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Monday, September 30, 2013

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes the weather influences how and what we eat.  Warm weather makes us seek fresh, cool foods like fresh fruit and salads, cooler weather makes us want a meal that comes to the table steaming hot from the oven.  Spring and fall are transitional seasons where we want some of each and some in between stuff.

The other day I planned to make a Roasted Cauliflower Salad but the week turned cool and rainy before I could make it.  This weather calls for soup.  If you're a regular reader here you know I like to make some soup.  I looked online for a recipe and quickly found one that called for all the ingredients I had in my house plus it sounded delicious so it was the one I tried and I'm so glad I did.  This soup gave the warming quality that I desired while also tasting fresh and light and, most importantly, delicious.  I quickly determined that this recipe was a keeper and one I thought you might love also.  You can find it here:

 http://www.thekitchn.com/creamy-curried-cauliflower-soup-recipes-from-the-kitchn-187007

You may notice that it's not only vegetarian but also vegan.  I think it's perfect the way it is, I would not change a thing.

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

It's been suggested that I mention who made the pottery in my recipe pictures, I'll try to remember but you also may recognize a few of the artists I dine with.  The soup bowl and the grate plate was made by me, the wine goblet by Cynthia Bringle, the blue serving bowl is Alice Woodruff's and the square bread plate is unknown but really beautiful.

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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Half a Century

When you put it that way it sounds like a long time.  It happened so fast.  Just yesterday I was outside playing in the grass with a puppy.  Just yesterday I was struggling through learning something new and being overjoyed when I got it.  Just yesterday I was trying a new food, a new technique, a new adventure.

Keep on Reaching

Actually, that's pretty much exactly how my day went yesterday.  I can only hope that the next half a century will go by with many more simple pleasures.

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Affordable Health Care Debate

Have you been listening to all the political arguing about the affordable health care act?  It's enough to make you a bit crazy.  It makes me wonder what is wrong with people.  I think that what bothers me the most is the lies.  For obvious reasons I know a lot of people that don't have health care.  It's not because I'm a social worker (I'm not), it's not because I do a lot of volunteer work with homeless people  or the unemployed (I don't).  It's because I'm an artist and I know a lot of other artists.  The majority of artists who work for themselves simply cannot afford health insurance.  According to many Republicans if these people are offered affordable health care (or any government hand out) they will become lazy and stop working and they will never be successes.  Because, you know, artists are only in it for the money.

I know people that own small businesses, they cannot afford health care either.  I suppose they will close up the shop if they are offered affordable health care.

Most artists and other small business owners I know work for almost all of their waking hours and often in our sleep.

I know someone who has a child that was born with a disability, thankfully they are living in a place where the government offers a therapist for that child.  I highly doubt this family is going to think "hey, this is great, lets quit our jobs and try more welfare programs."  But if you listen to the lies that is what you'll be lead to believe.  Statistics show that is what they will do.

I had a friend who's husband left her when the third child was still in diapers.  This was in the early 70's, she had very few options for working from home.  She accepted government assistance, lived a very modest (read impoverished) lifestyle until the littlest one went to school then she did the same and worked a part time job.  Once she had some training she got a better job and was able to get off of welfare and give back to the community.  To this day she does not know how she would have survived without that help.

I do have to say I agree with the people that are calling for a government shut down.  I think all of them should give up their paycheck and health insurance and go the hell home.  They have not presented any good solutions to a problem we have in this country they have just spread lies and wasted our tax dollars.

I'm sure you can find lots of stories that tell the opposite tale from what I am telling here.  Some people do abuse the system, some people wouldn't be hard workers if they didn't have to be but plenty of others deserve to be able to afford to be sick.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Being Okay With Loss

People have such different views on loss, especially if it's something we've created.  I'll bet your mom kept some art of yours for many years, even long after it became an embarrassment. We become attached to our creative works because we put something of ourselves into them.  It's hard to lose a bit of yourself every time a piece doesn't work out as we planned.  We don't see it as part of the growing process.

