Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Thursday, February 28, 2013


The wife comes home from work Tuesday:
"I ran into JV and she was coming out of the cafe with this big piece of chocolate bread with chocolate chips and I was thinking 'I want some of that!'"
It happens to be somebody's birthday this week, so you know, I am alert to the desires and whims of the birthday girl and secretly look up chocolate bread.  I have never had it or seen it, have you?

SO, I spend a little time looking around and come up with an awesome and easy chocolate yeast bread recipe, which I fiddle with and adjust and add chocolate chips to ***
and it is...magnificent.  The bread is also so easy to make I was like "drop the chocolate and try it as a plain wheat bread???" which was ALSO magnificent.

OK, but then, later Wednesday, the wife gets home?  And she loves it!
But then she describes what her friend had further...and I realize she is describing not the yeast bread I had made, BUT a sweet quick bread.  Which looks and sounds a lot like cake....
MORE ON THAT FRIDAY when we go to CHOCOLATE BREAD day 2...but for now....


Chocolate bread with chocolate chunks


dash salt
  1. Combine water, sugar, yeast, then flour, salt, cocoa, oil,  in a large bowl, floding in the chunks gently. Stir everything with a wooden spoon until you have a soft dough--may need a little more water.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for five minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  3. Make a nice dough ball. Place on a baking sheet or in a greased iron skillet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until double in size.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 35 minutes
  5. derived from

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

pesto!!! without the.....

The problem with being vegetarian but going dairy free is that you love pesto...and pesto is full of cheese!
I bought these tasty vegan raviolis at the store and noticed on the back a no dairy recipe in the tiniest print on the back for pesto!  Well, it is a sauce, like pesto.
It is well known here that I do NOT have a green thumb.  I managed to kill my latest basil plant...but one has been growing somewhat anemically for nearly a year.
You can see Spike and me here planting MORE basil....hopefully I won't kill it...

ANYWAY, this pesto is quite tasty, yum yum!  I have made it a few times lately**....have an awesome day!

Leftovers = terrific burrito :)

**vegan pasta with pesto!

I made some changes to the original recipe on the ravioli package, this works really really well:

-cook 6-8 oz pasta or 8-10 oz ravioli or tortellini per usual (you know that since they are so big sauce seems to cover more ounces ravioli than regular pasta, right?)

-in you blender or food processor dump in:
one cup firmly packed basil
4 oz firm tofu (use 2 ounces if you want a thinner, more liquid and green pesto, like for pizza or if that is your preference)
1/2 cup walnuts (original uses either walnuts or pine nuts, but they are so expensive I prefer to grind in walnuts and then toss some pine nuts on top of the whole dish so they can be enjoyed more)
1/4 olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1 teas soy sauce
1 tbs nutritional yeast

blend it smooth and lovely!
Mix into pasta, either hot or saved in the fridge as pasta salad for later!
Top with, if you wish: a spoonful or 2 of pine nuts, diced tomato, black kalamata olives

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

time warp Tuesday and THEN some...

You know Jen runs runs Time warp Tuesday, a chance to look back at your old snaps?
I came across the pic of the wife up there...twas just floating around the studio, and it dates to fall of 1994.  We taught at a school in Massachusetts and we would walk all over, way up this hill by a lake...and at the top of one hill our old dog Petey had a golden retriever friend....
we had found Petey living on the street in Chicago and took him in.  He was some kind of  mix, just awesome.  He could be fierce and chased off intruders once at our Chicago apartment, and he was tiny!  The vet told us "dogs don't look in the mirror!".
I made Petey banks back in the 1990s, and here is one, and I would put these pics up at my sales booth to sell them....
Petey was an awesome and cuddly dog, and lived to 19 years old and passed away just after we moved here!  He helped us choose the house and then knew his work was done...
as you see in the header, I make slightly different dog banks now....

I saw this many hundreds of years old book illustration by monks and I looooooove it...and doodled a cat and fiddle myself as you see...which got me doodling other things along those lines....
have an awesome day!


You probably need a pair of blue candle holders like these, right? For sale now at my etsy shoppe! blue candle holders

Monday, February 25, 2013

call for comments: chasin' away the Monday blues...

