Boris and his best pal Sweety the Stuffed Cat (who apparently thinks it’s someone’s birthday-he’s always ready for a celebration) wish you all a Happy New Year filled with snacks and scritches, and most of all, love. Can’t have too much of that.
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It’s Boris’s first Thanksgiving in a vegan household so there will be no human turkey leftovers for him this year. (Don’t worry. He eats a premium vet-recommended cat food. Cats are carnivores after all.) Still, this little cat has a lot to be thankful for, as do his humans. Happy Thanksgiving to you all
Happy Holidays from Boris
No matter how or what you celebrate.
What Inspires You? Cat Pottery
I’m back from Clayathon with too much to do today so this week’s post will be short. What inspires you? I am not ashamed to say that my cat Boris (and animals in general) is a big source of inspiration for my pottery.
I’ve started throwing again after a hiatus because of thumb problems. And I like to draw on the pottery which is white earthenware clay. Here are some small bowls that came out of the kiln this week.
We have sponge eating monsters in our pottery studio, so I marked my cleanup sponge accordingly:
A Christmas Eve post this year.
Some pictures from around my neighborhood.
And back by popular demand, guest blogger Boris tells the story of how the Tabby got its “M”.
Boris wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Try Something New
Autumn is upon us (although we keep regressing back to Summer in Philadelphia). Time to try something new! I sold my beloved kiln and controller that I used for bead annealing, fusing glass and, most recently, metal clay. I want to upgrade to a kiln that can handle cone 6 firing so I can work with porcelain on a regular basis. Here are some new baubles I’m currently working on. Cone 6 white porcelain and Mason stains, unglazed.
I wrote a review of Prometheus Clay while back. This time I tried Five Star Bronze Clay which is also torch fireable. And I can say that Prometheus clay wins hands down, at least for torch firing. I find Prometheus easier to condition, easier to work with and I got more consistent results with the torch. I have not tried kiln firing with 5 Star Bronze yet. I’ll let you know the results when I do. But the BIG story is that I am now making my own bronze clay. I saw Alan Wiggens’ YouTube videos on the subject and decided to give it a try. I read about metallurgy to get an understanding of the sintering process so I could find the best deal on a powdered bronze that would work. Preliminary torch fire tests have been successful! Not in making a finished product, but in making metal that I can pound out with a hammer. I am eager to test my homemade clay in a kiln which is how Alan Wiggens recommends firing it. Stay tuned.
My mother made bread every week when I was growing up so the process is no mystery to me. I generally throw flour into a bowl, add yeast and some honey and sugar to feed the yeast and park it under the kitchen tap and turn on the water. No measuring, no recipe. And no salt.
I have a friend who says that the flour and bread we buy in the United States is stale and a bit moldy and that is the reason most (not all) people have a problem with gluten. (I have another friend who gets sick every time she eats pasta in the U.S. but can eat all the bread an pasta she wants when she goes to Italy). So I decided to grind my own flour. I got a grinding mill and 40 lbs of wheat berries. Grinding your own flour is not cheaper than buying it, although there are wheat berry bargains to be had. And the process is labor intensive. First, you have to drag the 40 lb bucket into the house. Then you have an argument with your husband about where to set up the mill. Then you and your husband have to watch an [expletive deleted] video to figure out how to get the [expletive deleted] lid off of the [expletive deleted] bucket of [expletive deleted] wheat berries.
Next comes the grinding. After hand cranking the wheat berries, we learned why we refer to arduous tasks as a “grind.” (Or maybe he knew already. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature).
Here is the flour. What you don’t see is all the[expletive deleted] flour around my kitchen.
Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven,. Well, almost nothing.
And in the spirit of trying something new, let me introduce you to our new motor for the grain mill. It makes a sound like squealing pigs on steroids, but it does the job. And the towel is to keep down the flour dust.
Now, on to trying the autolyze process.
On a final note, even Boris is trying something new. He is off the Prescription Diet and is now eating a new, almost as expensive Hills Science cat food. And he likes it!
Happy Spring Everyone!
Boris Looks For His Easter Basket
Here’s hoping you find whatever it is you’re looking for this Spring!