Monday, August 31, 2015

Meatless Monday - Roasted Tomato and Couscous Salad

It’s tomato season. Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable or fruit or whatever they are, I have read that they are technically a fruit but we seem to treat them like vegetables so they are thought to be veggies. Whatever, they are delicious.

I roasted the veggies in the oven but I’m sure they would also be delicious grilled if you have one. Just keep an eye on them so you don’t over cook the veggies. A little char is nice, overcooked ruins the flavors in my opinion.

This salad is served warm but it’s also great cold so you should make enough for leftovers.


1 cup  couscous (or other small pasta or grain) cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
Roasted Tomatoes
1/2 head radicchio
1/4 thinly sliced small red onion
Shaved ricotta salata (or similar semi-hard cheese)
Chopped toasted almonds
Fresh parsley and oregano leaves


Cook 1 cup couscous according to package directions; toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Preheat your broiler.

While couscous is cooking place tomatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and roll around to coat and place in the broiler. Brush 1/2 head radicchio with oil then place on the cookie sheet with the tomatoes, turning the radicchio occasionally, until lightly charred, 5–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop. Toss with tomatoes, 1/4 thinly sliced small red onion, and couscous.  Serve topped with shaved ricotta salata, chopped toasted almonds, and fresh parsley and oregano leaves.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bike Mugs

Autumn is on the way.  For those of us that have been dealing with high heat and humidity it feels welcome. We’ve actually been having some perfect late summer days followed by cool nights. This means I have started riding my bicycle in the morning. It feels really good to ride even if I’m a bit out of shape and not going very far, it’s fun and it’s progress towards going on longer rides.

Atlanta may not be as bike friendly as Portland, OR but it’s getting there. We have been having a huge growth in bike commuting, about 400% from 2000 - 2009. The Atlanta Beltline has really helped to increase awareness and riders. One day I hope to be able to ride the entire Beltline on my bike.
Handmade Old Style Bike Mugs by Lori Buff
Antique Bike Mugs

So in honur of all the folks that ride for pleasure or commute I created a line of bike mugs. These two just came out of the soda kiln.

I really like the look of the old fashioned bikes but I have never even tried to ride one. Have you?

Other Stuff:

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kickstarting 50 Women-- Not Your Grandmother's Ceramics

The 50 Women team bring a landmark women’s exhibition to Kansas City, Spring 2016 
American Jazz Museum, Changing Gallery, Kansas City, MO, USA, August 2015 
Exhibition Dates: March 16 to May 13, 2016

Like every other subculture, American ceramics may differ in the glue that connects people, but it reflects some of the challenges facing society as a whole. 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference. In 50 years, there has never been a comprehensive survey of work done by women. The contributions of women to contemporary American ceramics are substantial and several; but recognition has been spotty at best. Co-curators, Anthony Merino and Alex Kraft identified this issue and the idea behind the 50 Women exhibition took seed.

A great exhibition takes a great deal of money and there are still expenses that need to be covered. These include but are not limited to international shipping, domestic shipping of large artworks, insurance, installation and printing costs. To assist in covering these costs, the organizers have launched a Kickstarter campaign. All of the managerial labor costs provide by co-curator Mr. Anthony Merino and Ms. Alex Kraft, as well as the marketing coordinator Melanie Shaw and Kansas City liaison Arzelyn Umali are beping provided free of charge. Please consider helping 50 Women promote this campaign.

From poetry slamming, Comic-Con, bikers, Cosplay and Volkswagen enthusiasts to bell jar collectors and college football fans-- America stitches patches of intense identification into a large culture. The world of contemporary ceramics makes up a small section of this quilt. Every year four to five thousand members of the ceramic community gather together at a single conference sponsored by NCECA. In addition, the American Jazz Museum expects an additional visitor count of approximately six to eight thousand during the run of the exhibition. With the additional support of the UMKC Women’s Center-Her Art Project, the exhibition will open mid-March during Women’s History Month, with supporting events and activities at the Museum and UMKC facilities.

