  Their refrigerator and pantry has never been empty.  They have stacks and stacks of good books to read.  But they also took this opportunity to help someone else and add some sunshine to the storm.  They are dog sitting.  They sit for this cute little dog who they absolutely love.  The owners of the dog live in a house that is powered completely by electricity, including the pump for the well water so if the power goes out they are living very primitively (in a very, very nice house).  So in the best interest of the dog my parents always volunteer to bring them to their house in bad weather.  It's no sacrifice, they LOVE this dog.

Other Stuff:

Red Cross
CERF+  Craft Emergency Relief
Bergen County Animal Shelter
Pet Finder Desaster Relief
AmeriCares Disaster Relief
Feeding America

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meatless Monday - Roasted Cauliflower with Medjool Dates, Olives and Rosemary

Holy Taco, one of our favorite restaurants in East Atlanta Village is not your typical taqueria.  The food has been called Mexican Fusion by some reviewer.  All I know is that it's good and it's often creative.  One of our favorite dishes is this roasted cauliflower with dates and olives.  It's a real treat for your tastebuds.  But they change the menu at Holy Taco seasonally so we can't always get it.  Of course the answer was to look up the recipe to see if anyone else was making this dish and I found it on a fun blog named Running with Tweezers.

Roasted Cauliflower with Dates and Olives

You should check out the site, she's got some articles about Atlanta but the blog's information is really more far reaching than just my fair city. Besides, this recipe is worth the click.  It makes a great main course or a side dish.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pottery Casserole Garden

Sometimes pots are beautiful but flawed. If you can't accept loss it's really hard to be a potter because it happens a lot. It seems that the better we get at our craft the more pots we reject. It has to do with knowing that they aren't perfect enough to present to our customers. But sometimes it's still hard to part with some of these pots.

What to do with these seconds that we still love?
Plant them!

Pottery Seconds in the Garden - Lori Buff
Casserole Garden
I planted these pots into the side of the hill by my studio then planted some draught tolerant, colorful, and hardy plants into them. The hope is that some of the plants will spill out of the casseroles turned planters and fill in the soil surrounding the pots.

Patience, it will happen with time.
Do you do anything creative with your seconds?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Horse Hair Raku Woman Bottle

Sunday was another perfect day for a raku party so that's exactly what we did at Mudfire.  It was a lot of fun with a perfect balance of new people and experienced raku artists.  I brought a few pots with the multi-colored terra sigillata surface treatment I've been doing lately.  This is the first one that I've done using the woman form.  I'm really happy with the way she came out and that she held together despite the thermal shock abuse that these poor pieces go through.  The black lines are from the horse hair that burns into the piece after it's removed from the very hot kiln.  To see the process go to my YouTube channel here.  I'll take better pictures of this piece to show you soon.

Horse Hair Raku Woman Vase
Horse Hair Raku Woman Bottle
The people who raku with much more smoke and fire were having a friendly debate about which is better, more paper or less. The more paper side argued that they got better results from the bonfire while the less paper people claimed just as nice results with less smoke and clean-up. If you raku where do you stand on this debate?