"4:17?" You ask?
Yes. My wonderful beagle was kinda "GAKgakgakittyGAK" in bed and, well, at least she gakked on the floor.  So, here I am.
I had been dreaming that I was slicing open a vicious and toothy fish, gutting it, and trying to stuff it with rice and cream of mushroom soup and bake it into a casserole for dinner.  The wife and I were trying not to GAK ourselves (remember;  we have been vegetarian a long time, and I never liked fish!).
So its no surprise I awoke to the dog ACTUALLY gakking....

We need to improve our day!  Take ourselves to the happy place, the mental vacation!
Name 3 places in 3 sentences that you have LOVED visiting, favorites!!!!
I'll go first.

1.  I talked here the other day, about how the wife and I honeymooned in a castle on Maine's coast (it was for sale last year!).
2.  I have a favorite shell from a beach at a state park in the Florida Keys on the way to Key West, too bad more of Florida isn't so beautifully preserved!
3. Last fall, many of you will remember we went on a road trip to see herman Melville's house in Massachusetts...and hike to hidden waterfalls in the Berkshire Mountains.

GO TO COMMENTS and tell everybody YOUR 3 favorite visits!  Blog it too!

You probably need elephant or yellow piggy mugs, right?  For sale now at my etsy shoppe!
awesome pair of yellow piggy mugsanother elephant cupanother elephant mug

Sunday, February 24, 2013

gnomes: the final chapter!

Alright, so as you have heard me tiresomely say for several days, I had an order for a LOT of gnome mugs, based upon somebody's internet search....she had come across gnome mugs I made 6 years ago.  So I made soooo many, some pictured here.
Me and gnomes?  I think they are a very funny joke.  I have made sculptures of Godzilla eating gnomes and other sculpture of gnomes making rude gestures.  But some people, you know, like them in the way that I like pigs or frogs, as simply a cute item.
I was remembering last week approx. 33+ years ago, a BIG hit, a HUGE book bestseller...GNOMES.  I never owned the book beofre but remembered seeing it everywhere, with good reason! It is beautifully illustrated and a funny "scientific" look at gnomes.  I found it online for a few bucks, a totally clean and new has amused me to read the book now, still funny and even more beautiful than I remember.  It is a little old fashioned in that Mr Gnome gets to wander off every day and do as he pleases and Mrs Gnome gets to stay home and clean diapers....

Saturday, February 23, 2013

taking a brief break from the GNOMES

Taking a break before the gnomes TAKE over, really.... more on them Sunday!
I am, as you will recall, a PROfessional dog walker on the side.  Nook is a white fuzzy spitz or eskimo dog that I see a few times a week for action and adventure.  We went to the woods Thursday, but it was so cold I did not take photos.  Friday was 33, felt pretty mild and temperate, and we went down to Cass park in Ithaca and the Cayuga Lake waterfront.  There is a superb dog park there....
Sofia is the brown dog here.  We arrived at the dog park after walking awhile, and Nook is very sweet but small and shy at times.  Sofia came tearing after Nook and I am like, to his owner, because Nook was running for his life "your dog is friendly, right?" and she was like "Oh yeah" which was luckily true because Sofia caught Nook and wanted to play.  And as you see, they did...and Nook got a bit, well, FRESH and tried to hump Sofia...
anyway, it was all pretty awesome and fun.  My own dog Penny, of course, also loves Cass park but we cannot go to the dog park because Penny hates other dogs and tries to rip them to shreds...

Friday, February 22, 2013

week of the GNOME = a temporary thing...

...and maybe a lot less than a week.  It is always, by the way, the week of the frog in MY studio....

here is the last of the batch of gnome mugs for a special order... just before firing.  I will show the whole ...pack?  Community?  FLOCK???? later....
I am GLAD that I do not have to do multiples of things too often, I get bored as sh!t so quickly.....

I have been working this week on some nouveau ART NOUVEAU imaginings....what does that mean to me?  All the way down is a wild antique vase  with swirls and greenery, organic shapes, greens, etc. I love that stuff from 100 + years ago.  Here are my recent explorations that way....

(above--pottery by gary Rith, below, vase by somebody else--have a great weekend!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

the week of the gnome....

Sure feels like the WEEK of the Gnome.... as you will see in the next day or 2... I even wrote this haiku called THIS AFTERNOON

 My chilly fingers
Have made a dozen silly
 Gnomes...and two pigs.