Kickstarter Campaign: 
Ben Carter interview with Anthony and Alex: 
Tales of a Red Clay Rambler, POD #107: Alex Kraft and Anthony Merino on 50 Women

50 Women-A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics 
Co-Curators-Anthony Merino, Alex Kraft 
9 Dubis Street 
Adams, MA 01220 

Today’s blog post was submitted by Anthony Merino on behalf of 50 Women - A Celebration of Women’s Contributions to Ceramics which looks like an amazing event. Maybe we should all plan a trip to Kansas when this exhibit is up.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Other Peoples Pots - Jeff Brown Mug for Moving

Crowd funding types of project funding are very popular these days. You can most likely get lots of different things to help support lots of great causes. It’s not a bad way of funding a project or a need. Of course it’s impossible for me to support all of the projects that I’d like to support but when I saw my blogging buddy Michèle Hastings and her partner Jeff Brown were running their own champaign called Mugs for Moving I was inspired to make a purchase. I already have a mug Michèle made with a beautiful shino glaze so I ordered one of Jeff’s mugs and I’m very happy I did. I really love the mug.

A few months ago I bought an espresso machine with a steamer at a local thrift store. Now I can have a beautiful mug of cappuccino whenever I want, which is most mornings. The frothed milk takes up a little more room in the mug than the same amount of cream that’s not steamed so I need a slightly larger mug. This one fits the bill, as well as the coffee and milk. It’s also very comfortable in my hand and when drinking out of it. Maybe one day I’ll try to figure out how to make fun decoration in the froth.
Jeff Brown Fern Mug posted by Lori Buff
Jeff Brown Fern Mug

I really like the surface decoration too. The shino that I like on Michèle’s mug was used on this with a nice green glaze and Jeff’s signature fern pattern. I am a fern lover so that really speaks to me.

Thanks for the great mug y’all and good luck in your new home.

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spicy Schezwan Zucchini Noodles with Peanuts and Chilis

My mom was the neighborhood piano teacher after she retired. One of her students was Chinese, her grandparents migrated here from China. They really liked my parents and somehow learned that I love Schezwan foods.  I love the spices and the flavors. So the grandmother would cook a meal for me whenever I visited my parents. I’m not sure that I’ll ever come close to duplicating anything that she cooked but that isn’t going to stop me from trying.

This dish is very quick and easy to make. It takes about 20 minutes and is delicious hot or cold. The recipe here makes about four servings which means leftovers in our house. You might want to make enough to have lunch on Tuesday.

Spicy Schezwan Zucchini Noodles with Peanuts and Chilis by Future Relics Pottery
Spicy Schewan Zucchini Noodles


1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey (brown sugar will work if you’re vegan)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup coconut milk (lite or regular)
3 medium size zucchinis, spiralized using a veggie spiralizer
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
6 baby bell peppers, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 hot pepper of choice, sliced and seeded if you want less heat
1 avocado sliced (optional)


Combine the peanut butter and tahini in a large serving bowl and whisk until combined. Then whisk in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, hot chili oil, toasted sesame oil and coconut milk.

Add the zucchini noodles, peanuts, sesame seeds, basil, cilantro, baby bell peppers and tomatoes.

Toss well to combine. Serve with sliced avocado to cut the heat.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pottery Class

You may remember that I have been invited to teach a pottery class at the Tucker Recreation Center in Tucker, GA.  I’m super excited about it. The class is already about half full but the deadline for registration is approaching so I thought I’d post the application for anyone that is interested.

This is essentially a beginner’s class but a few of the students have some experience and just want to improve their work and learn a few more techniques. I love having some varied levels of experience because then the students end up learning from each other. It makes for a great class dynamic. Also, beginning students will sometimes ask questions or come up with projects that really get me thinking. I love that.
Carved Covered Casserole by Lori Buff

Here’s the link to the application, you can print it, fill it out and mail it in, all the information is on the form.