Pottery has a high loss rate.  The pot have plenty of opportunities to break throughout the entire process of making.  They break during construction, explode in the bisque kiln or crack in the glaze kiln.  If they survive all of this and look good they get dropped.  We had one member at Mudfire who had tremendous bad luck getting her pots from the kiln room to her car, she seemed to drop every pot.  Finally one day she made it out of the studio without dropping her piece.  She was so excited that she dropped the pot at her front door.  All she could do was laugh.

Pottery with Horse Hair Decoration by Lori Buff
Horse Hair Raku Pot

It can be hard, it can be discouraging, or we can realize that it's not about that piece.  It's about the process that gets us there.  I was discussing this with an artist friend one day.  He is a potter but he's worked in various media during his life.  He loves pottery but he also say "pottery is what I can let go of easiest."  Not that he wants to give up being a potter, but when a piece isn't right or when a piece breaks, he can detach from it easier.  Maybe it's something to do with handling the clay.  Maybe it has something to do with the journey, not the destination.

 How do you deal with loss?

Don't forget to check out the other potters of the world on Mudcolony and on my blog roll.

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loving the Locals

This past Saturday was when a fun art's festival is held in my neighborhood in Atlanta.  It's called the East Atlanta Strut and it's really a fun time with lots of music, a great parade and, of course, artists.  I've participated in the event for the past few years and it's always been a good show for me.  This year, however, things looked like they might be a little different.

The weather forecast was for rain during the entire event.  Literally, the forecast said it was starting at 10 am and ending at 9 pm like the clouds had seen the advertising for the Strut.  That was a disappointing forecast but the weather guru's have been known to be wrong on occasion so I tried to stay optimistic.  It was beautiful, sunny, and hot while I was loading up the truck and helping another neighbor clean the litter and weeds from the parade route (thanks again for doing that) on Friday, so why would it be so ugly and miserable on Saturday?  Because that is how Atlanta weather works.  It started sprinkling before I even left the driveway.

Thankfully the drizzle stopped while we were setting up the tent so everything stayed dry.  Not that it's an issue if pottery gets wet but I use wood shelves which don't love the rain.  I was smart enough to put the side walls on the tent, we needed them.  It started raining, then it started raining very hard.  A few people did come out between raindrops and they tended to get caught in a downpour.  I was inviting people to come into the tent and hang out just to get away from the rain.  I didn't even try to sell them pots, I just felt bad for them.


During the few breaks we got many of the other venders packed up and left.  My truck was parked close and it would have been easy to do but I was already there so I stuck it out.  My friends came by and brought me beer (thanks Dow and Tom) and food and watched the tent when I needed to leave for a minute.  I was okay.

By late afternoon the rain quit.  I came out of the tent to see a lot of empty spaces.  I also made friends with another artist that was a few booths down.  While we were chatting people started arriving and they were buying.  They bought his paintings, they bought my pots, and they most likely bought art from the other venders who stuck it out.  They all said the same thing to me, "I'm sorry about the rain." I'm sorry the event was rained out for so many but I'm thankful for the support of my neighbors.  Financially it wasn't the best show I've ever done but I still felt good because of the caring and love I saw.  I'm very happy about the show.  Besides, my garden was thirsty.

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meatless Monday - Super Fried Rice

It seems like some foods just pack in a lot of nutrition with their flavor.  My favorite "super foods" include broccoli, kale, and ginger.  Ginger tastes great and is not only a good digestive aid but also has anti-inflamitory and pain relieving properties.  Broccoli and kale are very dense in important viamins and minerals.  What more could you want?  How about combining all these ingredients and more to make an easy and delicious dinner that is low in fat and calories.

Another nice thing about fried rice is that you can make a few substitutions and still get a great meal.  So if you can't find all the ingredients at the grocery store or farmer's market just omit or change it to something similar.  With fried rice it's okay to play with your food.


Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice, seeded and chopped
  • 1 head broccoli florets
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh gingerroot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, cooked according to the package instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • Preparation:

    Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat then lightly coat with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add the eggs, and cook them as thinly as possible. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board. Heat the same skillet over medium heat. Add another tablespoon oil. Add the hot pepper, bell pepper, broccoli, and kale. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning often, until the vegetables soften. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook 1 minute, until it becomes fragrant. Increase the heat to high. Transfer the vegetables to a warm bowl and add the remaining olive oil, and the rice. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, turning the rice over with a metal spatula and scraping up bits that stick to the pan. Add the edamame and soy sauce and remove from the heat. Stir two or three times to mix in the soy sauce. Chop the scrambled eggs. Top the fried rice with the eggs and scallions and serve. 


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

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Strutting in East Atlanta Village

    The East Atlanta Strut is this Saturday, Sept 21, 2013.  It's a ton of fun with a lot of variety of music on several stages, plus a comedy stage, we also have a terrifically fun and goofy parade, that's something you don't want to miss.  The artist market gets bigger and better each year, my booth will be on Flat Shoals Road north of Glenwood Ave.  Please stop by and visit.  I have some special new pots that I made just for East Atlanta and I'd love to know what you think about them.  Most importantly, you'll have a great time.



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

    Laser Decal Tests and Lessons Learned

    One of the decorating techniques that I got to experiment with in Anna Callouri Holcombe's class at Penland School of Crafts used laser decals.  This process appeals to me because it gives my computer geeky side a chance to play.  I actually enjoy playing around with images in photoshop.  If you are not really computer savvy you still might like laser decals.  Many of the other students in the class made decals from drawings that they scanned into the computer, others found images on the web or brought black and white pictures from home computers.  Even other's just used simple graphics like stripes and dots.  Yes, it takes a little computer skill but if you can print out something from your home computer you can print a laser decal.

    The way it works is you print an image using an HP laser printer, onto special laser, waterslide decal paper.  This is placed (stuck) onto a glazed and fired piece and refired.  The paper from the decal burns away as does some of the ink but it leaves behind a photo quality image in sepia tones.  The laser ink is formulated with enough red iron oxide to save the image which is imbedded into the glaze during the firing.

    For the class we were encouraged to bring pots from home and porcelain pieces that we found in thrift stores or cheap big box stores.  I'm not a fan of supporting big box stores and it just felt weird to use some mass produced wear so I stuck to commercial test tiles and my own pots that I made during Andy Shaw's class before Anna's.

    Everything in the class was a grand experiment, that's what helped to keep it fun.  So we all printed some decals and put them on these various types of ceramics and fired them to cone 02 which is somewhere between 1972 and 2052 degrees.  What we discovered when we opened the kiln was a large range of successes and failures.  Most of the commercially produced ceramics did not hold the image well.  Although the image looked great in the kiln it was untouchable.  The iron oxide just sat on the surface and had not melted into the glaze so if you touched the image with a finger or sponge it would come right off.  Not dishwasher safe by any means.  Some of the pieces keep a bit of the color and were actually okay after a quick rinse, others lost the image entirely.  But the pots that were brought from home, and had already been fired with a cone 5 clear glaze held the image beautifully.

    The glaze was not melting enough on the commercial pieces, they are typically fired much hotter.  So we carefully loaded the test pieces back into kilns to fire hotter.  We couldn't go too hot or the iron would burn out, not hot enough and the glazes wouldn't melt.  It's not easy.

    We tried firing the pieces to cone 4 figuring this would be a good temperature for some of the other test tiles that needed to be fired.  They were mostly earthenware pieces.  The results are in the pictures below.
    Testing laser decals by Future Relics
    Laser Decal Test Tiles

    What you're seeing is a progression into the kiln.  Actually, the reverse of one.  The best looking pieces, at the bottom of this picture, where at the top of the kiln surrounded by taller pieces.  They got a lot of air around them.  But the kiln was filled with shelves and tiles which held heat for a long time.  As we got further down into the kiln we lost more and more image.

    So now I knew that for cone 6 (what I fire to) I should be firing the deals on even cooler and if doing tiles, they should have taller posts.  Let's try cone 1.

    Laser decal pottery by Lori Buff
    PresARTvation Mugs

    Here's the results on some cone 6 mugs .  Much better looking and dishwasher safe.

    Have you been to Mudcolony today?

