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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First T-shirt Design

This past Saturday was the East Atlanta Strut.  It's a very fun show right in my neighborhood.  It's very nice to be able to set up the booth only one mile from the house.  It's well attended and always a lot of fun.  And because it's in East Atlanta Village it has lots of quirky things and people to see.  It seemed like a great show to debut my very first t-shirt design.

Okay, technically it's not the very first, my pottery class in high school made a "Get High on Pottery" shirt.  I'm not certain what happened to that shirt but I can only guess that I wore it until it was too thin to wear anymore.

The new design is something I've been thinking about doing for a long time and finally just got around to making it.  Sometimes you need to do that, just do it.  I think it came out well.

Smoke More Pots, Do Raku T-Shirt by Lori Buff
Smoke More Pots T-Shirt
 I ordered it through Zazzle because I was only ordering two shirts.  So many people at the Strut liked it so much that I might consider getting an order together for a local screen printer to make up for me.  Of course I have to say, Zazzle did a great job.  The order came on time and the printing seems to be great.  I'd recommend them for sure.

Pottery T-shirt by Future Relics Gallery
Raku T-shirt in Action
I have a couple more design ideas in my head, maybe I should get them onto shirts.  What do you think?

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meatless Monday - Cauliflower Pizza Crust

It seems that lots of people are having trouble eating gluten these days.  I've read a few reasons why this is happening and some of it is because of the way wheat is grown.  I hope this trend changes but in the meantime it's nice to have alternatives to some of our favorite foods.

Pizza is a favorite food of lots of people.  I imagine it would be very sad to have this removed from your diet.  I know I would miss it but what are you going to do?  We do know that it is possible to make the crust from gluten free ingredents but I wonder about them sometimes, and face it, some are very expensive.

How about cauliflower?  It's gluten free.  It's also low carb if that is a consideration also.  It sounds weird right?  I grew up outside of New York City and have very strong opinions about what makes a good pizza.  I think this one is darn good.  Try it and let me know what you think.

Pizza With Cauliflower Crust

Ingredients: 
Makes a 12-inch pizza

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should make about 3 cups of cauliflower rice)
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F and place a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper and liberally grease with olive oil. Set aside.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets until they are evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.
Transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a cotton towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can.  The cauliflower rice needs to be dry, otherwise the dough will be mushy.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.
Using your hands, press the mixture onto the pizza stone and shape into a thin pizza “disc”.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Scatter cheese evenly over the pizza base and spread the toppings of your choice over this. Sprinkle the Pecorino Romano and add a pinch salt.
Return to the oven and bake for further for 10 minutes.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Closing One Door, Opening Others

About twenty years ago a little shop opened up in the Atlanta neighborhood known as Candler Park.  It was weirdly named Donna Van Gogh's Artist Market.  Donna Van Gogh doesn't exist, she never did, the owner made up the name.  Of course she's gotten a lot of phone calls and many people have said "I talked to Donna and she said..." It's all part of the quirkiness that is this store.

Many Atlanta artists got their start there.  Many of them built a name for themselves and moved on, some kept work there because of loyalty to the shop and the customer base in the area.  Some artists got so famous the owners didn't even bother hanging their art on the wall, it wouldn't sit in the store long enough to be worth the bother.  That's a loyal following.

They took my work when I was just starting to sell it.  I met an artist at a show and she recommended the place.  She told me I'd get a check every month, it might not be a big one (or it might be) but something would sell.  For the most part that was completely true.  It felt really, really good to be selling in an actual gallery.  It was a tremendous confidence booster for sure.

Donna Van Gogh's
Now twenty years later the doors to Donna Van Gogh's are about to close permanently. The reasons are many, age, too much competition from big box stores, festivals, and pop-up shops, lack of comfort with technology, it doesn't matter.  It's going away and that is sad.  I wish only good things for the owners and the artists going forward.

It's said that one door never closes without another one opening and I've found that to be true.  As we say good-bye to Donna Van Gogh's, we (many local artists) are also preparing for the re-opening of The Collective which had to relocate over a year ago.

The Collective has moved into the cottage, which is an old victorian house that has also moved to be right around the corner from The Krog Street Market in Inman Park.  It's a great location and everyone is very excited.  The soft opening will be today.  I just dropped off some pottery there and it looks fantastic, you should visit soon.

Kaboodle Home, which is a great store in East Atlanta Village will also now be carrying my pottery. I'm really excited about being here too.  It is my neighborhood so it feels right on so many levels.  I'll be bringing some pots into the store the week after the East Atlanta Strut which is this Saturday, the 27th.  Go check it out.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Water Proof An E-Z Up Show Tent

This Saturday is the East Atlanta Strut.  It'll be my first show this fall and I'm really looking forward to doing it.  It's close to home, like one mile from my house, so I get to hang out in the village with friends and the customers are great.  I see lots of new and repeat customers which is always nice.  It was my favorite rainy show last year also.  Of course, because of the rain I just stayed in my tent all day, a couple friends brought me beer so I was happy.  Then about four o'clock the rain stopped and people ran out and shopped.  They were literally buying stuff as I was packing up the bins to go home because it was getting too dark to see.  It was great.

