Tuesday, September 23, 2014

pie.. another reason to love Fall

When I'm making pie dishes my mind can't help but wonder about the delicious desserts that will be baked and served to family and friends. 
Heart Pie Dish
by DirtKicker Pottery

 Pie Dish with Poppies

  Pie Dish with Echinacea Flower

I like to make my pie dishes with deep ruffled rims.  I love the over the top exaggerated pie form.     
Wheel Thrown Pie Dishes
by DirtKicker Pottery

During the Fall months I usually have a pie dish or two for sale in my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop!

"Cindy's Tasty Apple Pie"

- 4 big Granny Smith Apples (peeled and sliced however thick you like)
- The juice of 1 large (or 2 small) lemons
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp of Wondra
1 Pillsbury Pie Crusts Pack (No, I don't make my own pie crust!)

* Do not pre-heat the oven.  Since pottery doesn't like drastic temperature changes, it's best put the pie in a room temp oven and allow the dish and the oven to heat up together.
In a deep skillet pan, at medium heat, I mix together the above ingredients (excluding the crust)in the order they are listed.  Stir a little between.  
Then pour the gooey mixture into a 9-ish" crusted pie dish.  Top with crust strips to create a lattice.  Crimp the edges and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top.
Cover the crust edges with foil to prevent over browning.  Place the pie in the oven on a foil lined cookie sheet to prevent spill over mess. 

Place a sheet of foil over the top of the pie and turn the oven on 425° and cook for 15 minutes. *Remember to remove the sheet of foil after the oven comes to temperature.  (I use tongs, because it's hot in there!)  
Reduce heat to 350° bake for and additional 45 minutes or until apples are tender.  *Remove foil from crust edges for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Allow pie to cool on a cooling rack for an hour.   *Do not place a hot pie dish on a cold counter top.

Happy pie making!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stormtrooper Mug and Glaze Testing

Stormtrooper Mug and Glaze Testing  9-7-14

My grandson pulled his first mug (Stormtrooper mug) from the kiln today.   He made it all by himself, loaded it in the kiln to bisque,  picked out his own glaze, glazed it and loaded it in the glaze kiln.   He did a fantastic job!  He was pretty darn excited when he pulled it out of the kiln.

Most of my test tile results were bad.  The tiles are not worth the time to photograph and write about. Bummed.

Glaze chemistry and glaze testing is going on the back burner for a while. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

37 Test Tiles in the Kiln

Gorgeous Iron Oxides

Just look at those colors!  The Crocus Martis is an iron oxide.  In the chemical state it has a rich raspberry hue.   The Spanish RIO is more orange and reminds me of terracotta.  I mixed up a few cone 6 iron recipes, plus a few with revisions. To get the nice rusty orange/red results in oxidation, a slow cool is suggested.   I decided not to program a custom cool down because my kiln is pretty big and it cools slow naturally.   Also I didn't want to chance messing up my other glazes.    If the reds don't happen in my current firing schedule, I might try a programmed slow cool at a later time.   I would really love to have a small programmable kiln for testing and small loads.  I checked out a new little L&L and about fell off my chair when I saw the price.  I'll just keep watching craigslist. 

Labeled and ready to dip.  I only have one Mason Stain in this test run.  I'm more curious about arriving at colors with oxides and other chemicals.   I love being surprised.

There is just something really beautiful about test tiles.

Firing today.  Hope these tiles will result in some glazes worth keeping.