If you have any question you can ask them in the comments or send me an email.

You can find more detail on the class in my previous blog post here:


Thanks for reading.

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meatless Monday - Tomatoes Stuffed with Corn and Basil Rice

I just love tomatoes and summer is the best time of year to get them when they have the most flavor. I suggest getting them from your local farmer’s market if you aren’t growing any yourself. I’d also suggest fresh corn for this but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any and had to settle for frozen corn. It was still delicious and very easy to make.

I made some extra rice so I could serve this on a bed of rice, the 1/2 cup stated in the recipe is perfect for the filling only. If you have some leftover rice it will work well.

This recipe is gluten free and can easily be made with your choice of vegan cheese if that’s your preference.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Corn and Basil Rice by Future Relics Gallery
Tomatoes Stuffed with Corn and Basil Rice


6-10 high quality tomatoes such as heirloom (I used 6 medium/smallish ones)
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ cup fresh sweet corn (I used frozen but fresh would have been better)
2 cloves garlic, minced
a handful of fresh basil ribbons
grated cheese (your favorite)

1 Place corn in a sturdy non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat with no oil or butter. Let sit for 3-4 minutes and stir. Repeat until corn gets nice and brown on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside.
2 Cut the tops of the tomatoes off and carefully scoop out the flesh, reserving the flesh in a separate bowl. Set whole tomatoes aside. Crush the tomato flesh with the back of a spoon until there are no large chunks. Don't totally puree it - just chop/mash it up.
3 Combine the mashed tomato mixture, brown rice, basil, corn and garlic. Add a little bit of the shredded cheese, reserving some for topping. Stir it all together until well-mixed.
4 Preheat broiler. Stuff the whole tomatoes with the tomato, rice, and corn mixture until rounded on the top. Top with shredded cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and tomatoes are heated through.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Few From The Soda Kiln

The soda kiln has been unloaded and it was another beautiful firing with lots of great pots.  It seemed like everyone was pleased with the results. Every glaze firing does have a potential for bad pots. I’ve seen pots come out of an electric kiln with some glaze problems for various reasons. Most of those same problems can happen in atmospheric firings like gas reduction, salt, soda, or wood. The possibilities for problems are at the maximum with wood firing but all kinds of things are happening in the soda kiln also, and this can create beautiful pots or pots that meed repair like the one I have to fix from the first firing. You might even remember me writing about them in June. No, I still haven’t fixed and re-fired that casserole. It’s an easy thing to do, I just find it difficult to bring myself to doing it.
Soda Fired Pottery Vase by Lori Buff
Soda Fired Vase
The good news is that I don’t have to repair any pots from this firing, I think they all came out great. I was fortunate enough to get some wonderful flashing on most of them.

Soda Fired Tri-handled Ceramic Crock by Future Relics Pottery
Three Handled Pot
These pots and more will be at the Piedmont Park Arts Festival this weekend (Aug 15 - 16) in Atlanta. I’ll be in the booth with Kaboodle Home in a lovely spot near the lake. If you’re in the area come out to the park for some great art and say “hi.”

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

Monday, August 10, 2015

Meatless Monday - Creamy Zucchini, Corn and Roasted Poblanos Taco Filling

What’s your favorite radio station? Mine is WABE, it’s our local NPR station here in Atlanta and they have some really great programing. Yes, I’m an NPR junkie. One program that I really love is called The Splendid Table because the host covers a huge amount of information having to do with food. Not just cooking it but serving it (try hand crafted dishes for serving, they are great) the politics of growing and importing it. The list goes on and on. I won’t bore you, just find it and listen for yourself then let me know what you think.

Anyway, I while back I was listening to the program and became interested in this recipe. Naturally I tried it and I loved it. Now it’s my turn to share it. You can find the recipe on the Splendid Table website here http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/creamy-zucchini-corn-and-roasted-poblanos-taco-filling or just stay continue here. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe except to add some avocado.

