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Friday, May 29, 2015

ARTucker 2015

Last December a few artists and I got together and did a home show at one of the artist’s homes.  We so enjoyed that type of interaction with the customers and each other that we started talking about doing something on a slightly larger scale.  Then we started planing and now we have the show. Even though I was not as involved as I would have like to be since I was out of town and totally immersed in the class at Penland I am very excited about this show. I’m very proud of my friend Patty Young for making it happen and all the hard work she put into it. I’m proud to have been some small part of creating it, and now I’m excited about being in the show.

The show is in the Tucker Recreation Center, which is great considering the rain we’ve been having. It’s also where I did some substitute teaching several months ago. I like that I can talk to people about the program there from first hand experience. It seems that someone always asks if I teach or know of someplace that does. Here I can direct them the them studio so they can see the facilities for themselves.
Art Show in Tucker May 29th and 30th
ARTucker

Not only will I be selling my pottery there but I’ll also be doing demonstrations. That’s always fun for me, the customers, and the kids.  It’ll be nice to be doing the demos in a place where I can wedge clay on a real wedging table and clean the tools in a proper facility.

You should come to the Tucker Rec Center Friday or Saturday, it’s going to be a good time with some great art.

ARTucker 2015
Tucker Rec Center
4898 LaVista Rd, Tucker 30084
Phone:  (770) 270-6226


Friday May 29th 2015, 5 pm - 9 pm
Saturday May 30th 2015, 10 am - 6 pm


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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Time Blues

“I just haven’t felt very creative lately.” Those words were spoken to me by a fellow artist the other day. I told her that I am with her in these thoughts. I thought I’d just be unable to stay out of the studio after returning from Penland but it’s been more the opposite. I’m happy to plan some projects that I want to do, I’m happy trying to learn to play my new guitar, I’m even happy when I do get into the studio and do some work. I’m just not very motivated. Apparently I’m not alone so we talked about it for a little while.

My last show for the season, ARTucker is this coming weekend at the Tucker Rec Center and I’m excited about that. I’ve got enough inventory for it to be a good show. I’ve filled all the outstanding orders that I’ve gotten recently. Basically, I’m in a good place. That freedom should lead to creativity but instead I’m just not really feeling like working right now and neither is the other artist I just mentioned.
Blue Glazed Lidded Jar by Future Relics Pottery
Blue Lidded Jar

As we were commiserating I was reminded of when I heard that most people who commit suicide do so in the spring.  Part of the thought is that there is a pressure to feel happy because the world is being built anew and life is beautiful. Neither one of us is feeling even remotely that blue, we are just in a creative funk. The point is, we are also feeling pressure (probably completely self imposed) to feel creative.  What we realized is that by taking a little time away from the studio and following our hearts we are building up creative energy and will be able to return to the studio refreshed and renewed.

How do you handle creative lulls?


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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Slivered Vegetable and Soba Salad with Mapled Tofu

You won’t find very many recipes that contain tofu here. I’m not a huge fan of tofu but some are really delicious. This is one that fits the bill because the tofu takes on the maple so nicely.

Slivered Vegetable and Soba Salad with Mapled Tofu


Ingredients:
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienned into long strips
  • 1 small zucchini, julienned into long strips 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large avocado 
Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste (if you have a darker color, just use less)
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (plus more for serving)
Drain the tofu and press out excess liquid in a clean dishcloth. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the hot pan. Saute gently until the edges begin to brown. (in order for the tofu to crisp up like I wanted, I had to do this in two batches). Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, and a healthy dose of black pepper. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are crisp and the tofu is nicely browned. Set aside to cool.
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions, and rinse well in cold water, and drain. Put the noodles, bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini in a large bowl and toss together.
For the dressing, put all of the ingredients into a small container with a lid and give it a good shake.*
*when I made this, I completely forgot to add the sesame oil – it was great without it, but the dressing seemed a little thick. Later, when I realized my error, I just added the oil to the noodles/veggies and tossed them sum more. 
When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the veggies and noodles, add the chopped cilantro and toss well to coat. Top the bowl with the green onions, sesame seeds, and tofu. Serve each portion with a half of an avocado.

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

Memorial Day

On most Monday's you'll find a meatless Monday recipe here but not today. Enjoy your Memorial Day, may you find peace and happiness in the thoughts of whoever you remember.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Squaring Pots

One of the techniques that I played with while I was at Penland was to square and texture a pot. I started by making a pitcher with fairly straight sides.  Before taking it off the wheel head I squared the corners by running one finger from the bottom to the top on the inside while simultaneously running 2 fingers on the outside if the pot at the same corner. I then removed the pitcher from the wheel and let it dry to leather hard.

