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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Time Warp Tuesday: it was 20 years ago today...

YES, about 20 years ago indeed!  First:  you know Jen runs Time Warp Tuesday, right?  A chance to look back at your old pics?
The wife and I married 20 years ago last Christmas and honeymooned the following spring.  Sometimes it occurs to me that is the only vacation we have ever taken...people ask where we like to go for vacation and its like... ?  *Blink blink*  I am not one of those people who GOES places.  Well, the wee day outings, sure, but go somewhere?  Why would I want to go anywhere?????

Camden, Maine...note sweaters--nobody vacations in Maine in spring!
On our honeymoon we took the train Chicago-Boston, rented a car, drove to Portland, Maine, went through Freeport to Camden and stayed in a CASTLE.  Then we went down to Vermont and saw cousins and visited Bennington where I had gone to college, then back to Boston and the train to NYC.  The wife's sister lived there and we stayed awhile...the whole thing was a little less than 2 weeks, a lot of miles and fun!

NYC, the Staten Island Ferry...the Twin Towers behind my SIL.....the wife always tells me my hair is too short....what do I care, I can't even see it from my perspective!

Monday, April 29, 2013

the GLUTEN-free and VEGAN fascists....

As a vegan I know all too well that when the dinner invitation comes it goes like this:
"Gary, why don't you guys come over for dinner?  You are SO AWESOME.  We can drink cheapo jug vino and gossip about everybody!"
And I have to reply "We are difficult guests, no meat, no dairy, we are vegan!" and you hear back
"Oh.  We were going to roast a pig and grill some steaks. I guess you are not so awesome after all."
And I reply "Wait wait, we can bring our own twigs and lawn clippings to eat!" but they have already hung up the phone.....

The wife will say "Good manners is making other people comfortable" and that is why I REALLY DO bring my own food when I am invited to other people's houses...unless they specifically tell me they are cooking vegan, I pack an apple and pb and j in the car....  that way I have good manners and do not make my hosts uncomfortable by making them cook up a big stew pot of lawn clippings and twigs.

Conversely, when people come over here, I explain how I cook but that my cooking KICKS ASS and any carnivore, locavore or dinosaur will be happy here...and happily stuffed!

BUT, you and I know, there is a new guest type out there these days:  THE GLUTEN-FREE guest, and I want to have good manners and treat them well and make them comfortable. Plus, truly, compared to white flour, oat flour has wonderful nutritional elements and I like trying recipes using it: it has iron, fiber, protein and cholesterol fighting properties.  White flour is crap!  (I still use it though, with as much multi-grain as possible, but that is not the subject of this post)

SO, I wondered if I could make my SUPER tasty multigrain vegan pancakes with oat flour, a simple substitution.  NO.  No I could not. Tasty but very crumbly.  So I rewrote the thing on Sunday and made them this am.  I took out sugar and used molasses (sticky!) and made and added egg replacer (sticky! for cohesion!) out of one TBS ground flax seed and 2 TBS water stirred together. ***

HOT DAMN they were good! Sort of hearty like buckwheat pancakes, you know?

In other news, we seem to do ALL of our eating outside when it is nice...Sunday was NICE, 70s nice!

I was making a bunch of vases last week and this one sorta modestly snuck in and I was like
"HOLY CATS, perfect!"  As a potter, you do so many steps on some items, they can surprise you when they all come together and are suddenly...beautiful!

(vase by Gary Rith)

Gary's oat flour vegan AND gluten-free pancakes!  makes 6 wee pancakes
-in a small bowl mix one TBS ground flax seed and 2 TBS water
-in a mixing bowl put in and stir together 1/2 cup oat flour, 1 1/4 Tbs baking powder and a dash of salt
-add to the flour mix: 1 Tbs molasses, 1 1/4 Tbs oil, 1/2 cup soy milk and your egg flax egg replacer
-I added 1/2 cup bluberries
-do not let it be thin--add a little more flour if you have  to for a good, thickish batter
-fry them like any pancake!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

when SPRING springs...

