Wednesday, January 20, 2010

new year, new projects

Finally back in the studio this week. It has warmed up here--not just in the studio--it is in the 70's all week with mostly sunny sky and some rain. We must never turn our noses up at rain!
After spending so much of the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Years) in the kitchen I am thinking terms of ovenware--for slow cooking, a new enthusiasm! I made a butternut squash last week that had you roast the squash, onions and apples for an hour in the oven. The soup was fabulous and I think it was the roasting in the oven that brought out the flavors so well.
I had a nice chat with Tracey Broome over the holidays and she got me fired up about jumping in and trying out some ovenware. I am going to experiment with earthenware--that seems to be the classic body--and glaze a few pieces but leave some unglazed and see what fits best (me esthetically and the pots functionally).
Here are the first of the experiments--still drying under wraps:
An oval baker--perhaps a bit too big. I always have trouble judging shrinkage. It is 15.5 inches long and 11 inches wide at the widest point and 3 1/2 inches tall. I threw a bottomless pot and then moved the ring onto a slab. Probably i should have added handles. I guess I'll know more once I've fired the piece and tried cooking in it.

Then a baking bowl that I squared a bit and added handles to. It measures about 8 1/2 inches across the rim and is 3 1/4 inches tall. The base has a 7" diameter. The picture makes the bowl seem a little out of kilter but I think the piece is squared well.


Then I have 2 round baking dishes--like pie plates, I guess. One is 10 1/2 " across rim and 1 1/2 " high. The other is 9 1/2 " across and 2 1/4" high. Maybe one is for pies and one for quiches!

I'd love suggestions from my readers' experiences in this area. I am very uncertain about the glaze--to glaze or not to glaze. In looking through the web I see many pieces that are glazed with a clear glaze only on the inside (for ease of cleaning perhaps) but I worry about the stress of having only one side glazed. Any thoughts out there?

9 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Those look great and the oven ware can be used as serving dishes too. can't wait to see how you glaze them.

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Looking good so far! Well, I shared with you all I know about earthenware which is minimal at best. Once I get rid of all this white clay around here, I have a bag of red earthenware I could break into and try out some tests as well. Look forward to the end results! Good luck.

Judy Shreve said...

Gay - your pieces look great! Working in earthenware is fun -- but has it's own issues! The Italians have been using earthenware for ovenware for generations!

The only issue with not glazing is water/liquid absorption - it can cause it to crumble over time.

Do you have any terra sigillata? If you put a thin coat of Redart terra sig & burnish it will help seal the non glazed areas --and since it's the same color as the clay it won't change the appearance except for giving a somewhat glossy/burnished look. (If you are not glazing the inside - but want to seal the bottom/foot area).

I would also recommend not putting these in the dishwasher & always putting them in a cold oven to warm slowly in the preheat - in other words no extreme temp changes.

I can't wait to see them glazed!

Sister Creek Potter said...

I was tinking I would try some terra sig on a couple of the pieces--though I was thinking of putting it on the inside--to make cleaning easier. Is that a mistake?
I am planning on just using a clear glaze if I glaze to keep the red clay look. I was going to glaze the inside with clear....
Still thinking!

Judy Shreve said...

Gay - you can put terra sig on inside/outside -- doesn't matter. I thought you were thinking of unglazed clay as a cooking feature. (Some cultures don't glaze) I heard someone refer to terra sig as the original teflon!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Gay, I just remembered I have a commercially made fish baker that I use occasionally and it wasn't glazed, but it is packed in our treasure bus and I can't get to it now to take a better look. I do recall it seemed to have a very smooth surface. The fish is baked by putting in a big piece of fish and then adding wine celery etc baking for half and hour and it's done.

I also remember seeing a site somewhere on the internet of a woman who makes bake ware made with a special type of clay that is unglazed but again I don't recall the site.

Sister Creek Potter said...

I've been researching terra sig and think that is probably what I am looking for. Val cushing says that terra sig renders the piece impervious--whic is what I'd be looking for if I used a glaze. I'll still test with and without glazes.
I appreciate the comments! Many heads better than one!

doug Fitch said...

Lovely pots Gay - well you know I'm always going to be a sucker for the dirty red stuff! Thought you might enjoy seeing these pots, typical of the type made for baking in Buckley, Wales 19/20th century

http://ceramics-aberystwyth.com/buckley.html

Sister Creek Potter said...

Doug, those are lovely. BUT here I am trying to figure out how to make terra sig and you've got me wanting to try working with slip trailing--again--which I have tried in te past but failed miserably at! Oh, dear....