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

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Wood Fire Results and Dog Needs a Home

    As you may remember I participated in a wood firing at Hambidge Center a couple of weekends ago.  The kiln cooled for a week and we unloaded it on Saturday.  Lots of pretty pots came out of the kiln.  Of course their was also the comeraderie of potters discussing their work and techniques.  Here are some pictures from the kiln.  I have already packed up a few pieces for the East Atlanta Strut this Saturday but I did take a few snaps before all were put away.

    Wood Kiln by Future Relics
    Inside the Anagama
    Here's the first thing we saw when we un-bricked the kiln door.  The excitement had begone. 

    Dragon Mishima Lidded Jar by Lori Buff
    Dragon Lidded Jar

    Here's my lidded jar before it was all cleaned up.  I love the flashing and the purples.  You can really see how the flame kissed this pot.  The underglazes held up pretty well, it has some subtle but good color.


    Carved Wood Fired Pottery Bottle by Future Relics
    Carved Bottle Front
    I like how the glaze worked on the bottom of this bottle.  I brushed it on with a light hand so it wouldn't fill in the deep carving.

    Carved Wood Fired Ceramic Bottle by Lori Buff
    Carved Bottle Back
    Sadly, the back needed more glaze from me or from the kiln.  I love how the top has so much color, black, green, grey, and pink but it also is a bit too dry.  I suspect re-firing will save it.

    Wood Fired Yunomi By A J Argentina
    A J Argentina Yunomi
    This yunomi by A. J. Argentina is one of my favorite pieces from the kiln.  He made a really nice cup with a clay that the kiln loved.  I'm not sure what clay it was because he wasn't there to ask but it's got great texture and colors.  I'm sure he's proud of this piece.
    Boxer that needs a home
    Boxer Needs a Home
    This very sweet dog was hanging around us.  He seemed clean and well fed, even had a flea collar to protect him (they don't really work but it was a kind gesture).  As I was leaving I saw him on the paved road leading into Hambidge.  I stopped and stopped another car that seemed about to hit him.  It turns out the woman driving that car had been feeding him and looking for his owner.  She had checked all over the area for signs posted that this dog was missing from someone's home.  She didn't find any.  I would have been happy to bring this guy home with me except that Rainier is aggressive towards other male dogs.  I started calling him Cassius Clay because he's a boxer that seems to like potters.  If anyone would like to give this dog a safe and loving home I'm sure he'd reward you with unconditional love.



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

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Meatless Monday - Cajun Shrimp in Linguini With Cream Sauce

     It's true, a shrimp dish isn't really meatless.  That means you either have to make this on another night of the week and use another Meatless Monday recipe today or you can easily make this meat free by substituting the shrimp with tofu or almonds (doesn't that sound yummy).  You can also make it vegan by using a vegan cheese substitute.  If you have trouble with gluten you can always use gluten free pasta, but you knew that.

    The secret ingredient in this recipe is almond milk.  The almond flavor is very, very subtle yet it ads a richness that works really well with the other ingredients. 

    This recipe makes about 6 servings so it's good for when you have company.  How about inviting your neighbors over on a Monday night?  They may love starting the week off without cooking.

    Cajun Shrimp in Linguini With Cream Sauce

    Linguini in Parmesan Almond Cream Sauce Ingredients:

    1 16 ounce package Linguini
    6 cups plain, unsweetened almond milk
    A few pinches of sea salt
    ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    4 tablespoon canola oil
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    Pinch nutmeg
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 small head of broccoli chopped, crown only
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
    1 tablespoon parsley, chopped for garnish
    1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

    Preparation:

    -In a medium pot, add the almond milk, salt, pepper and garlic, and bring to a simmer; once simmering, reduce the heat to low.

    -In another medium-sized pot set over medium-high heat, add the oil, gradually stir in the flour and cook for about ten minutes stirring continuously to create a light roux. Carefully add the hot almond milk into this roux, whisking all the while to prevent lumps and to keep the sauce smooth; allow to simmer on medium-low heat and to thicken for about 5 minutes, whisking occationally to prevent scorching. Add the nutmeg, lemon zest and juice, and the Parmesan cheese.  Whisk then set sauce aside and keep warm until ready to serve.

