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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Strutting in The Rain in East Atlanta

When it rains during an art festival it usually means your day is going to stink. The festivals I’ve done on rainy days usually means either nobody comes to the show or the few people that do are looking for a great bargain. I guess they figure that the artist just wants to sell all their work and go home. Of course my pots are water tight and so is my tent so I’m just sitting in my tent chilling. At the East Atlanta Strut the crowd was pretty good for a rainy day. The people that came into my booth were wonderful. They chatted, bought pots, placed orders, and generally made it a great day.

Lori Buff’s Ceramics at the East Atlanta Strut
At the East Atlanta Strut

My Ez-up tent handled the weather pretty well.  I had given it a light coat of Scotchgard to protect it from the rain just a couple of weeks ago and I was glad I did so. It kept me dry. I felt bad for all the volunteers that were walking around in the rain but they were troopers and did a fantastic job of getting everyone into the show and set up. They are a fantastic group and I’m so glad we have people like them in my neighborhood. Besides organizing and promoting the festival they also clean any trash from the streets before and after the festival. That’s not an easy task but it makes it a nicer event for everyone.

Although sales were okay they were down from last year so I’m still looking for some more funding from you all with the promise of a nice pot as your gift. Since today is my birthday let’s give each other a gift. For more about the why’s and what’s of the funding please see this blog post:  http://futurerelicsstudio.blogspot.com/2015/09/funding-fun.html

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Meatless Monday - Roasted Pepper Salad with Capers and Avocado

Don’t you just love roasted vegetables? Something about roasting them really brings out the best flavors. Now that summer is fading it’s cool enough for me to want to have the oven on to roast the veggies but it’s still summer enough to enjoy a good salad. Of course a salad like this would be good in the depths of winter or the hight of summer because it’s so incredibly delicious.

Seriously, you owe it to yourself to try this salad. It’s got a bit of spice but not enough to hurt you if you’re sensitive. Of course you could always try even milder peppers if you’re super sensitive to spicy foods.


Roasted Pepper Salad

Roasted Pepper Salad with Capers


Ingredients:

2 lbs bell peppers (or other)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 cup (or more) halved cherry tomatoes
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced to yield about 1 cup
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute with almonds)
roughly chopped basil or cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 avocado

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Cut each pepper in half through the core. Remove seeds and stem. Cut each half into three or four strips. Place strips in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.

2. Arrange peppers slices, cut-side up, on a large baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender and slightly browned on the edges — thinner peppers will cook more quickly, so start checking at 20 minutes if thin.

3. Serve warm or at room temperature or continue on and make the salad.

4. Toss together the diced peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, capers, toasted pine nuts, herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and avocado to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Enjoy.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hand Built Pottery Cups

Even though my pots tend to be wheel thrown I do know how to handbills and that is what I’m teaching my students. Several people in the class are fairly new to clay and the others are interested in learning more techniques in hand building so that’s what I’m teaching. It’s really fun also because I’m getting to do something different. Of course I’m having so much fun I’m tempted to add a line of handbuilt pots to my repertoire.

The project for this week was to make cups. I showed the students how to use a template to mark the slab. They then cut out the form, cut beveled edges and joined the piece together. We had a nice discussion about the seam that was created at this join. About half the class does not like the seam, the other half like it and wanted to keep and embellish it.  Personally, I like the seam.  I really want my hand crafted pottery to look hand crafted; that’s the beauty of it in my mind.  I feel this beauty can be created with a nice finish, it doesn’t have to be sloppy, it just has to speak of the maker.

Handbuilt Ceramic Cups by Future Relics Gallery
Hand Built Laced Mugs

I added a few coils which made it look like the cup was laced up. I’m going to leave these two without handles and I’m going to make a couple with handles. Next week’s lesson will be on handles.

I also wanted to keep the join on the bottom very visible. Not only does it add interest to the piece but it creates an obvious place to stop glazing but the lip is a place that can catch a bit of runny glaze that might otherwise cause the pot to stick to the kiln shelf. I love it when the practical meets the beautiful. I guess that’s another reason why I make mostly functional pottery.

Anyway, I think they are really cute and intend to make more. I hope other folks like them as much as my students and I do.

