Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let's talk Food...

The mania continues....

OK, I lied- I'm not taking a break from my quest to develop a Waterfall Green glaze. I just ran out of ideas of things to try, since I've tried nearly 120 different variations. I have some new (and different) dry glaze chemicals coming, they are probably on the UPS truck as I type this.

While I await the chemical delivery, I've been thinking a lot about food lately. I've found a couple of great food blogs; two of my favorites are: and

I've been spending some time devouring their photographs and recipes. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I come from a long line of restaurateurs. My parents owned a restaurant in Los Angeles while I was growing up, and later, in Ohio, where they built one literally from the ground up. It was enormously popular and when they sold it a few years ago, they ended up retaining ownership of the recipe for their Italian Salad Dressing. It's an incredible recipe, I've had people e-mail me and beg for it.

Back to my thoughts on food...

It's amazing to me how much art can revolve around food. Potters know this well; I've not been to a single pottery that hasn't held a potluck meal, using everyone's pots. There's something special about eating off a handmade plate or bowl, especially if someone you know made it.

Woodworking is like that, too; when I was teaching, one of the most favorite classes I offered was a Cutting Board class. It's really a simple project, but once you understand the steps, you can make some incredible cutting boards. Here is one I made for my eye doctor, after she made my vision perfect:

Which brings me to this: you can't live in Las Vegas and not be amazed at all the city has to offer. While it's known for it's high rollers, bling, and excess, it also offers a wonderful array of restaurants. I'm not talking about the high priced places at the big resorts, where dinner for two can run $250-300. I'm talking about off-the-beaten-path places, where the locals dine.

I'm working on that list - my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, all of them are away from the mania of the Strip, a little more difficult to reach, but certainly worth the cab fare. Dining at these places won't cost you a bundle of cash, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what they have to offer.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is it green yet?

We're in the dog days of summer here in Las Vegas. Even with a swamp cooler running non-stop, it's often over 90˚ in my studio. Running the small test kiln nearly every day doesn't help.

I've just completed a large number of tests using the WaterFall Brown glaze base formula, but tweaking the colorants to come up with a green version. This photo will show you a little of the mania I'm experiencing; the test pieces in the front represent test # 105-112.

I've been consulting Robin Hopper's books, they contain a great deal of information about colorants and the various percentages needed to achieve the green that I want. Unfortunately, these last few batches- while they're close, they're not exactly what I had in mind.

It's back to the drawing board for me, but I've decided two things- I am going to write to Ron Roy, one of the originators of this glaze, and ask for help. And second- after one more round of testing, I am going to take a break. If I don't get the results I need, perhaps it's wise to take a breather.