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Friday, November 29, 2013

Open Pottery Studio and Sale - Friday - Sunday

November 29 thru December 1
Noon til 5 PM

  • Functional and decorative pottery
  • Teacup gardens & container gardens
  • Pottery throwing demonstrations
  • Unique handcrafted gifts
  • Buy-one-get-one sale on seconds
  • Hot cider and homemade cookies
  • 15% Discount with a recipt from a purchase at another EAV Business
The studio is located on Willow Place off Bouldercrest Drive one mile south of East Atlanta Village.




































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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving with lots of peace and joy, family, friends, and smiles.  Thank you for reading this blog. Thanks to those who comment and have become friends and thanks to those who have yet to join the conversation, I know you're there and I think about you too when I'm writing.


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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Clearing the Cobwebs

The studio cleaning has commenced, spiders have been displaced, dust removed, windows washed, floors swept, and mopped.  It's exhausting but in a way that makes you feel good and productive.  When cleaning the studio I can see the results.  Normally it's not hard to find spots that need to be rewashed but it still feels like something has been accomplished.  Today I will hang holiday lights and ad few other festive touches to make the place look good for the Open Studio and Sale this weekend.

Future Relics Pottery Studio
Cleaner Pottery Studio


One thing I make sure to do when cleaning the studio is to find stuff to throw away.  I am not a hoarder by any means but I do find things that look like they would make interesting textures or would be otherwise useful for creating interesting and pretty pottery.  Some of this never gets used, some become standards in the tool bank.  So I make decisions about some stuff that has been collecting dust.  Yes, most goes in the trash or recycling bin but a few pieces still feel inspiring to me.  Maybe after I've looked at them again they will get used.

What are you keeping that you don't use?

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fennel and Orange Salad

This time of year it's easy to find some really great cool season vegetables.  Many of these veggies are really packed with vitamins that are needed during the cooler weather.  I used kale as my greens but I'm sure you can substitute any other cool season green that you prefer.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Ingredients

  • Bread of choice, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, very thinly sliced, plus 1/4 cup fennel fronds
  • 1 head of kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)

preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, 8-10 minutes. Let cool and break into pieces. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, lemon and orange zests, ginger, and pepper in a large bowl; season with salt and whisk in oil.
Using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from oranges; discard. Working over bowl with dressing, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl; discard membranes. Add fennel, fennel fronds, kale, and croutons to bowl; toss to combine.


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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wood Firing Fail

A few weeks ago I told you about a wood firing that I was invited to at Shorter University.  I promised to show you the results but they are really not very interesting.  That's because they were never loaded into the kiln.

The university is about a 2 hour drive from my house.  It takes a good bit of gas money to get up there.  Doing that twice for no reason, with no pots to sell to pay for the gas, hurts on multiple levels. One of the pieces that was in the bunch was a commission for a very nice customer.  She wants the pot to be wood fired and knows the risks but it sucked to get her hopes up only to report that the piece never made it into the kiln and she may need to wait want months, possibly over a year for my schedule to allow for another wood firing.

The pots are glazed for the wood kiln, not only in the way the glaze is applied but also in the temperature the glaze is made to fire to.  I fire at cone 6, these pots all have cone 10 glazes on them so I'll have to wash them off or just store them somewhere waiting for the next opportunity.  Just like gas money and spare time, storage space around the pottery isn't abundant.

Wood Fired Vase by Future Relics Pottery
Woodfired Vase

The instructor who failed to get the pots loaded did apologize and the customer was very sweet and understanding, no lives where lost so it's not all bad, just very sad.  Of course we all know that pottery has more than it's fair share of disappointments.

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Visions at Paideia School

This weekend is Art Visions which is a fund raiser for the visual arts program at Paideia School in Atlanta.  It's a really great show with lots of variety in the art work.  You'll find art and craft in a wide variety of mediums, all rather reasonably priced.

When I dropped off my work there the volunteer who checked my inventory told me what a great time she was having meeting all the artists and getting to preview all of the art.  I got to see a little of it and was impressed with what I saw.  I can't wait to head back there this weekend to see the show set up fully.

Hours:
Saturday, Nov 16, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, Nov 17, 12 pm - 5 pm

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Deep Breaths

For the past few days I've been really bad about taking the time to comment on my friends blogs.  Honestly, I've really mostly been skimming them to see what my friends are doing then I'm off running around in a completely different direction.  I feel a bit like a chicken with my head cut off.  I suppose we all have felt like that a few times in our lives and we know that we will get a handle on things and settle down again.  I actually like the adrenalin a little but it is draining.

I've been making pots for the holiday shows and orders.  That feels the least stressful and I'm really glad that I have that to center me (pun intended).  I will have work in Art Visions Fine Art and Crafts Show at Paideia School here in Atlanta.  It's an easy show because volunteers turn the gym area into a fantastic art gallery, they also take care of all the sales, I just pick out the pieces that I want to send, make the price tags and inventory sheets, pack everything and bring it there.

Mishima horse on horse hair raku pot by Future Relics
Horse Hair with Mishima Horse

I'm also preparing for my studio sale which I've moved to the weekend after Thanksgiving.  That's a lot more work because I'm doing all the advertising, making, mowing, cleaning, and everything else that goes into the open studio and sale.  Well, Janet's making the cookies, she is an awesome baker and will do a much better job with them then I ever could.

Today we have to take our dog Jolie back the the vet to have her knee looked at and then we head down to the airport to pick up Janet's parents who are visiting for a few days.  It'll be good to see them and to take a little break from working so much.  Of course I've worked into our plans to go to Art Visions to see the show and to go up to Shorter University to pick up the pots from the wood kiln.