In the meantime I’m still looking for a good pottery wheel for my studio space at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. If you’d like to help with the funding and receive a nice gift please click here: http://futurerelicsstudio.blogspot.com/2015/09/funding-fun.html

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Who Cooks For You?

“Who cooks for you?” He asks again and again. Somewhere off in the distance we hear an answer is heard then the call again. The next time we hear the answer it is closer. This continues until the pair is together in the large oak tree above my studio.

I love sleeping with the windows open in the cooler weather so I can listen for them. Their is something soothing in their calls. Many a night I’ve watched for them but have rarely seen them. They make no sound while in flight, you have to be searching the night sky in just the right place.

We have Red Shouldered Hawks living nearby also. The Barred Owls and hawks will often use the same nest in alternating years. I like that ease of harmony and community.

Plus owls can be incredibly cute. What could be better?

Cute pottery owl soap or sponge holder by Lori Buff
Owl Soap/Sponge Holders

These owls are quiet but they are very useful, they will hold your soap, sponge, napkin, divide cup, and probably a bunch of things I haven’t even considered yet. What would you put in one? Who cooks for you?

Other Stuff:

Bard Owls

Red Shouldered Hawks

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

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meatless Monday - Quick Vegetarian Phô

Phô is a delicious Vietnamese soup that is normally made with a very rich tasting broth and very fresh herbs and sprouts.  It’s one of those dishes that I never knew about until recently. Now I love it but the Vietnamese restaurant near me only makes it with beef broth. Oh, well, I’ll just make some at home. Besides, I have plenty of these ingredients growing in my garden so I know they’ll be as fresh as possible.

Many homemade soups take a long time to cook but this one only takes about a half an hour so it’s really convenient for a weeknight. I’ll warn you about how spicy this can get so if you don’t like hot foods make sure to remove all the seeds from the peppers.

Traditional Phô is served with bean sprouts but I accidentally picked up alfalfa sprouts at the farmer’s market. It tasted fine but the picture may look weird to you if you are very familiar with Phô.

Vegetarian Phô by Lori Buff
Vegetarian Phô


Ingredients:

64 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
8 ounces bean sprouts
2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
2 or 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Fresh cilantro, basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha for serving

Instructions:

In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onions, and grated ginger. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Serve the egg slices, bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro on the side so each person can add the amount they want while they are eating the soup. The veggies stay fresher tasting this way. Also serve with lime wedges, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce.

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Art Festival Done Right

As you may remember, this past weekend was Art in the Park in Marrietta, GA. I slid in at the last minute on the wait list and I’m really glad I did.  The show was terrific, even the rain didn’t bother me.

The festival is set up in and around Glover Square Park which is Marrietta’s town square.  The four streets surrounding the park were closed off so the artists could set up rows of tents on the street.  This meant lots of booths but a small footprint which made it easy for the patrons to get around, see all the art and even return to the ones they like. A few festivals I do have a similar set up and it really seems to make it nice for people.

The weather was beautiful albiet a little warm but a nice breeze and some ice water kept us cool. Between the trees and the tents it was easy to find some shade. Nobody complained that it was too hot to shop and many people were there to shop. I sold lots of pots and all the artists I talked to said they had a great weekend also. That was terrific, and not something you often hear at a show these days. I think it’s a sign that the economy has improved and people are feeling more confident.
Pottery Booth for Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff
Pottery Booth

The Marrietta square is home to several locally owned restaurants that are all very good. They are also very smart as they sent menus to all of the artists and offered free food delivery to our booths. A couple of them even sent someone around to take our orders but they all offered the option for us to phone an order in. I thought this was brilliant.

Another nice touch was from the group that promoted the show. Every afternoon they came around with a light, healthy snack for the artists. I thought that was very considerate and I really appreciated it. I hope to do this show again next year.

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Meatless Monday - Falafel with Guacamole Spread

Once when we were out and about we came upon a rescue organization that had several dogs available for adoption. Naturally we stopped to pet the pups because I just can’t resist a dog. They had a really cute dog there who was named Falafel. Isn’t that a great name for a dog? I think of him whenever I think about the food falafel and hope he got a great home. The food falafel is normally made with chick peas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans and are quite vegetarian as well as quite delicious.

