Thursday, April 09, 2009

Michael Rutkowski plate

Here's a lovely plate from Michael Rutkowski, one of our local potters. This isn't the best picture since I didn't shoot it in the ezcube; but hopefully you can get a good idea of the lovely depth of color in this piece.

Looks like spring weather is back. It's going to be in the high 60's this afternoon. If I get back from Easter food shopping early enough I might even be able to get some things planted. Our Easter breakfast is a traditional Polish breakfast - ham, kielbasa, hard boiled eggs with horse radish and babka, which is a sweet bread. If I can find a panetone or other sweet bread today, I won't bother making my home made babka. Easter dinner will be a small leg of lamb. Lamb isn't one of Jim's favorites but I reminded him that I usually cook things he likes and once in a great while he has to indulge one of my favorites. I told him he'd better not complain too much or I'll go back to being a vegetarian! LOL

Between stops at Walmart and Ingles and lunch at the golf course, and other afternoon chores, I don't think there's going to be studio time today.

Jim picked up our dog Shanti's ashes yesterday, so we're going to spread them around his favorite garden spots later. We really miss the little guy.

Yesterday's studio time was spent slicing and dipping a few bags of hard clay. I'm dealing right now with reclaim that is way too soft and old, hard as a rock clay; but I'm determined to use up this old clay before I buy new clay. I got a few things trimmed, threw a couple of lids and waxed a few pots. The work is going slowly because of the clay struggle and other things digging into studio time.

By the time I finished cooking our lamb chop dinner, I didn't have much energy left for the studio but I had to get in there to cover some pots and throw one lid and then I called it a day, did some email, meditated and went to bed. Clay Club had a pizza cook off and I was way too tired to party. Hopefully I can make the next one.

The pizza cook off got me to do some research, since I've been planning on making my own pizzas. So I ordered a pizza cook book from Amazon yesterday. Down the line I want to get a wood burning bread/pizza oven and I'm hoping that book will have a plan I can use. I also ordered two different sourdough starters yesterday, since I killed my last starter by not feeding it. My pizza research seems to indicate the best pizza dough is made with a sour dough starter, made into a sponge, with very exacting instructions. I'm eager to try this. I can't cook it in my gas oven to the 800F temperature that is recommened, but at 500F my ovens top temperature, I should get an indication of how the crust recipes works. The fellow who recommended the 800F actually cooked his in his self cleaning oven. His first attempt cracked the oven glass because of the pizza sauce splattering on the glass door. Then he covered the new glass and it seemed to work. I think he now has an outdoor oven!

The rock crew was a no show yesterday which didn't make me happy. They have to get those terrace walls finished and put the top soil in so I can plant all these veggie starters that are getting pot bound. I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy all new ones by the time they get this work finished.

Till later,


  1. I love Michael's work. I met him several years ago at the Sanford Pottery Festival and have a few of his pieces. His glazes are brilliant. He's just such a quiet guy.

  2. If you scroll to the end of my blog and then hit the older posts link and scroll down enough, I have a photo of one of Michaels coffee pots. And you're right about his being so quiet. I think he's a bit shy. :-)

  3. hat is a lovely plate and Hang in there you'll make great pizza. Try till it becomes easy for you. I'm trying to become a culinary artist,learning to cook is kind of fun and hard at times. But i like to cook.

  4. I saw the coffee pot, I have a mug that matches it. I love that rusty red glaze. My mug has a cobalt blue liner, very nice combo. I enjoy your blog by the way, even though I don't always have time to comment.

  5. UH oh LOL i'm gonna have to teach Jim how to cook and give you a break LOL. Hey if you make your first frozen pizza send some over. Make mine pepperoni LOL

  6. We sometimes cook frozen pizza; but I doctor it up. I sprinkles some basil and oregano on it, pour a little oil oil over, add some red pepper flakes and top with some extra, grated, parmesan cheese.
    I'm not a pepperoni fan, but Jim is, so when I get around to making home made pizza, I'll put some on his half. :-)

  7. Glad you enjoy the blog. It's been fun doing it.