When the pitcher was dry enough to attach the handle I started flattening the sides with a rasp. This creates quite a nice pile of shavings and an interesting texture. I could have smoothed it out with a rib but I liked it and thought the glaze would play well on the surface. Once the rasping was complete I could attach my handle and do any trimming at the foot that I wanted.

Squared ceramic pitcher by Lori Buff
Square Pitcher

 The square pitcher is really nice for beverages that you want to serve cold because it sits very nicely in the refrigerator with all the square cartons.

Next I tried making lidded jars with this same technique. These were a lot of fun because I wanted to keep the feel of the thrown, round pot while having the square sides and texture. I tried a few styles of lids, these are my favorite.

Squared ceramic lidded jars by Future Relics Pottery
Square Lidded Jars
Finally I knew I had to make a squared teapot. I threw the base and squared it off then set it aside to dry while I worked on a few other things. While it was sitting on the shelf in front of the window the light hit it just right and another student remarked about how beautiful the shape looked. I was busy thinking about the next steps of the teapot and failed to notice that until it was brought to my attention.

Squared handmade teapot by Lori Buff
Squared Tea Pot

I really liked the look also so I didn’t texture it but just left the grooves from the squaring.  Once it was assembled and glazed I really like the way the light plays on it. At first I didn’t love the simple lid but it has grown on me. It seems right due to the simplicity of the pot. I’ll be refining this form in the future.

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quinoa Kale Pesto Bowl with Poached Eggs

Kale is one of those “star” ingredients, right now. And, with good reason, it’s super healthy, easy to grow and prepare and quite tasty. Plus, it’s easy to find year round, but especially now as we ease from Spring into Summer. Soon it will be too late, too hot for local kale and we’ll be moving on to other things like luscious tomatoes, summer squash, berries, etc.
This recipe takes advantage of hearty kale flavor paired with other strong, but not competing flavors of walnut and lemon. Blanching the garlic takes out most of the garlic sting you often get in pesto, so it’s just a supporting character here. Plus, the kale pesto recipe makes way more than you need for this so you can use a bunch of different ways. I spread some on a pizza and will be mixing it into a noodle bowl later this week.

                                                               

Ingredients
Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
½ cup kale pesto (see below for recipe)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
4 eggs
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
Kale pesto
1 bunch of kale (roughly ½ lb), de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
⅓ cup walnuts
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup cooking water, plus more if needed
Directions
Place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
Heat a splash of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
Add 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, lower to a simmer (turn heat down to the lowest setting), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. 
Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork (you should see tiny spirals separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.) 

While the quinoa is cooking, make the kale pesto:
Bring a heavily salted pot of water to a roiling boil. Add garlic and kale (making sure to submerge it in the water) and blanch for 3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon fish the kale and the garlic out of the water and transfer to a colander. Allow to cool slightly and using the back of a spoon squeeze out most of the water.
In a food processor add walnuts; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the blanched kale, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until the kale is broken up and nearly smooth. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides. Throw-in Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (if using). Pulse again and while the food processor is running slowly add the water until the pesto reaches a creamy consistency.
Transfer kale pesto to a bowl and using a spoon stir in the olive oil until it’s completely absorbed. 
If the kale pesto looks too thick, add more water (not oil), one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Combine cooked quinoa with kale pesto, and mix to coat the quinoa thoroughly. 
Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 
Divide quinoa among separate bowls.
Top off quinoa with lemon zest, parsley and red pepper flakes.
Make poached eggs and serve them over quinoa bowls. Salt eggs to taste and serve with a little extra pesto on the side!

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

Support Your Local Potter - Free

After eight intense weeks at Penland and then a few days of travel to Austin, TX (including driving back, more on that in future posts). My body decided I needed a rest and caught a cold. I agreed with it and tried to take it easy for a few days. Of course it’s hard for me to turn my creativity off so I played around with making a bumper sticker for my new/used art van (more on that in a future post also).


I was just about to order a couple of these bumper stickers when I thought that some of you might want one.  So if you do want one just let me know via comments or email (FutureRelicsGallery at gmail dot com). If you’re in the Atlanta area and can pick one up at my studio or a show that would be great, if you need one mailed to you I’d be happy to do that for free also but if you’d like to chip in a buck for postage that would be very cool also. I’ve included this handy button so you can do that and send me your address all in one click.



