Thursday, December 23, 2010

Halfu Hapa Kuri Winter

Chestnuts are normally an late autumn treat in Japan.  Kurigohan is a simple dish made with boiled chestnuts and rice.  To celebrate the end of Autumn and the beginnings of Winter, in my half/half way, I wanted to have something traditional, but with a twist.  So instead I made Roasted Chestnut Wild Rice.  There are many recipes for kurigohan.  Make wild rice substituting some of the water with 3 T. of mirin or sake or add apple cider.  It must be sweet.  Remember this is a comfort treat!  Add roasted chestnuts after rice is cooked.  Remember to serve it in the best handmade ceramic bowl you own or cherish. It will taste even sweeter.......

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Rains

Winter storm coming over the Mendocino Headlands.  No one walking on any of the paths.  No one breathing in this briny air.  No wind.  Just the rumble of the ocean, just the cries of gulls.  Simple as that.  I take this photo and a few more. A mix of fog and clouds.  Soft rains turn to big, splashy drops. Soon. I can feel it.  Soon. I put my camera into my pocket and walk slowly back to the car. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Away from clay for a day


Herr Reinhart and I decided it was time to visit Ft. Ross again.  It was a typical November day on the Pacific Coast.  Hint of rain, definitely misty and the ocean roaring its beauty at times with sound and fury.  We were celebrating our anniversary. We ate steamed mussels and slurped oysters at Tomales Bay.  Simple and wonderful.  A day away from clay.

Friday, December 3, 2010

wedging dough and kneading clay

Thoughts on making this portrait.......

happy winter


It may seem like I have hit a clay wall.  Maybe I have made one.  I did make some birds yesterday.  I also threw some cereal bowls, plates and mugs.  They are all trimmed and slowly drying for their bisque fire next week.  It is very meditative to throw simple bowls.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ta Dah! It's Magic!

Once again we gathered around the old little kiln.  Tired and spent, it offered its best and its worst.  A quick crossing of the fingers, anticipation rising, UP went the kiln lid.  Some would say it's magical, others might say it's electrical. I say it simply.

out loud:                  in my head:

ooooOoooooh          YES! Love it

oh????????                   not what I envisioned

OH!                           runny glaze---jar stuck to shelf

oh, oh, oh!                 that's a keeper

oh.......x#!*               lid stuck to jar--doorstop

oh? oh.                       maybe I will look at it later

oh? oh...oh!               stuck lid came off jar after it tapped against a stick wielding potter

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh        coffee break!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

They clean up real nice

This is like deja vu all over again-
                                   Yoga Berra

Finally I got some photos of the show.  Please excuse the brightness of some.  It was a beautiful day with sunlight streaming in-lighting up all the frosty glass and pale ceramic faces. I was in good company, my daughter-in-law, an artist herself, came along to see the exhibit.

Everything looks different in the light of gallery day.  The gallery is like a tuxedo and a fresh haircut for art that was living in a working studio.  It takes on an entirely different persona.

All glasswork and quilt are works by Cassandra Straubing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starry eyed, glazed eyed and maybe wabi sabi

Jupiter shining
So brightly in the night sky circles

Cloudless nights in the Bay Area are few and far between.  Light pollution makes for another layer of film over the night sky.  So imagine my surprise to look up at the celestial heavens two evenings ago to see a very large bright dot.  Not only that--another smaller bright hole close by.  What?  Can I see Jupiter with one of its moons?  I got the binoculars and yes! Jupiter rising!  Moon circling, attentive as a sentinel. So out came Herr Reinhart's boyhood telescope.  How fun is that?  We are not sure which moon we saw, but I like to think it was Io.

Now I am starry eyed and glazed eyed all at once...I have spent two days glazing.  What a messy thing to do.  It has no glory.  It has no shame.  Just moans and groans.  All the glazes look either pasty green, puke pink or bland tan.  So there isn't much thrill in looking at freshly dipped pots.  Wax here, wax there.  Pour in, Pour out.  Wipe on, Wipe off.  Mop everywhere.  What a mess!  Wabi-sabi it's not.

Friday, November 12, 2010

forgotten imperfections and pumpkins

last month's old pumpkins
still sit on the patio
faceless, forgotten 


Never got around to carving any pumpkins.  I love going to get pumpkins and tend to collect them. Some of them will live out their squashy lives until they get tossed into the compost.  The best of them will get turned into bread, pies and muffins.

In the spring I madeup a collection of face cups for an invitational mug/cup exhibit.  Collectors purchased all.  Three didn't make it to the show.  Just sat on the studio shelf. Forgotten, faceless, bisqued and imperfectly forlorn. I didn't have time to finish them in time for the exhibit. One had a glaze imperfection that may have healed if I re-fired it.  I just moved on.  Every once in a while I will pick up this pink-eared sweetness and check on the flaw inside.  What I think is: It's still to fix it...hmm...could belongs my studio...symbol of what's forgotten, flawed but resonantly perfect.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

scratch graphics turning into sgraffito

5 layers of black slip let dry each layer

getting ready to add slip to bottom--note using a sponge brush

sgraffito is very messy--I use a box to catch most of it

scratch tools--tapestry needle, sgraffito tool, clean dry brush

Use brush to brush away debris

the beginning--most detail done right to left to keep from smudging

note debris on the right---keep it brushed into corner of box

last section

the debris looks like sand

thinking about last section

one last look for now---after this I will do the lid

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