I have only 4 pots left in my Etsy Store.  I'm not sure when I'll find time to take pictures and post new work but you know I will have to do it and soon. So if I don't communicate with you for a few days don't think I'm not here, I am, I'm just being a little crazy. 

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meatless Monday - Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Autumn is the time for butternut, acorn, pumpkin and other winter squashes.  It's also a great time to bake stuff in the oven, it warms the house nicely.  This is also the season for pot luck dinners.  I found this recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna by Paula Jones so I tried it and thought it was delicious enough to share.
Open Casserole Dish by Future Relics Pottery
FUNky Casserole

I did not make any changes to the recipe and I thought it was pretty darn good as is.  The nice part is that you can make this dish in advance and then pop it in the oven when you need it.  So I would prepare it on Sunday so I could eat it on Monday.

Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all who have served.

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Small Business Saturday And Customer Service

The Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov 30 this year) is Small Business Saturday, it's something that American Express is promoting to remind people to shop at small, local businesses.  Since it's also the Saturday of my Open Studio and Sale I thought it would be a great idea to get on this bandwagon.

I went on the Amex web site for this and registered, they were pretty awesome.  They have artwork for me to download and will include Future Relics on a map of participating businesses.  They even give $10 to anyone that registers their Amex card and shops at a participating merchant like me.  I was very pleased.  When I got to the end of the registration, they said they had partnered with FedEx to print 2 fliers for me for free.  Sweet!  Oh, but that's when the trouble started.



I filled out the form on the FedEx website and uploaded the artwork for the posters but the "send" button was broken.  It didn't do anything.  I called the store, they said they never got it (no surprise) but gave me the number for tech support.  I called tech support, explained the issue, got transferred, explained the issue for the third time and helped the nice tech support person to understand and try to recreate the issue.  To make a long story short and save you from the boring details I'll just tell you that I gave up.  If time is money it would have cost much less for me to simply send the artwork to FedEx and pay for it but I'm not sure I want it that badly.  The thing is, I spent almost an hour on the phone with the support guy trying to recreate the issue so they could fix it, at the end of the conversation I told him that a work around is what I really needed.  I even told him what a simple solution might be (me just emailing the art rather than using the broken form).  But, since he works for a large corporation he could not say "yes, just do that, it'll be okay."

I really do appreciate these large businesses trying to support the small local businesses and in doing so realized that I still love my independent, local printer.

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

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Travel Mugs

The holidays are approaching and people are requesting pottery gifts.  I love the people who order early so I actually have time to make and fire the pieces.  I also love it when someone orders something that challenges me a little.  Yes, it's busy season so I don't want to be getting too involved in a new design but somethings that are on scholarship or just something new can be welcome, especially when given ample time.

That's the case with these travel mugs that were ordered by a client.  The idea is that they would fit into a car cup holder but also have a splash guard so people are less likely to spill on themselves while driving.  And, of course, their has to be a way to get the coffee or tea into the mug as well as wash them out.  I think these mugs will accomplish all of that.

Pottery Travel Mug by Lori Buff
Pottery Travel Mugs

The base is about the size of a soda can (I had to calculate for shrinkage) but the top flairs out a little for a wider opening.  I also made them all right handed mugs considering that they will most likely be used by the driver who will be sitting on the left side of the car in the states.  If I am ever asked to export them to England I'll change that aspect of the design.

My thought is that the opening is ample for cleaning as well as stirring in some sugar. They are dishwasher safe, which in my mind is always the easiest way to clean something but I think their is plenty of room for hand washing.

I'll be test driving one after they are fired.

You should check out Mudcolony today, I'm the featured potter this week.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Glazing For Wood Firing

Wood firing is probably the most risky firing a potter can do.  Some will argue that you can have a lot of breakage in raku and that is a valid argument.  I don't know if a study has ever been done to prove which type of firing creates the most loss but it might be an interesting topic to discuss while sitting around the wood kiln late at night.  Which do you think is riskier and why?

I'm thinking about this because I just brought a bunch of pots to Shorter University to fire in the anagama up there.  This is actually a pretty easy firing for me since students are available to do most of the work.  I simply had to throw and glaze the pieces.  I'll pick them up when they are finished and work a shift of stoking if needed.  I love stoking the kiln, that's not a problem, but I am also fine with not having to drive the 2 hours up there and back to do the stoking even though it's a really pretty drive.

Wood Kiln at Shorter University


Anyway, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for another good firing and will post the result here when it's finished.

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meatless Monday - Curried Quinoa

Quinoa is one of those grains that has been around for a long time but that has just recently become known and popular in the states.  It is delicious and good, healthy grains are important to your diet.  If you have issues with gluten you should check the package as not all quinoa is gluten free.

Curried Quinoa with Green Beans and Cashews


Ingredients: 


  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 small onions, chop 1/2 of one finely, chop the rest coarsely
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 1 cup green beans, cut small
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced, some green is okay
  • 1 cup cashews, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Boil 2 cups of water.  While the water is heating, heat 1 Tbs oil in s small pot, add the finely chopped onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Stir in the quinoa, curry powder, and a dash of salt, cook for 2 minutes.  Add 2 cups of boiling water then reduce the heat.  Cook covered for 15 minutes.


While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 Tbs oil in a 12 inch skillet.  Add the chopped onion and zucchini.  Cook stirring frequently over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water and the carrot juice.  Simmer, covered for 5 minutes, then add the green beans and scallions and cook for a few more minutes.  Stir the veggies and cashews into the quinoa.  Serve in soup bowls, garnish with cilantro.

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