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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Minoan Cook Pots

Lots of people have asked me what we did in the eight week concentration at Penland School of Crafts. I was so busy I rarely had time to write anything. Thankfully someone else did. Here’s a link to the Penland Sketchbook if you want to see more:

http://penland.org/blog/2015/05/cooking-out-minoan-style/#sthash.Kz6oHWhT.dpbs

Cooking Out, Minoan Style

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at penland
Jerolyn Morrison

A few weeks ago, students in Penland’s spring session had a special meal that included lentils, chick peas, and other dishes cooked using methods reconstructed through artifacts from the late Minoan civilization of 1200 – 1500 B.C.E. The dishes were cooked over glowing coals in earthenware pots made by students in Cynthia Bringle’s spring workshop. The project was led by Jerolyn Morrison, who was a guest teacher for two weeks.
Jerolyn’s history with Penland goes back to 1996, when she came as a student just after finishing her B.A. in ceramics at Baylor University. She spent most of the next four years at the school, serving variously as studio assistant, coffee house manager, breakfast cook, and volunteer coordinator for the auction. During this time, she says, she became interested in the “life of the object.” This interest led her to a Masters in anthropology, a Fulbright for study in Greece, and, most recently, a Ph.D in archeology from the University of Leicester in England.

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at Penland
Taste testing

The teaching and cooking she did this spring at Penland were based on her Ph.D. project, which involved reproducing both Minoan cookpots and cooking. Drawing on 100 years of archeology, she began reproducing the cookpots using the local clay in Crete. Then, working from studies of charred food remains, burnt seeds, and residue extracted from 3,000-year-old pots, she assembled what she refers to as the Minoan grocery list. “The clay, the pots, the wood that was burned, the food that was being cooked: once you have this,” she said, “then it’s interpretive.” Which is to say, there’s no way to know exactly how Minoan food tasted. She also had to learn, through experimentation, how to cook in the three-legged earthenware pots. Present day residents of Crete, she explained, still cook on open fires, but they have forgotten how to cook in ceramic pots.
Having completed her Ph.D., Jerolyn continues to live part of the year in Crete where she runs a business called Minoan Tastes that caters special events using the pots, techniques, and recipes she developed through this work. A cookbook is in process. “It mixes anthropology and archeology in a way that’s informative rather than academic,” she said.

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at Penland
Flatbread over the coals

Her recent stint at Penland was literally a dream come true. “I had this dream, an actual dream,” she said, “ that I was doing this at Penland. So I called Cynthia Bringle to ask her if there was any way I could make this happen. She was, at that moment, planning her spring workshop and invited me to join her for a few weeks.”
“It was great,” she said. “We got to talk about archeology and pottery as we were working. The rest of the workshop was throwing and these pots are all made with handbuilding techniques, so it expanded the scope of the class that way.”

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at penland
There were benefits for Jerolyn as well. She appreciated that her Penland students did not stick to reproducing traditional Minoan cookware. “They decorated the pots, which the Minoans didn’t do,” she explained. “And they had no cultural constraints about what the pots should be. It was freeing, and I’d like to work a little more like that. This was a gift they gave back to me.”

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at penland
And there was consensus that the dinner was delicious.
-Robin Dreyer

jerolyn morrison minoan dinner at penland
Cynthia Bringle, Jerolyn, and the whole class.

- See more at: http://penland.org/blog/2015/05/cooking-out-minoan-style/#sthash.Q44RtBHE.dpuf

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

Monday, May 11, 2015

Veggie Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup is something that can be enjoyed almost all year long. It’s so light and flavorful it reminds me of spring even on cold days but it’s also fresh tasting which is just what I look for in a spring meal.

Veggie Wonton Soup
Ingredients:

For the Wontons:
1 pack wonton wrappers
4 - 6 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 Cup baby spinach leafs, washed
1 piece (1 inch) ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha or other chili sauce

For the Soup:
2 cups vegetable broth
1 large piece ginger, peeled and julienned
3-5 dried shiitake
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 bok choi
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 (asian) spring onions, finely sliced

Directions:

For the dumplings, defrost the wonton wrappers if they are frozen.

For the filling prepare the spinach first. wash the leaves and put them in a bowl. Pour over boiling water and let wilt for 1-2 minutes. drain, squeeze out to remove any excess water and pat dry. Chop them very finely and put in a bowl. Add the finely chopped shiitake, garlic, ginger and spring onions. Season with soy sauce and Sriracha. The filling shouldn’t be too moist.

For the wontons, keep the skins covered with a moist kitchen towel while working with them, so they don’t dry out. Take one skin at a time and place a teaspoon full of the shiitake filling in the middle. Brush the rim of the skin with a wet finger, then fold the dumpling to a half moon shape, removing any excess air from the inside out as you go. take the dumpling in your hands and fold in little “pleats” now.

Spread the finished dumplings on a clean kitchen towel and refrigerate until used - or freeze, for later usage.

For the broth firstly start by julienning the ginger, add it to a large pot together with the vegetable broth and the dried shiitake. Bring to a boil.

