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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Recipe Corner - Homemade Applesauce

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest.  For years my grandmother and I made this together every fall.

Peck of apples (preferably Cortlands)
1/2 cup of water
Pinch of cinnamon

Quarter, core and slice apples into heavy bottomed pot. Pour in water and bring to boil, turn down and simmer until all are mushy.  Run through the larger blades on a food mill discarding the peels.  The pink color comes naturally.  Add cinnamon if desired.  Will keep up to a week in the fridge and freezes well so you can make it now and enjoy it for Thanksgiving.

Recipe compliments of Spongetta.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Recipe Corner

Garlic with a Side of Chicken 
(adapted from a recipe in Everyday Food that I have long since lost, so it may not resemble it anyway)

1 or 2 heads of garlic, smashed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Lemon sliced into rounds
8-10 skinned chicken thighs
Fresh chopped tarragon (parsley and basil work well too)

Heat garlic in pot with olive oil.  Bring to bubbling then simmer 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Toss oil with chicken, lemon and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.  Let sit a half hour.  Heat oven to 400.  Dump chicken mixture into a roasting pan and bake until cooked through, turning once, about 40 minutes.

A great entree for even the most picky eater.

Recipe compliments of Spongetta.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Tour of Fall Foliage

Blue sky, yellow leaves and all wrapped in sunlight: the perfect Autumn day Long Island. This was taken in Rockville Center, New York, a town about three miles from mine.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our member, ClayImages, was feature on the Creative Sprinkle blog this week. Follow this link to read about her and what she does.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Terra Nova at the Racine Art Museum

Living in Wisconsin has its perks. Not only do we have wonderful fall foliage, but the Racine Art Museum is within driving distance for me. My husband and I took a day trip on our anniversary. It was well worth it.

The museum is a very modern sleek building full of light near Lake Michigan right on Main Street. Two other exhibits downstairs were also very inviting and interesting, but my goal was the upstairs. This is going to be a very subjective account of my impression of the Terra Nova exhibit and not meant to be an art criticism in any way. For those not familiar, Terra Nova is the first exhibit of its kind solely dedicated to the art and craft of polymer clay.

Even though the square footage was relatively small, the architecture was light and airy. This made the room seem very spacious. We spent about three hours all in all (with a lunch break) and I still did not want to leave. It was a spectacular experience. With only three other art lovers in the building, we had the playground to ourselves.

Entering from the elevator side, to the right and counter clockwise the show started out with the furniture display by Bishoff and Syron. This work was new to me and gave a whole new meaning to the word "veneer". The "do not touch" sign had to be ignored for a split second. Wink

The work of a chosen group of featured artists called "boundary breakers" was displayed in several show cases in the middle of the u-shaped room and on the walls. Supplemented with that, there were showcases and wall displays with one or two pieces by other artists from the museum's own and private collections.

It was absolutely spectacular to see works of so many wonderful artists in person. Even the best photography I have seen does not do them justice. The depth and the texture, the scale and the dimensionality cannot be conveyed in photos. The layers and shiny finish of Dustin's purses (not to be touched behind glass), the matte sheen of Dever's installations, the tiny detail in many of the beads and mosaics, the contrast of colors and textures, all this was a feast to behold.

Naturally, I have my favorites and preferences which will be different for every visitor, and there is certainly something for every taste. Some pieces I found a bit over the top but I certainly could appreciate them as art in their own right. Some work I simply did not understand. For example, I am not sure why PC would be the medium of choice in a picture which could just as well be painted.  The exhibit certainly served its function of attempting to expand my horizon.

Some of the smaller pieces like brooches were especially appealing to me because of their simpler shapes and focus on surface treatment - I find less is often more. Meanwhile, I would have liked to have seen a little less jewelry (there were so many necklaces!) and more sculptural work. I found the choice of artists a bit arbitrary and was missing some boundary breaking names I think should have been in the collection. I also wished I could have seen more work of those who only had one or two pieces represented. It must be hard to be a curator.

I learned how refined PC can be, and how the attention to the smallest detail is of the essence. I learned even more how free and boundless the medium is, how it can be combined with other materials, how it can be whimsical or serious, gaudy or precious, and most of all unexpected.

If you can't make it to Racine, I do recommend to get the book.

The Author Berit Hines has a BfA in Ceramics from the Royal Academy of Art and Design in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. She has written articles on Ceramics in several publications Europe in the 1980's. She has worked with Polymer Clay for a little over two years. 


A Tour of Fall Foliage

November in Vermont brought 16 inches of snow!

Green River Covered Bridge, Guilford, Vermont

River Road, Guilford, Vermont

A tour of the fall foilage!

November in New York!