Art Show Booth for Pottery by Lori Buff
Pottery Booth

I've been thankful for the protection that this E-Z Up tent has given me.  It has kept me shaded on hot days and dry in crazy downpours.  Now I wonder if the tent might need some water proofing added to  help make sure that it keeps me dry.  I did some on-line research and found a lot of information about water proofing camping tents but nothing on the show tents which may or may not be different.

This leads me to ask you who read this blog if you've had any experience with water proofing your booth.  Write to me in the comments, on Facebook, or send me an email.  I'll bet some other artists would love to know your experience.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Zucchini and Pine Nuts

Have you tried Spaghetti Squash?  It's a squash that is very easy to prepare and is a great substitute for spaghetti, especially if you need or want to eat a gluten free diet.  It doesn't taste like spaghetti but it's just as delicious when served with anything you'd put on top of your pasta.

If you want to make this dish vegan you could use some vegan cheese or just skip that ingredient entirely.

A few readers have commented that they have a difficult time finding pine nuts in their local grocery store.  That's sad but I discovered a delicious solution for you thanks to listening to NPR.  I heard an interview with Lidia Bastianich who is one of my favorite Italian cooks (after my great-grand father of course).  She suggested using almonds as a replacement when you can't get pine nuts.  Brilliant!  It actually sounds so good I might try replacing pine nuts with almonds in lots of recipes even when I can find pine nuts.

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Zucchini and Pine Nuts by Future Relics Gallery
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Zucchini and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 zucchinis (small - medium), sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 small spaghetti squash or 1 medium
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted
salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

For the spaghetti squash:

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds from the center.  Fill that cavity with water in one of the halves then place the other half back on top and place in the microwave.  Cook for about 5 minutes for each squash.  When checking the squash for doneness please remember that it will be very hot and steamy, take precautions to avoid burns.  The fruit of the squash should be soft.  Carefully remove from the microwave, dump out any remaining water and let cool a little.  When the squash is cool enough to handle scrape the flesh with a fork to create the spaghetti like strands.

For the zucchini:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and sliced zucchini, sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring, on medium heat, uncovered. Add a pinch of kosher salt, stir, and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally, until zucchini softens and browns a bit. Cooking it covered preserves the juices.  Lower the heat then add spaghetti squash to the skillet with zucchini and stir to combine. Add freshly shredded Parmesan cheese into the skillet and stir on low heat to melt the cheese. Add salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Top with toasted pine nuts or almonds.

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sixty Years Ago Today

Today would have been my parents 60th wedding anniversary.  This is her first without him.  How does that feel?  I can't even imagine but I'll talk to mom later to see how she's doing.  I wish I could be there with her.



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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Luna Moths

Have you ever seen a luna moth?  They are quite rare to see because they only live for 24 hours and are only out at night.  Janet and I saw one at the train station early one morning when we were leaving for vacation several years ago.  We were both thrilled and thought it was a good omen for our vacation and it was.  We had a great time in Key West and even visited a butterfly house where I carried a butterfly on my shoulder for most of the visit.  I was told this is a lucky thing.  I guess people associate lots of luck with moths and butterflies.

Luna Moth

I think they are beautiful and mysterious, rare and fascinating.  So I've commemorated them on this mug.
Luna Moth Mug by Lori Buff
Luna Moth Mug
This is one of the pieces that I did with some embellishment and carving for relief.  I wrote about them here when I first made them.  You can read more about this mug in my Etsy Store.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meatless Monday - Quick Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

The cooler weather is starting to move into many parts of the country as summer is giving up her hold.  We are now trying to use up the last spoils of the summer garden before the autumn crops take over entirely.  Of course this is a recipe that you should bookmark and come back to a few times next summer while you can get great tasting tomatoes.

You can find hundreds of different recipes for stuffed tomatoes, many of them include baking the tomatoes in the oven with lots of cheese bubbling out of them.  Doesn't that sound good?  Maybe I'll try something like that one day soon but for now I'm still not ready to turn on the oven and heat up the house and I'm not ready to give up that fresh tomato taste.  So this recipe is heavy on fresh flavor and a quick, easy meal.  You can even make the couscous a head of time.  If you can't or don't want to eat pasta try a hearty grain.

Quick Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes by Future Relics Gallery
Quick Couscous Stuffed Tomato
Ingredients: 

4 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup couscous, cooked
1/4 cup feta cheese, diced or crumbled
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

Cut the top off of the tomato and scoop out the insides with a spoon but try to leave the fruit at the skin in tact. Chop the tomato insides and place in a medium bowl with the couscous, feta and herbs.  Mix well then return it the hollowed out tomato.  Serve and enjoy.

Plate by Lora Rust.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

An Unexpected Gift

Did you read yesterday's blog post about peace and doing nice things for each other.  When I wrote that I was thinking about giving, not receiving.  I did not expect, at all, that I might be the recipient of someone else act of kindness.  Then this morning the mail carrier dropped a package onto my front porch.  I didn't remember ordering anything and we are between birthdays here so what could it be?