    -Cook linguini according to package instructions, drain well and add immediately to almond cream sauce.

    Sizzling Cajun Shrimp Ingredients:

    1 pound raw, medium sized shrimp, de-veined and peeled
    2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning powder (or ‘Blackening’ seasoning)
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

    Preparation:

    -In a small bowl, add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and with the rest of the ingredients, and toss to coat.

    -Heat a medium-sized pan over high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil; once pan is hot, add shrimp being careful not to over-crowd pan, using batches. Allow shrimp to sear on one side for about 2 minutes until golden-brown, then flip over, and sear for about another 2 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through; remove from pan and keep warm; repeat process with remaining shrimp.

    To Serve:

    -Add a generous portion of the linguini with the Parmesan-Almond cream sauce to a bowl, top with shrimp, and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley and a lemon wedge.

    Serve with a good crusty bread for cleaning up the extra sauce.


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

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    Working For The Weekends

    One thing about being an artist is that weekends don't have the same impact that they do for people who have corporate jobs.  I assume this is true for anyone that really loves what they do.  However, today I'm anticipating the weekend as much as most other people, just for different reasons.  Tomorrow is Christmas for me and the other potters that were involved in firing the wood kiln at Hambidge last weekend.
    Peeking in the Wood Kiln
    As always I hope my pots look good but it doesn't really matter.  I love wood fired pots made by other people as well.  They have a certain look to them that speaks of the fire and the earth.  They tell a story.  I know, no matter how my pots look, I'll be doing a lot of ooohhh and aaahhhh.

    Then next weekend will be the East Atlanta Strut which is always a fun time.

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

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    DIY Photo Booth Setup

    Potters, artists, and other craftspeople are often looking for the best ways to photograph our work.  It's really not an easy thing to do.  Some pottery is shiny, which creates a glare or reflection that can be distracting.  It's three dimensional so often one photograph won't be enough to show the entire piece.  Light and shadows are important to any photo composition.  If we are taking pictures for Etsy we might want to have more shadows and background to give the viewer a sense of size and place.  When we are taking pictures to send to galleries we want them on a more neutral background so as not to distract from the piece.  The list of concerns goes on and on.

    My studio is small so space is at a premium.  Of course I've been to a lot of other potter's studios and no matter the square footage it seems space is always at a premium.  Lucky is the artist who can leave a photo booth set up so they can always just run over and take a few pictures whenever they need one.

    I did try making a lightbox cube setup once, it didn't work out really well because the box was too small for my pots.  It was a fairly large box but if I put a casserole or a pitcher in it I couldn't get the distance correct to look good and not show some of the box.  Plus it was hard to safely store a cardboard box with paper sides.  The other problem I had was that the background was all white, it made it look like the pot was just floating in space, it wasn't the look I was trying to get.

    So I got some paper with a graduated background from B & H Foto and Electronics and a couple of binder clips.  I installed a couple of screws in the wall so I could hang the clips onto the screws.  Use a level when laying out where these screws should go otherwise your background may be tilty.  The paper makes a really nice background but it scratches easily.  I'm careful with it but I still know it will need to be replaced one day.

    Background paper attachment by Future Relics Pottery
    Clip Holding Background Paper


    I use a desk lamp with a natural light bulb for overhead lighting and a pair of halogen lamps on the sides.  I don't love the lamps I use on the sides.  They have vents for cooling the bulb but that sometimes causes unwanted light patterns on the background.  It makes for a lot of adjusting.  I can fix this by making some diffusers.  One day I'll treat myself to a better setup like Emily Murphy has.
    Light Box Setup by Lori Buff
    Photo Booth Set Up

    After the photos are shot then they need to be adjusted in photoshop but that's a blog for another day.  Let me know if you'd be interested in reading about it.

    Time to read some other blogs, check out my blogroll and Mudcolony.

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

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Feeding The Wood Kiln at Hambidge Center

    It seems like I just got home and unpacked (mostly) when I packed my bags again and headed up to Hambidge for an anagama firing.