Creamy Zucchini, Corn and Roasted Poblanos Taco Filling by Future Relics
The Filling Inside the Taco

Creamy Zucchini, Corn and Roasted Poblanos Taco Filling by Lori Buff
Creamy Zucchini, Corn and Roasted Poblanos Taco 

Calabacitas y Elote con Rajas y Crema

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 (about 1 pound total) zucchini, cut into cubes a little smaller than 1/2 inch
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups poblano rajas (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema
  • 1 sprig epazote, leaves removed and thinly sliced or 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese
When I want a vegetarian soft taco filling, I heat the oil in a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high. When really hot, I add the zucchini, stirring and turning the pieces frequently, until they are richly browned all over. That's when I add the corn kernels. I let that brown (which takes just a couple of minutes).
Then I scrape in the 2 cups of rajas, along with the sprig of epazote or chopped cilantro.
When everything comes to a simmer over medium heat, I add a couple tablespoons of crema (or one of its stand-ins) if I think the mixture needs it, taste the dish for salt and scrape it into a serving bowl.
Though it's not absolutely necessary, the mixture is delicious sprinkled with crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese.

Roasted Poblano Cream (Crema Poblana)

Makes about 4 servings
  • 4 (about 1 pound) medium fresh poblano chiles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema, crème fraiche or heavy cream (if I’m planning on turning the rajas into soup, Greek-style yogurt is also an option)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
No matter how I’m ultimately going to use my poblanos and cream, I start by making what’s called rajas a la crema, Roasted Poblano Strips with Cream. If a gas flame (or charcoal fire) is available to me, I roast the poblano chiles directly over high heat, turning frequently.   
I want the heat intense so the tough skin of the chiles will blister and blacken before the flesh has softened too much—it shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes to roast a chile on an open flame. (When using only one burner, I roast the poblanos in batches.) If only an electric stove is available, I heat the broiler, adjust the shelf as high as it will go, lay the chiles onto a baking sheet and slide them under the broiler. As they blister and blacken, I turn them until all are uniformly charred, about 10 minutes. (Broiler-roasting works fine, though the chiles’ flesh tends to get a little more cooked and takes on less smoky flavor than when flame-roasting.)  
Whether the chiles are broiler- or flame-roasted, when they are evenly blackened, I collect them in a bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel to trap a little steam to loosen the charred skin. (Some cooks put them in a plastic bag, but for me, that traps too much steamy heat, leading to flesh that’s softer—more cooked—than I like.) When the chiles have cooled enough to be handleable, I rub off their charred skin, remove the seed pod by pulling firmly on the stem, then rinse the peeled, seeded flesh briefly under cool water. Lastly, I slice the roasted chile into 1/4-inch strips. 
To finish the rajas a la crema, I heat the vegetable or olive oil over medium-high in a very large (12-inch) skillet. When hot, I add the white onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is richly browned, but still a little crunchy, about 7 minutes. Then I stir in the garlic cloves and the dried oregano.
After a minute or so, when the garlic is fragrant, I stir in the chile strips and Mexican crema. When the cream has thickened enough to coat the chiles nicely—that takes only a couple of minutes over the medium-high heat, though it needs to be stirred nearly constantly—I taste the mixture and season it with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. This is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat or fish tacos, to steak or pork chops, or to grilled, sautéed or broiled fish or chicken.

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Class

Not very long ago some artists friends and I were discussing our desires for the future. One of the things I said I wanted to have happen was to get a teaching job. Within a few days I was contacted by the nice people who run the pottery program at the Tucker Recreation Center. They wanted to expand the program and came to me since I had been a substitute teacher there last year and it was great. Now I’ll be back teaching regularly.