Speaking of pigs, I was dreaming and had ideas and awoke and put dreams into action....the mug below is the result.  It is not exactly what it needs to be...yet....and so I made a second version, which is.
But I get to keep this one :)

(mug by me...and me below, with Spike)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Squaring off a freshly made round pot is a nice variation...and something I seem to have been in the mood for last week! (in the mood for other things this week, of course...)

I really love these flower pots.  Came out unexpectedly wonderful.  The wife asked for a pair of them and I imagined they would look just so, and I wanted to make a certain dish for them too, and wow! Just as I hoped, or better than.... I want to make more little dishes like those cute ruffly things there....

Was thinking about a squared mug and trying the glaze scheme on the mug below.  It worked out well. One thing I have noticed over the years is people do not like the look of a squared mug rim, but the base can be squared.....

You may need this pair of gorgeous bowls for your own snacking or table, chip and dip! Whatever! For sale now at my etsy shoppe :)pair of bowls for chip and dip or serving

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

time warp Tuesday and then some...

You know Jen runs this thing, time warp Tuesday, a chance to look back at your old snaps?
I poke through the old album, and am often surprised by the little nuggets.  I tucked similar photos behind photos sometimes, so look at this (had been hidden) series of the wife and my old bachelor cat Sammy, winter 1992, just when we started getting together, me and the future wife....Sammy liked to climb into her skirts! (Sammy was such a great cat, passed away a few years ago, age 17!  He had been a stray on the streets of Chicago, but was a beauty, nice long marmalade and white fur--speaking of beauty, goodness, look at my lady, wow!)

In other news, of course, work continues with hilarious results sometimes....Godzilla bowls by me...

have an awesome day, we will!

Monday, February 18, 2013

YOU and 25 raNdom things....

The wife is writing 25 random things about herself Saturday...and, well, it gets me thinking.  She has only HERSELF to blame that I spent Sunday breakfast NOT talking to her at the table, but scribbling 25 notes instead.

I challenge YOU:  go to comments, give us 3 quick random things about yourself, and if you are REALLY on the ball, tell us you are gonna go to your own blog and make it 5, 10, 15, 25, whatever, random things about yourself!  The world wants to KNOW!
So here is my list of 25 random things about myself....and down below, let's have some pound cake too, hmmm?

1) I think pigs are hilarious and cute.  BIG SURPRISE.
2) I love teapots.  But tea?  A distant second to strong coffee.
3)  I am a very lazy housecleaner--I like it clean, but get bored cleaning the house VERY quickly.
5)  I listen to Celtic and country music every Sunday, but ONLY on Sunday  and

6) I have the friendliest cat, really! He was known as the friendliest cat at the shelter the whole time he was there, and we were the lucky ones who had the home for him.
7)  pineapple:  my favorite!  Put me on a desert island with pineapple and peanut butter and I am SET.
8) I like to run, but am the slooooowest of my friends--first mile to last, exactly the same slow speed, but hey, I am moving!  We ran Sunday afternoon...gale force wind, snow, below zero with wind chill, the most miserable run of my life, but a fun time with my buddies :)
9)  Performance today is my afternoon date every day.  Live classical music!
10)  I love applesauce, apple pie, apple jam, YES, apples and spice rival or exceed my love of pineapple.

11)  I usually have oatmeal and...applesauce for breakfast number 1.  After the morning run is breakfast number 2, usually pb and j.
12)  I like to doodle and draw but like so many things I do I have no technical skill or training or patience for it.  But I DO have fun!
13)  Bike = spring = JOY!
14) I love tidy food like calzones and burritos--the whole meal wrapped up nicely!
15)  I love visiting the Maine coast.  We honeymooned there in a castle 20 some years ago
and when we lived in New Hampshire, a short hour's drive away, we visited York beach and Kittery and Ogunquit all the time.  I miss it and look forward to being a millionaire and going back...
16) As some of you know I am a Quaker.  The wife came with me once to her first meeting for worship and told me later "you hadn't mentioned that we sat in silence...for an hour".  OOOPS! There is a certain quiet humility that you admire in Quakers.  I wish I had it!  I try to be more calm and quiet, something to strive for!

