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Making a chicken brick

My terracotta lidded baking dishes are made individually in my 2 press molds that I had made to my own design.  Each base made only fits its own lid; the 2 pieces are carefully fitted together and dried slowly over a week or two.

The making process happens over 3 days. Day one, pressing into the mold. Day 2: fitting, trimming,  attaching, shaping handles and painting. Day 3- scraffito cutting and tidying up.  The designs are painted in coloured clay slips, so that you can easily see which way the lid fits.

The entire hands-on process, from wedging and rolling the slabs of clay to sanding and washing after firing, takes about 3 hours – or more if I’m getting carried away by a new design.

 

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Wellington Empty Bowls Project

is being launched early September ’17 with Rex Morgan @ Moore Wilson. Twenty potters and most of the pottery clubs in the Wellington region, as well as the sponsors on the poster below are contributing to the donation of  600 + bowls.  It’s $25 for each bowl of soup.  All of that $25 will go straight from the Moore Wilson tills, directly to the Downtown Community Ministry.

empty bowls 2017

I am half way through firing my 30. It’s a new decorating style for me, using a slip under the glaze. The slip is a volcanic ash clay from Mt Sumner in Canterbury.

Empty Bowls Poster 2017 draft

 

NZPotters 58th National Exhibition

Quartz gallery exhibition

The Quartz Gallery is well worth a visit.  As well as this exhibition it contains examples of the  lifework of potter Rick Rudd, and his substantial collection of NZ potters over 4 decades.

My contribution: Naked Raku ‘Kereru Jars’, Feather series:

entry 3 side view        Entry 2 top view

8.5cmH 11.5cmW $140                         11.5 cmH x 13’5cmW  $160

These Kereru Jars are some of my first  on my journey of colouring the terra sigillata slips.  I want to recreate the colours and sheens of the beautiful birds that I get to photograph outside my studio.

 

Sauerkraut /Fermented Vegetable Jars, Oval Bread bakers

These jars are made with a ‘water seal’ gallery to create a ‘moat’ that the lid sits down into to keep the contents of the jar airtight.They are carefully glazed to make sure there are no pinholes inside barrel of the jar..The outside is unglazed clay slip decoration. Pictured is 2L and 1.5L. 3L and 4L sizes are available.

sauercraut jars and jbread baking dishes

The oval bread bakers come in 2 sizes, a standard loaf and a cute small one. Oil them a little to season them and away you go with your favourite bread recipe.

Decorated’Pizza stones’ and Flan dishes.

med pizza plate 30%

These are great for cooking pizza and flans. cooling food doesn’t ‘sweat’ and go soggy or cause rust on the surface as with a metal tray . The crust separates easily from the porous  surface and the terracotta holds the heat much longer than a metal baking tray. My design has sides of various depths, a decorated rim for easy handling and attractive serving , and a turned base with 3 ‘feet’ to make them lighter and avoid thermal shock. I have a range of sizes from dinner plate size up to 38 cm.

 

How to use your chicken brick

inside-a-chicken-brickThis earthernware dish has been shaped for cooking chicken or other fowl. It can be used for cooking vegetables or other meat, as long as the flavours of the food don’t clash.

The clay walls of the pot are unglazed and therefore porous. Flavours from the food are released and absorbed during cooking. The more the dish is used, the more flavoursome food cooked in it becomes.

To cook your chicken, place it with seasonings, herbs, spices, vegetables and/or wine, straight into the dish and into the oven.

For a slower method, soak one or both parts of the dish in water for 10 minutes before adding the food and placing in the oven. The porous walls of the dish will absorb the water, and for the first part of the baking, the food is steamed. Alternatively you can add stock or wine and cook in it rather like a casserole. You need less liquid than usual because less of it escapes during cooking.

Don’t subject your dish to sudden or extreme changes in temperature, such as placing it on a cold surface straight put of the oven or putting frozen food in it and into the oven. You can place it on a naked flame or element when the dish is already hot, for example straight out of the oven to stove top to make gravy, and increase the heat gradually. As with all ceramic cookware, you must make sure the dish contains liquid if it is in immediate contact with a heat source, otherwise it will crack.

After cooking, rinse the dish in hot water and scrub to remove food particles. Don’t use detergent or soap and the porous walls will absorb this too. Dry the dish thoroughly (in the oven is a good way).

Store in an airy place.

I hope you enjoy using your baking dish for many years

 

What’s the difference between soaking your terracotta baking dish and not soaking it?

Here is a ‘before and after’ view of a simple meal that I cooked in my baking dish   using the soaking method.

baked-vegetables-before

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