Keep the bok choi, julienned carrots and sliced spring onions at the ready as soup additions.

To finish the soup, quickly blanch (in simmering - not boiling water) the wontons in batches They’re ready when they float on the top, which takes about 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove them with a sieve and divide between the bowls. Just before serving add the bok choi and carrots to the broth and heat for a few seconds. ladle the broth into the bowls and sprinkle with spring onions.

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

Friday, May 8, 2015

Barefoot in the Park This Weekend

After 2 months at Penland School of Crafts I’m home and ready to start selling some newer, even better pots. Here’s some info on the show this weekend:

Shoes might be optional, but fun is guaranteed at the 11th Annual Barefoot in the Park.  This celebratory first spring event occurs May 9 – 10 on the beautiful and spacious Duluth Town Green.  Offering an eclectic mix of artistry, food, music, hands-on learning, performances by talented locals, Barefoot in the Park has become a memorable Mother’s Day Weekend tradition for many families, adults, or anyone else enjoying the much anticipated arrival of spring.  After a long melancholy winter of hibernation, Barefoot in the Park offers the perfect venue for escaping outdoors!
Barefoot in the Park
An expected 60 exhibits by acclaimed artists will welcome first-day visitors May 9th. Friendly leashed canines can tour the booths with their owners, starting at 10:00a.m., to enjoy the festive atmosphere.   Rain or shine, this event is one of the best and was granted the “Community Impact Award for A Visual Arts Organization” in 2014 by Artworks Gwinnett.  Parking is abundant and admission is free, so no more excuses!  Come enjoy the festivities with friends, neighbors or new acquaintances in scenic Downtown Duluth.
Participatory artists expected at 2015 Barefoot in the Park, include those talented in acrylics, folk artistry, glassblowing, jewelry, photography, and pottery, both metal and wood sculpting, watercolor, and woodworking.   The Student Art Exhibit area will spotlight Duluth youth, and a Silent Auction will offer adults the opportunity to bid on a gamut of unique items.
After viewing and potentially purchasing some of the Barefoot in the Park art, how about creating your own?  The Jay Shapiro Adult Learning Village is a hands-on artistic experience for interested students of all ages.  Kudos to Binders Art Supply and Frames, one of our 2015 sponsors, for a busy two-day schedule of lecturers who will share their talents with aspiring amateurs.  Attendees can enjoy learning techniques specific to acrylics and oils, calligraphy, pastels, pottery, converting recycled objects into art, stained glass, and watercolors.  View the list of lecturing artists.
Delectable gourmet food is another reason why many visitors frequent Barefoot in the Park, and this year is no exception!  Proof of the Pudding will offer their catering talents with an assortment of delicious items for all discerning palates.  Beverages to accompany the chef-inspired cuisine include “adult” options from the Beer Garden, with both wine and beer available.  All drinks and food items can be consumed while visiting the booths or other performance areas.
Along with the artistry, hands-on learning, and the gourmet cuisine, included in this two-day celebration is also a montage of beautiful music, and a multitude of spirited dance performances.  Featured first on the Main Stage, Saturday at 11:00 a.m., the Gwinnett Community Band is a talented group of area citizens, and always a crowd pleaser with their diverse repertoire of patriotic and fan favorites.  The early afternoon performers include the Atlanta Harmony Celebration at 12:20 p.m., Compa Flamenco at 1:05 p.m., and the Lawrenceville Community Orchestra, scheduled for 1:50 p.m.
The Second Stage venue doubles the entertainment options for this year’s Barefoot in the Park guests.  The Mexican Ballet Azteca opens the Saturday line-up with a 12:30 p.m. performance. The Green Flag Band is scheduled at 1:00 p.m., with an encore by Compa Flamenco occurring at 2:15 p.m.  View the complete listing of scheduled Saturday and Sunday stage events.
Come join the fun this year and enjoy one or both Barefoot in the Park days with your mother, another special someone, or just solo.  An estimated crowd of 12,000 visited our successful 2014 event.  If you missed us last year, it is time to experience one of the best artist forums in the Southeast, while also finding a unique gift for a memorable Mother’s Day.
Our thanks to the sponsors who help make Barefoot in the Park possible.  Including Binders, we appreciate the generosity and support of Costco, the Duluth Fine Arts LeagueForrestall CPAs, the Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf, Graphic Communications, Gwinnett Medical CenterGwinnett MagazineJacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the ArtsThe McGarity GroupMobile Communications, Primerica, and our advertising partner, Rock, Paper, Scissors.
We hope to see you Mother’s Day Weekend and “Come Capture the Spirit of Good Living” with a future visit to Duluth for Barefoot in the Park or one of our many upcoming scheduled summer activities!

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