Monthly Archives: April 2010

Rhubarb Booty

More Rhubarb goodies this week in the form of Rhubarb Chutney and Rhubarb and Ginger Jam.  We have cut all the flowers that had started growing from the plants and now it is producing more rhubarb than ever.  First attempt at jam…..more practice may be required……I have a feeling it may have the consistancy of a boiled sweet.  Don’t break the knife trying to spread it on your crumpet!!  At least we have plenty more of this splendid vegetable to practice with.  Have just found a recipe for Rhubarb Schnapps too……

Oh, and if this wasn’t more info than you needed about rhubarb, you really indulge yourself with the Rhubarb Compendium….enjoy!

Chutney on the go

Finished article

The Jam - Can you believe....only 4 small jars from 2kg of Rhubarb...where did it go?

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Snails get surprising new home….

Before firing this had the makings of a lamp stand.  Unfortuntely, the glaze (even though only thinly applied around the craters) caused the black clay to collapse in the kiln and it has ended up at best as a lunar inspired snail house.   Although you can obtain a spectacular ‘hammered metal’ finish, JR Shino glaze and black clay definitley don’t mix on structual pots.  There must be lots of flux in the glaze, which lowers the melting point of the clay.

I still like it, so will perhaps make another, but next time, only glaze the white clay.  I hope the snails enjoy their new home….perhaps it will keep them off my lettuces.

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Duck Bowl

New desgin, just a duck bowl this time, no bum.  He does still have 3 feet though.  How else would he stand up?!

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Breakfast bowls

More throwing practice tonight and after a shaky start managed to produce these 3 bowls.  Last weekends firing produced one breakfast sized bowl, which we have been fighting over ever since.  Attempting now to make some more so that we can have one each…and maybe a few spares. I’ll be able to get through some of that porridge with bowls this big.

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“What a Load of Rhubarb!”

The most enormous patch of Rhubarb has appeared outside the window of The Potting Shed.  I didn’t even really notice it growing, then all of a sudden it is in season and ready to pick.  I have always wanted a Rhubarb plant, so am very pleased.  Rhubarb crumble and custard for pudding last night, going to try my hand at jam making (Rhubarb and Ginger), stewed rhubarb for breakfast……A quick search on the web found suggestions for rhubarb wine…..sounds good.  I think I will fill freezer with rhubarb so can eat for the rest of the year…..yum..

Search of web also uncovered that rhubarb can also mean “nonsense” – as in, “What a load of rhubarb!”

or more interestingly……

Apparently, “rhubarb” was a 19th Century slang term for one’s private parts. There was a well-known coarse query a hundred years or so ago – “How’s your rhubarb, Missus?” that was guaranteed to get your face slapped

How's your Rhubarb!!!

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Happily ever Biscuits…..

Really pleased to have a comission for a third biscuit barrel.  Need to start compiling a stock of these.  Another wedding present.  Must be some link between getting married and a life together eating biscuits.  Doesn’t sound too bad!

Put the finishing bobble on the hat (lid) in the sunshine this afternoon. Sun...good for the soul, but not so good for not drying out clay. Have to stop using the garden table and get back in the shed....

In case your biscuit barrel is empty, here is a very quick recipe to fill it up (for a short time only)

Walnut Shortbreads…tried and tested yesterday…none left now, so must be ok.

100g chopped walnuts

90g butter

60g caster sugar

Few drops vanilla essence

125g plain flour

Pre heat over to 130 degrees c

1. Cream butter, vanilla and sugar

2. Stir in walnuts

3. Fold in flour

4. Roll dough into 3cm dia sausage, cut into disks 2cm thick and roll into balls

5. Arrange on greased baking tray and bake for 30 mins.  Should be slightly soft in middle.

(Recipe says will keep in container for upto 2 weeks……dream on!!)

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The Grand Opening….

Been circling the kiln all afternoon, eager for a peep….but when the time came to open it….I was anxious!

An interesting array of results.  We were firing to cone 7/.  Cone 8 had completely bent over, so the glazes may have been slightly over fired, but it looks like we did achieve reduction or partial reduction.  Lesson for next time to ensure reduction is to close the dampers further and turn the burner pressure up so the temerature doesn’t fall.

Pleased with the results for our first ‘solo’ firing in this kiln.  Lots of lessons learnt for next time……and there will be a next time…..that’s the main thing!

I can’t wait for the next grand opening, the anticipation is thrilling…..

...Suprise!!

Glaze Tests

The booty...

Ashley's Glaze recipe on chunky Black clay - Love this. Am pleased that this one worked and will definitley use again

Jo Connell - Volcanic glaze. Good cratered texture on this bottle

Unique breakfast crockery!! Mug and Bowl in one! They must have been too close and have fused together. The volcanic glaze on the black clay has produced an interesting pink colour though.

Barium glaze...too much cobalt I think, but brilliant blue. Would look great as a splash of colour on a big bowl.

Best of the bunch....these ones have made it inside....for the time being (until the next batch)

Emanuel Cooper 246 - Orange/Red glaze

E. Cooper semi-matt base glaze 231 with Vanadium Oxide (dry and textured)

E. Cooper 253 Rusty Red/Brown. Lovely glossy deep brown like Tenmoku

E. Cooper 222 - Mutted Red. Good example of the differences that can be achieved with reduction and oxidation. This pot was placed by the burner, so one side is red and the other is green where the oxygen reached it via the burner hole. Side of the pot also got burnt, but it left a interesting mark which I like. Be a good jug....if I had got round to giving it a handle.

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