ClaySpace sponsored a 3-piece place setting contest for its members and students last week and I was thrilled to win First Place! The design challenge is adapting a theme to 3 completely different forms. I bumped out the plate rim to accommodate the elephant motif rather than make a row of little elephants…elephants aren’t little animals and I thought it would look silly! Since the elephant areas are not glazed, only finished with red iron oxide, I didn’t want to put elephants in the center of the plate. Surprisingly, food looks wonderful on black…it makes the colors of the food pop!
Here is the recipe for a family favorite that goes perfectly in one of my 2 quart bakers. It’s easy to make ahead and then pop in the oven while you are making gravy and carving the turkey.
2 16 oz. bags frozen broccoli
1/2 c. butter
4 T. flour
1 1/2 T. powdered chicken stock base
2 c. milk
2/3 c. water
6 T. butter
about 2 cups seasoned croutons
2/3 c. chopped walnuts
Cook broccoli until barely tender. Drain. Place in casserole. Melt butter (can use same pan), add flour and chicken stock base. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, to make a smooth sauce. Cook until it just starts to boil. Pour over broccoli. Heat water in same pan, add the second butter. When melted, turn off heat and add croutons and walnuts. Top the broccoli with this mix. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or for 30 minutes if oven is at 350. This serves 10 to 12.
I’m taking a class with Mary Kay Botkins on soft folded slab work and loving it! While I’ve done some things before..like my “bathtub” pots..I’m learning lots of new stuff. Here are some pictures of works in progress. I especially like the basket with the soft folded handle. I can picture a row of little cacti planted in the long oval one. I call the one with the handles sticking up my Dilbert pot because it reminds me of the pointy haired boss! Now to figure out good glazes…
Someone called me yesterday about ordering a mug to replace the one her husband dropped and broke, but somehow (husband?) the message was erased from my answering machine. I’m hoping the person who called checks my website and calls back because I am currently well stocked with mugs but after the Grove sale in 2 weeks I may run low!
Just delivered 1000 pounds of stoneware clay to my basement. Now I’m ready for 2015 to start. I’ve used over 1000 pounds of brown so far this year and 200 of Bmix (white). No wonder my back hurts! I felt sorry for the delivery guy hauling it all down the stairs, but I’m no longer able to carry those 50 pound boxes. But one of the best things about being an artist is that you never have to retire until you want to…..and who would ever want to?!
I spent 2 days cleaning up the basement…the pots were absolutely everywhere! I thought I had it all back under control when yesterday I realized I only have 2 bags of clay left. Now I need to make room for 1000 lbs. of clay! However, this time I am going to break down and pay to have it delivered instead of schlepping (sp.?) it all myself. I need to save the back for making stuff!
I didn’t make any pots this past week because by dear grandson was visiting. He is 5 1/2 years old today and goes to a Canadian school in Brazil so he loves finding maple leaves. We picked 2 especially nice ones that he rolled into the clay and carefully cut around. (Grandma was proud) Then we carefully laid them each in a cereal bowl to dry. He did a wonderful job glazing them but Grandma forgot to take a picture and now he has gone back home to Brazil! He also made a little sculpture of his dad’s head, complete with an arm and finger picking his nose! That was REALLY something to see!
Yipee! I won a ribbon at the David Adler Festival of the Arts in Libertyville last weekend. Sales were great as well, so thank you to all who made positive comments and who helped me earn enough to buy lots more clay! And special thanks to my son-in-law Tom Prince for helping me load and unload my many bins. That show off can carry 2 bins at once! Ahhh, to be young again….