    Hambidge is a residency center in the mountains of North Georgia.  It's a peaceful, beautiful, quiet place.  I'd love to do a residency there one of these days.  For now I am satisfied with simply going a burning stuff up.

    We had about 24 people show up with pots to put in the big anagama.  The glaze room was all abuzz with happy potters playing with colors and catching up with each other's lives since they were last together.  I really love the discussions that happen at these events.

    Glazed and ready for firing by Lori Buff
    Glazed Pots Awaiting The Flame

    We got started loading right on time and the loading went pretty quickly since everyone got involved and people took turns climbing inside the kiln.  We learned that sometimes the best way to help is to stay out of the way but we also found plenty of opportunities to carry pots and shelves into the kiln to pass bricks to each other.

    Here's one of my covered jars in the kiln.  The underglaze should hold it's color but we won't know until it comes out.

    Lidded Jar in Anagama Kiln by Future Relics
    Covered Jar in Anagama


    Everyone took a shift stoking the kiln.  Tossing wood into a small hole that's about 2000 degrees is really quite invigorating.  It's also a lot of fun.

    Feeding the Anagama Fire by Future Relics Pottery
    Hot Kiln


    We unload next Saturday.  Check back for pictures.

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

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Meatless Monday - Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    Stuffed peppers are really great.  You can do so much with them by using all kinds of different stuffings.  But I rarely see anyone stuff anything except your basic bell pepper.  Yes, these are delicious peppers but if you want to spice things up a bit poblano's might be the way to go.

    Ingredients:

    4 Poblano Peppers, large enough to stuff 1 tablespoon olive oil
    ½ small red onion
    1 ear sweet corn
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1/2 small onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
    3 cloves of garlic
    ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
    ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    ½ teaspoons sea salt
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    ¼ cup water
    ½ cup cooked brown rice (can be cooked a day ahead)
    2 ounces queso fresco

    Yogurt
    ¼ cup plain yogurt
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    2 tablespoons minced cilantro

    Instructions:

    Preheat broiler and place peppers in a roasting pan. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes until peppers are blistering. Remove from oven and let cool.

    In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic to pan, cooking until translucent, 5-6 minutes. Remove corn kernels from cob, add to pan, and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes. Combine spices, pepper, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl. Add to the pan along with the ¼ cup of water. Stir until spices are mixed well. Add cooked rice and continue to heat for 1-2 minutes until rice is hot.

    Divide mixture into the four peppers and top with cheese. Return pan to under the broiler and heat until cheese is melted and lightly browning, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the broiler.

    Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro. When the peppers are done in the broiler spoon yogurt topping over peppers and sprinkle with extra cilantro if desired.

    Serve with cold beer or margaretta's if you're so inclined.

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

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Marbling Clay Cups

    One of the beauties of being at Penland School of Crafts is the freedom to experiment. Not that we can't do that in our own studios, it just feels easier in an environment like Penland.  I decided to try some marbling since I had worked with some Orangestone clay and some Loafers Glory which is a nice, white stoneware.  The first thing I did was check the shrink rate of both clays.  I assume if they were very different the piece would be weak if it didn't break apart completely.  Nobody wants a pot to fall apart in the kiln.

    I wedged both clays then cut the wedged clay into smaller pieces which I slammed together making little clay sandwiches.  They did look tasty.

    Marbling clay balls by Future Relics
    Clay Sandwiches

    I threw the sandwich balls into basic cup shapes and made certain that I cleaned off any slip that remained on the outside. Removing the slip reveals the separation in colors.  At this point they looked a bit like fudge swirl ice cream.

    Mixed Clay bodies by Lori Buff
    Unfired Marbled Cups
    I didn't glaze the pieces at all, they were going to be fired in the salt and the soda kilns so I decided to let the kilns atmosphere do the work. I also fired the cups on their sides so that the salt and soda vapors could get inside the cups easier.

    Marbled pottery cups by Future Relics
    Fired Marbled Cups

    Here's the finished pieces, the darker color is the Orangestone, the lighter orange is what happens when Loafer's Glory meets atmospheric firing. It's a really warm and pretty color.

    Check out the other blogs on the blog roll and the potters of Mudcolony.

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