This is a great Monday dinner because it’s pretty quick and easy to prepare. You can serve it in pita bread or wrap the mini falafel in lettuce or cabbage leaves and avoid the gluten.

Falafel with Guacamole Spread by Future Relics Pottery
Falafel with Guacamole Spread


Ingredients

Patties:
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack (or similar) cheese plus extra for topping
4-6 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

Spread:
1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Preparation

To prepare patties, place chick peas in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 4 ingredients; stir until well combined. Shape bean mixture into round patties, make them small if you are making them as finger food.

Heat a large frying pan then add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.

To prepare the guacamole spread, combine avocado and next 4 ingredients stirring well. Serve patties with the spread on the side so you can add as much or little as you want.

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

Friday, September 4, 2015

Art in The Park Marietta This Weekend

Art in the Park has been a part of the Marietta Square’s history since 1986 and takes place in and around the Historic Marietta Square and Glover Park on Labor Day weekend. It is a Marietta signature event and tradition that celebrates the arts featuring local and national artists from around the country.
This fine art extravaganza features an artist market, children’s art alley, and the famous Painted Pots. Art displayed will include paintings, photography, pottery, graphic arts, sculptures, jewelry, and woodworking from 175 of the country’s finest artists. Festival guests will also have the opportunity to visit the unique shops and boutiques; restaurants, museums and galleries, take in a historic walking tour plus much more, all within walking distance of the festival.

It is an Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event since 2007, ranked in the Top 100 Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine, is a Kaleidoscope Award winner from the Southeast Festivals and Events Association and a Pinnacle Award winner from the International Festivals and Events Association.
The festival is free with plenty of free parking on the street and in the Cobb County Park Decks located on Waddell St. at Lawrence St.
I’ve been told that on Saturday a farmer’s market is held right across the street from the festival. It seems like that would be a great time to get some fresh, local produce and fresh, local art.

I am fortunate enough to be included in this show. I was put on the wait list and stayed there for a long time because nobody was backing out of the show but just this week I was told that they had an opening for me. Yay! This is why I try to make sure I always have enough pots to do a good show. That’s a little tip I was told by Martha Grover and it’s a good one.

If you’re in the area of Marietta, Georgia this weekend please stop by and visit. I’d love to see you.

The show runs from 10am - 5pm Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.


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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Funding Fun

I've been given the honor of a two year residency at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, GA. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to increase my knowledge of working with clay, glaze chemistry, and firing various kilns. It will also give me time and space to work on special projects and experiment with new forming and decorating techniques.

I'm really excited to get started on these projects. Callanwolde has been very generous in giving me a work space with lots of shelves and a nice big table to work on but I need to supply my own pottery wheel and tools. I have no problem carrying tools back and forth from my current studio to Callanwolde but the potter's wheel is another story. It's heavy and hard to move! For practical reason I need to have a second wheel in my space there. Potter's wheels, even used ones are really expensive so I thought I would offer you all an opportunity to help support this potter while getting a nice thank you gift for yourself.

Covered Casserole

I'm offering various levels of gratitude as follows:


  • Pledge $1 or more and receive my eternal gratitude, every little bit helps.

  • Pledge $5 or more and receive a “Support Your Local Potter” bumper sticker (quantities limited)

  • Pledge $25 or more and receive a beautiful hand crafted mug, tea bowl or ice cream bowl (your choice).

  • Pledge $60 or more and receive a beautiful hand crafted pitcher or oval casserole (your choice).

  • Pledge $80 or more and receive a beautiful covered casserole or teapot (your choice).

The campaign will run until the end of September or when I have enough capitol to get a new/used wheel so if you see something you want for yourself or as a gift for someone else please don’t hesitate.

Donations Only

Bumper Sticker Only
Gifts

All donations are through Paypal for ease of use and security. You do NOT need a Paypal account, you can use any major credit card or debit card. For local pickup and delivery I will gladly accept cash and their will be no need for shipping charges.

The casserole shown above is for example purposes only, your piece will be handcrafted and unique and it will look different than the one pictured here.

Thank you all for your support.

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