Lori Buff of Future Relics Gallery doing a pottery throwing demonstration
Pottery Demo

Here’s a part of the announcement email:

We're only about a month away from resuming classes at TRec. When you return you will see some nice changes in the clean rooms, in the glaze selection, and in the instructors! In order to better serve our students and give you another option in learning, Lori Buff will now be teaching a class on Tuesday nights for all levels, but with a focus on relative newcomers to clay.  

In Lori's words, here is her vision for the new class, followed by her biography:

Beginning Pottery Tucker Rec Center

"I intend to offer a relaxing and supportive environment for the students to learn and practice the techniques they will need to realize their creative visions in clay. I plan to start the classes with a demo lesson then give each student time to work on their pieces while receiving individual attention as well as having opportunities for discussion and sharing ideas among the students.

I will begin by teaching basic techniques and working with fundamental forms that can be expanded upon as the students progress in ability. We will also discuss a variety of surface options including an introduction to glazes and the glazing process.

The classes will start off by hand building a few functional pieces in order to get a feel for how the material works. We will start with the basic construction methods and explore the unlimited possibilities of clay. As the class progresses, and if the students show an interest we will move into the basics of wheel throwing.

I have a very loose agenda of projects for the students to create. Obviously the interests of the students will be the top priority."

Lori Buff – Artists Biography

"I fell in love with pottery when I was a junior in high school.  This love of creating clay forms led me to decide that I was going to be a potter when I grew up.   I was accepted at The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University based on my portfolio work.  

Little did I know, I would never grow up.

After leaving school, I traveled around the country in a 1971 Pinto with extended stays in New York, Virginia, Wisconsin and Birmingham. I eventually settled in Atlanta, GA where I tried for 27 years to live the life expected of me, working corporate jobs and such, but something was always missing.

Then several years ago my partner gave me a gift certificate for Mudfire Clayworks.  Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.  I started with a one month membership which ended up being a one year membership. Soon, I was teaching and assisting in every workshop possible at Mudfire. I have also been studio assistant for Linda and Charlie Riggs Naked Raku workshop and Cynthia Bringle's eight week concentration at Penland School of Crafts in western North Carolina.

My pottery can be found in various shops, galleries, and festivals around Atlanta as well as online at www.FutureRelicsGallery.com

I feel very honored and excited about this opportunity. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for me and the students.  If you are in the area of Tucker, GA and are interested in taking a class with me or any of the other instructors (they offer classes to various skill levels), please let me know, I’ll add your name to the email list so you can receive a registration form.

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

Meatless Monday - Rice Noodles with Miso Ginger Sauce and Vegetables

Do you know about the reported health benefits of Miso? For years I thought it was just the broth of that delicious soup they give you in some Japanese restaurants. One would think that it does have some ability to aide digestion since they serve it with meals but I’ve been reading that it has more benefits like helping to stabilize blood presaure and lower cholesterol levels. Of course like all the popular super foods it’s also reported to prevent cancer. I like that it is a good source of vitamin B-12 since most vegetarian diets are lacking in sufficient B-12. I’m not an expert on the nutrition of miso, I just know that it has a nice flavor and is very versatile in recipes.

For this simple recipe I made the Miso Ginger Sauce then prepared the rice noodles (they are gluten free) according to the package directions and steamed some spinach because that’s what I had available. I think I’d do this again with other steamed veggies like broccoli and red pepper. I’m sure it would be great with whatever was in season and readily available. What would you use?

Rice Noodles with Miso Ginger Sauce and Vegetables by Future Relics Pottery
Rice Noodles with Miso Ginger Sauce and Vegetables 


1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sweet or mellow miso
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated ginger (or to taste)
1 clove garlic, minced
A pinch of dried herbs like thyme, tarragon or basil would be nice but not necessary.


Mix all the ingredients in a one quart sauce pan and heat on medium low while stirring frequently. Don’t boil, just bring it to a simmer than serve.

This recipe is vegan and gluten free.

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