Once the mail carrier left and the dogs calmed down I retrieved the package and found it was from my blogging friend Linda Starr.  She knows I've been going through a tough time lately and felt compelled to do something to add some sunshine to my life.  She did just that.

In the package was a very sweet espresso cup.  I do enjoy an espresso pretty frequently so this will be used often and I will feel the friendship of Linda with each use.  It is hand built with a very cool gun metal glaze that shows a few touches of green where it's thiner.  I believe that I will notice more and more colors in the glaze as I expose it to different light sources.  You gotta love a glaze like that.

Espresso Cup by Linda Starr
The package also contained a little bag of black beans.  These are Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Beans.  Linda wrote about them in this blog post, you should read it, it's very interesting.  I understand the meaning of the beans and their significance to her.  So I will plant them in my garden and share the crop with friends that garden so they can grow them also.

The box was also very full of something that every potter loves, bubble wrap!  It may sound silly to people who aren't spending so much time trying to protect fragile items but the gift of bubble wrap to a potter is a great gift indeed.

Linda, thank you so much for your sweet, thoughtful and caring gift.  I am very grateful for you.  Many hugs to you.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wishing of Peace

Many of us remember what we were doing on September 11th.  We remember how we found out what happened and how we watched it happen again, and again on TV and the news.  Many of us remember how people acted in the days and weeks after the attacks.  I've heard many stories from family and friends about how much friendlier people in New York city seemed to be.  I spent a lot of time in NYC and knew that some people were very friendly, some were not.  Now it seemed more people acted kindly to each other.  That was a good thing that came of the attack.

The weeks became months and the months have become years.  Time marches on and although we don't forget what has happened we often forget the behavior that we had while we were still in shock. Many of us are just naturally kind people who just perform acts of compassion and kindness without giving it a second thought.  Some of us are very nice but don't really look for ways to do something simple and nice for others.  How about today we all try to be a little extra friendly to others?  How about we become very conscious about being nice to people.  For those of you who make a habit of being nice, be mindful of it for just a moment.

Tie Dye and Peace by Future Relics Pottery
Tie Dye and Peace Mugs

Maybe if we spent more thought on being caring, friendly, nice, and compassionate we might have more peace.  What can you do to be a friend to someone today?

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Three Dimensional Dragon Mug

Once upon a time I made a dragon mug with parts of the dragon in relief.  You might even remember reading and commenting on the blog post (thanks for your comments).  It seems like it was a long time ago because it was.  We know pottery takes a long time because of the making, drying, firing, cooling, glazing, firing again, and cooling again schedule but this a lot longer in the making than usual.

Thankfully, I feel like it was worth the wait.

Purple Dragon in Relief on Stein by Future Relics Pottery
3D Purple Dragon Mug
This mug has a lot of texture.  It's got places where the clay is raised and where it's carved away.  It's got places of high gloss glaze and places of raw clay and everything in between.  I'm really pleased with it.  I put it in my Esty Store so someone else can enjoy it too.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meatless Monday - Avocado Stuffed with Garlic Shrimp

Avocado is not only delicious but it's good for you also.  Or so the experts say.  All I know is that I really enjoy eating them.  They are creamy and delicious and can be prepared in a myriad of different ways, the possibilities feel endless.

This recipe is very quick and easy.  It takes about 10 minutes to prep and cook. You might even want to make this for lunch because it's very light, satisfying yet not overly filling.  I had it with a side of cherry tomatoes from my garden.  Delightful.

I used small, salad shrimp but you could substitute really fresh tofu for the shrimp.

Avocado Stuffed with Garlic Shrimp by Future Relics Gallery
Avocado Stuffed with Garlic Shrimp
Ingredients: 

1 whole avocado
1 cup salad shrimp (if frozen, thaw before cooking) or tofu chopped into small cubes.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
a few leaves of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
pinch chili powder

Directions:

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scrape out most of the fruit and set it in a small bowl.  Keep the shells for stuffing later.

Heat a skillet then add the olive oil.  Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute.  Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp just turns pink.  Don't over cook.

Pour the garlic shrimp into the bowl with the avocado, add the herbs and spices then mix well being sure to break up an large pieces of avocado.

Spoon the mixture into the avocado shells and serve.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Still Here and Working

It's been awfully quiet on this blog lately.  I'm sorry, I just have been very into my own head and heart these past few weeks.  I have been working, I threw some pieces and fired a few kilns.  I got some glaze chemicals from someone on craigslist so I've made up some new glazes.  I've taken a few naps, gone for some walks, and visited with some friends, but mostly I've just been enjoying being alone with the dogs.
Hand Crafted mugs by Future Relics Pottery
Decorated Mugs Awaiting Glaze

Here are some of the mugs I've thrown and decorated while I was quiet. They still need their overglaze, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. One of those with the om symbol is for a customer.  A number of people have placed special orders and all of them have been really fantastic and understanding about letting me take some time to grieve.  I cannot express how much I appreciate that.

I have been reading some books and some blogs but I've been avoiding comments, I don't know if my words are really expressing my thoughts very well right now.  I'm sorry for that silence.  It's just not always possible to type out emotions really well.  Give yourselves and your loved ones hugs.

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