Friday, August 21, 2009

Sandi Pierantozzi butter dish

Here's a beautiful butter dish that Sandi Pierantozzi donated for the Penland benefit auction for Liz Zlot Summerfield.

Yesterday was one of those change your mind three times days - at least as far as dinner was concerned. In the end, Jim went and got some KFC while I finished up studio work. The original plan was for me to make pizza. Then Jim suggested we go to the Inn at Little Switzerland - great idea; but mid afternoon he realized that the tennis we wanted to watch came on at 7 o'clock, so we decided to put off that dinner. It was too late, and I was too involved in the studio to stop and make pizza dough, so at that point take out was the best choice. It was either that or grilled cheese sandwiches!

Studio work consisted of putting more things away, drilling, threading and hanging more brushes, mixing three thick slips for decorating, and cleaning out a few tiny slip applicators that had dried out. Both the slip making and cleaning were very time consuming. The applied slip I use is too thick to make in a blender so I have to slake small pieces of clay, then squish it by hand and force it through a strainer a few times and then clean up all the mess. Kanjiro Kawai, who used thick, raised slip as a decorative technique , added a lot of grog to it. I got his formula years ago from Doug Lawrie, a wonderful American potter who lived in Japan until the mid or late 80's. I think Doug said that he had apprenticed with Kawai. If I don't make that decorating slip, super thick, it doesn't hold the shape enough for the look I want. If the grog addition works it will save me a lot of time and effort.

Doug also gave me Kawai's Uranium yellow recipe which I have never tried. It calls for spent uranium which is no longer being sold; but I bought a tiny bit of it when it was still available in the 80's. It was very expensive, so I think all I have is about a teaspoon of it - just enough to make a tiny test batch of the yellow glaze. If I remember, it was a cone 8 glaze. Maybe I should add that to my "to do" list -make and glaze a small, radio active porcelain vase as an homage to Kawai.

During yesterdays lunch break I ordered an inexpensive slide scanner from Ebay. I hope it does a passable job of some of my old slides. I particularly would like to get some of my Japan and other trip slides on to the computer so I can share them on the blog.

Today will be another full studio day, mainly sorting and putting the rest of all those duplicate tools and other tidying, sweeping up a bit, and if I have time maybe even throw a couple of things. This whole organization project(and I've only been focusing on less than 1/4 of the studio space) is taking forever! Silly me thought I'd be done in a day or two.


  1. I had lunch at Sallie's Mountain View yesterday in your neck of the woods.

  2. We go there for breakfast once in a while. I like their chefs potatoes and the sausages they used to have; but I'm not thrilled that they stopped serving those nice, fat, juicy, link sausages. They tried to deep fry them to save time(bad choice); and of course, they wound up raw in the middle. So rather than going back to cooking them in a pan, they just switched to skinnier, lower quality sausages. Bad move, me thinks! A couple of times, they were also out of their potatoes. The chefs home fried potatoes and those thick sausages were the reason we went there!
    Needless to say, we don't go there for breakfast as much as we used to. :-(
    They've lost a lot of business to Lee's lately. Friends who used to have lunch at Sally's almost every day, say that Lee's is better and cheaper.
    Why don't people understand that you shouldn't change a good thing! :-)