Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another Teabowl, Mug & old Barney Bed

 Here's a stacked teabowl I made yesterday.

I let the stylized trees creep over the rim of the bowl.

Then I made another one of these stacked mugs this time using blue underglaze stripes.

I added a little curly cue to the inside bottom of the mug.

The blue mug is wider and shorter than the other stacked mug I made. We'll see which is more comfortable to drink from.

I gave Barney his old bed back because I didn't want him sleeping under the deck in the dirt. He still isn't using the styrofoam bed (see previous post). This bed has a thick rubber tray (purchased at a feed store), a pillow and then the crocheted afgan. I took the photo through the window so there's a window reflection. The temperature is warming up during the day so he's pretty comfortable. We shall see if he ever goes into his other bed. Well I'm off to the farmer's market to see what I can find. I think this may be the last farmer's market of the season. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea Bowls, Mugs, & a Cat House

The other day I was reading Lori Buff's blog, Future Relics, where she said you've got to make mugs. I haven't made any mugs in eons so I decided to make a few. Yesterday I made a couple of slap built tea bowls. Would you believe I cut out the pieces for both the same size. One of them is taller than the other. Oh well. I can't take credit for this tea bowl design, I found the pattern on a clay teaching site years ago.

I can take credit for the design of this mug made with stacked strips of clay. The handle is made with the same method. After making the piece I brushed stripes of terra cotta colored slip between the seams. Not sure how comfortable the handle will be; this will be a slow drinking mug.

Which reminds me, in Tony Clennell;s book, Stuck in the Mud, he writes about a mug sent to him by Linda Christianson who picked it out for him from a Mark Pharis firing. When he got the mug he couldn't believe she picked that particular mug out for him. But he trusted Linda's opinion so he started using the mug. Long story short over the years Tony said he has come to appreciate the mug.

Tony learned to hold the mug in a particular way because the handle is too small to get  his hand through, the bottom is rough and so on. Tony said he has to look at the mug to pick it up. The mug was not a mug he could use without thinking about it. So using this mug over the years Tony has grown to appreciate the maker's idea surrounding the design.

Here's the interior of my stacked mug so you can see the seams. Maybe some day someone will recognize this mug as one of mine without looking at the signature.

Barney and Butter don't get along (Barney wants to mark his territory inside) so Barney has to stay outside from now on. Yesterday afternoon we made a cat house of thick styrofoam (insulation) sheets. Now I can't get Barney to go inside. I put some scrumptious cat food in the back to coax him in. He stretched in as far as he could and took a bite of food and brought it out to eat. He kept his back feet out for a quick escape. I think he's afraid to get trapped inside since it's all enclosed. Maybe he'll get used to it slowly if I keep putting the special food inside. I'll be working at the ArtWorks Artisan Center today so I'll catch you later. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wild Turkey Platter

I was driving over the hill the other day and saw seven wild turkey so I came home and made a wild turkey platter. Over the years I've seen a lot of wild turkey but I've never seen one with it's tail feathers on display. Perhaps I need to see them during the mating season.

The other day we got our propane delivery and just in time. A few days later it got down to 38 F. It's gone back up in temperatures again but we're ready if any more cold snaps happen. The fireplace has a thermostat so it goes on and off automatically. For many years we heated with fire wood; it's nice not to have to carry in wood not to mention all the chopping and splitting. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spiced Candy Roaster

Remember the North Georgia Candy Roaster winter squash I purchased several weeks ago? I finally got around to cutting it up and cooking it.

I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, honey, brown sugar, and a drizzle of olive oil. I baked it at 400 F for about half an hour or until a fork could be easily inserted. It was delicious. I see why folks use this squash instead of pumpkin for making pies.

First I peeled the squash, all two and a half feet of it. Then I sliced it in one inch slices and cut those in half. I removed the seeds and pith and saved the seeds. I chopped the slices of squash in bite sized pieces. This squash is easier to clean than a pumpkin since the pith isn't as stringy and the seeds easily separate from the pith. I'm drying the seeds and saving them to plant next summer. But wait a minute I might have to eat a few of the, read on.

I'm assuming the health benefits of candy roaster squash are similar to eating pumpkin. Check out this article in the Huffington Post about health benefits of eating the squash and seeds. It boosts your immune system, has more potassium than a banana, the seeds are good for the heart because they lower bad cholesterol, it helps you loose weight, has mega amounts of vitamin A good for eyesight, reduces cancer risk, protects your skin from wrinkles, eating the seeds boosts production of seratonin which helps your mood. With all those benefits I should eat it every day.

After cooking a large baking dish full of squash I still have a huge bowl of cut up squash. I plan to parboil the remaining squash. Then I'll freeze some and make a soup with some of the squash. I highly recommend growing and eating this squash. It stores well. I wish I had bought more of these North Georgia Candy Roasters. I could be eating fresh squash all winter long. Now I know how valuable a root cellar was to folks before refrigeration. Thanks for reading and for all  your comments.