17)  I am currently reading "Restoration" by Rose Tremain
It is so good, when she has her character eat apple fritters, I WANT to eat apple fritters (see my post and recipe fr0m a couple of days ago about apple fritters), AND the pound cake seen below.  Good literature is so inspiring!
18) When it is 12 degrees and my dog is dawdling over smells on the path, I am NOT patient...
19) I like using my own pots the best.  It is not narcissitic but experimenting with my work, thinking about it.  I think about what I am creating all the time, and using my own work is part of that.  Other potters' work sits in places of honor upon the shelf.
20) First time I met the woman who would become my wife, she was SO PRETTY I could not look her in the eye.  I stuttered out a quick greeting and ran off.  Luckily, our paths crossed again later...
21)  I ignore the cat when he gets hungry and weaves around my feet meowing pitieously and grabbing my hand..until it is actually the time to feed him.
22)  Is there anything better than cinnamon?
23)  There are times I think New Order embodies the very best of all 70-80s new wave music
24) Maybe Talking heads  Remain in Light, Prince's Purple Rain and Rolling Stones Some Girls are my 3 favorite albums of all time BUT Led Zeppelin gets my blood pumping
25)  My wife makes me so happy.  I am so fortunate!

and now, as the wife said when she did this "Now I can write anything I want!" as if the whole thing was not, you know, anything you want ...
Bonus:  26)  I like chardonnay.  That doesn't make make me seem like a wimp?  A yuppie??? A METROSEXUAL????
PS--27) I am ashamed to admit that I have a big bureau holding my tee shirt collection, including one drawer full of 2-3 dozen Life is Good tee shirts....

Like I was saying, Rose Tremain's book is so enjoyable, she has me wanting to make some of the food in it. She mentions her characters love of LARDY CAKE, which I took to be a type of pound cake.  I looked up vegan pound cake, came across the link below and oh MY it baked up tasty and wonderful!  Lardy cake is actually a little different from pound cake as it turns out, I discovered later (who cares!).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

one cute little....

The wife tells her friends on Saturday "he is the most productive person I know".  True or not, nice of her to think so, and Saturday I was a bit of a dervish, walking the beagle mucho miles, finishing items, making and firing a boatload of gnome mugs and making jam and calzones.... I told the wife that is what you have to do if you are self employed:  be productive! Plus its fun.
Today?  Whoosh.  I have the chocolate raspberry coffee in hand now but NO get up and go, deliciously exhausted,  but hey, what is Sunday for?
Therefore, just one cute picture....

(teapots by Gary Rith)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

sweety pie

I swear the secret to life is a warm BEAGLE and a hot cup of Tom Kelleher's chocolate raspberry coffee....

Like ·  · Share · Promote ·  2 seconds ago  ·  

Believe it or not, that was what I said yesterday, and here I am AGAIN, with more chocolate raspberry coffee and my wee
beagle sweety pie....and,well, you can imagine....

Some of you will remember my WEE apple pies.  Ten or so years ago Martha Stew.'s magazine had a
simple recipe to make tiny little apple pies with kids.  I was like "who needs the kids?" and my version of this fun and quick
pie follows!***

I have an order to make a gazillion GNOME MUGS.  This is funny.  Blogging is free, right? And what you wrote years ago NEVER GOES AWAY. In my case it has always been free, and an easy and fun way to do business.  I filled up TWO blogs quickly between 2006 and a couple years ago (before I found a way to sneak content into a 3rd blog without loading in too much bits and bytes).  Anyway, last week a woman writes that she had come across my gnome mugs in a blog post I did in 2007....I have not made such a thing in all these years, but I was LIKE OK, can do....... have a great weekend!

****4 baby apple pies recipe

-prepare dough 1/2 hour early:  using a fork in a bowl, mix 1 1/3 cup flour, 6 tbs margerine, 1 tbs sugar, 5 tbs water...when it looks combined and doughy and nice, set in fridge for 1/2 hour
-later, preheat oven to 350
-chop 2 apples and put into a 2nd bowl with 1 tbs lemon or lime juice, 1 tbs sugar, 2 tbs flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, stir nicely
-take dough, form into a log, cut into 8 pieces.  Using your hands to pattycake 4 into flat disks, line 4 custard cups with dough, pressing it around to cover well.  Then add apple mix.  Pattycake the remaining 4 dough bits and stretch to cover eac wee pie nicely, fork the top edge, cut slits.  I added some sugar and cinnamon to the tops....
-set on a cookie sheet and bake about 35-45 minutes, until they look golden!

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.