Sourdough is on the Way!!

I have been fascinated with making bread for several years now. The process of mixing a few ingredients and having it react to yeast and heat to end up as a loaf a bread, just amazes me.

But the old school bread, sourdough, is one I never tried. It is one of the best flavors, and also one of the most involved processes.

The dough has to be cultivated using factors that are present in the air all around us. And to take advantage of that process you need to make a “starter” dough to use with all the other loafs to be made.

And that is where we are now. I always want things to be handmade around here, so I needed a piece of custom pottery to grow and store the starter.

I contacted Erin Englert of McCool Clay in Colorado Springs CO ( mccoolclay.com) and asked if she would take on the job.

Well, you know the answer. And the package recently arrived.

I opened it carefully and was thrilled to see her work.

The black clay and the lighter glaze accented the carving of the grains of wheat on the outside.

The size and shape will work perfectly.

So about a week from now the starter will be ready and the bread will be rising.

I wish there was some way to share the smell….

 

If you have any sourdough hints, feel free to send them to me. I would love the help.

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Eating With Art

Claire and I are always interested in having art all around us. Even in the everyday things we use.

We were gifted a beautiful bowl by my brother and sister in law and I thought I would include it in my “Art All around Us” collection.

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This one was make by Doug Navarra from New York State. It is highlighted with a carved rim. I would think you would agree, it is a piece of art.

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And for that I am thankful to Navarra… and my brother and sister in law.

If you see art for the sake of art, send it to me,  I would love to see it.

You can comment with the form below of by emailing me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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Julie Wiggins Pottery

My wife and I love beautiful things.  Not expensive things, but beautiful, well made, and interesting things.

We want to be surrounded with art in all areas of our life.  With that in mind, we made the commitment to get rid of our “machine made” serving ware and dinnerware.  There are too many talented craft folks out there, for us to use a piece of pottery made in china by a machine!

We set out looking for handmade pieces with only three criteria…each had to reflect the craftsman who created it, be interesting, and be the

best quality we could afford.  Our quest was for pottery with spirit and style.  Both attributes are only achieved when objects are created by hand.

So the hunt was on to find something beautiful, well made, and useful.  We traveled to pottery shows and went to studios. We met a number of potters and had a great time.  What we ended up with was a nice collection of serving ware, from all over the spectrum.  We have traditional, modern and everything in between. 

We are now looking for dinnerware.  And this is a little tougher. The pottery world seems to think making a plate is not as cool as making a pitcher or a fancy serving pot.   And to make it worst we are not wanting a whole set.  We want all the plates and bowls to be different.

And that brings me to today.   We got an invitation to a pottery show by Julie Wiggins.  Julie’s family is longtime friends of ours, and we knew she was a talented potter.  But she is based in Charlotte and we had never seen her work.  When her mother told us of the local show, we were excited to see all of it in person. 

The show was a huge success and she sold almost all of her stock.  The two pieces we bought were very unique dinner plates. The hand carved and painted porcelain has just the right mix of freedom and form to make them exciting to look at and fun to use. The flower designs inscribed on them will match our style beautifully. I think they are a great addition to the collection and will be wonderful to use on our table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the photos you see here are her work. 

We are excited to have pieces of her craft in our home.

You can see more of Julie’s pottery at:   http://www.juliewigginspottery.com/Work_AYR0.php

You can reach me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or comment below.

I would love to hear what you think about her work.