How do you know its SPRING?  Is it that cold glass of sauvignon blanc on the back deck at 5 and you are NOT wearing a wool sweater, parka and gloves for the first time since September? (YES)  Is it hanging laundry out in the sun?  Is it gossiping with your neighbors and their fuzzy golden doodle as you walk your dog?  Or is it browsing the free crap on the sidewalk, items left out by neighbors for ANYbody to have? (for the record, the orange chair was FREE, the bathtub= 200 bucks, but they will take has lion's feet!  Sorry, no photo of THAT one yet....and I did pick up elsewhere the most awesome stack of ten paperbacks you have even seen!)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"oh yeah, they say there is a baseball museum around here somewhere..."

Yep, BUSINESS TRIP with the wife Friday...


You have seen that I exhibit in Cooperstown, maybe the PRETTIEST town in New York on the PRETTIEST of the Finger Lakes? Maybe it is not REALLY a Finger Lake, but still.... it is about 100 miles, 2 hours 20 minutes of hills each way...

Anyway, I entered a competition this week at the Cooperstown Art Assoc.  You can see they have hundreds of entries OH WOW.  Entries for the show are selected Sunday with PRIZE WINNERS.  Then it is up all month.  I, ahem, might have misread the entry form?  Because, it is, without exaggerating, like 200 paintings ...and my little teaset.  The entry form asks category, like painting, pastel, drawing, and, UM, there is no category for, er, pottery there.  So, ah, well anyway...either I am the only entry in pottery and WIN A PRIZE or I am summarily KICKED OUT...rejected and DESPISED.....

I sell year 'round in their permanent gallery store, as you see, so I was filling the shelves there too....

The   galleries are in a building that combines their cute public library and the art space, isn't it beautiful, all stone with those columns?

The dog came along and was such an angel, which allowed the 2 of us to visit ALL of the art in the store and gallery  They are SO nice to me in Coop, and there is a lot of money there too. We also visited a couple of stores with baseball (ahem, collectibles and JUNK, we did not spend anything but its fun!) and one of our favorite used book stores, also on the Coop main drag--a used book store with all these stacks of books on the floor and quirky odd owners?
The guy at the counter tells us "oh yeah, they say there is a baseball museum around here somewhere".

 I got a fantastic book from many years ago by Walt Disney illustrated by Margaret Wise Brown---the 89 cents sticker is still on there (from the 1950s) but then the store priced it at 60....and then down to 6. Why do I mention it? The book is full of piggy illustrations to DIE for. So cute. We also, um, got a stack of A plus primo paperbacks. One was free. All of this for 11 dollars. .. We walked on the lakefront too..., with the mountains and old houses. Penny walked with us on the lake and then slept in the car while we wandered and book shopped, she is a CHAMP.

Friday, April 26, 2013

when HATE comes to town

  Americans who have guns to supposedly to protect their homes from intruders should be aware that those weapons are more likely going to be used in a suicide attempt by themselves or a family member or in the accidental shooting of a family member or friend.

America is sick.  You get this whole bizarro world "health care is bad, guns are good" mentality.  I heard conservatives described as "pugilistic" yesterday and that describes them well:  there may not be as many as you think because they are so LOUD and exert so much influence.  Why?  Is it growing up watching Hollywood westerns and Daniel Boone, we are supposed to be a country of rugged types out shooting squirrels to feed the women folk?  Or is it like the band NWA said 20 some years ago "FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET"?

Anyway, there is an apartment building on the corner  with about 10-12 units.  It is not a very nice building.  Many of the units are section 8, gov't subsidized housing, and some residents are black and some white.  The city of Ithaca is 5 miles to our west and is a cosmopolitan community.  A small version of Boston.  BUT the surrounding hills are full of country people with a very different view of the world.

Last week these rock and rollers moved into that apartment building, "Joan Jett", her teen daughter and husband.  I do not know if they are on gov't subsidized housing programs, receiving a check from the US to pay their rent.  They are country heavy metal types in appearance.  When I saw their car yesterday I was like "Ah HA, the Ted Nugent type of country heavy metal types".  You KNOW I snapped a pic of their car.  I wonder what the black people in that building think of them....

Cleanse the palate by looking at my cute tiles.  Helen was like "I need new coasters for my new place! Like, esp. Godzilla for little Sebastian!"

(Coasters by Gary Rith)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

little pitchers have big ears...

Actually, these are pretty big pitchers.  Funny, that expression: my mother would always say that when I was little, knowing that I was quite GOOD at repeating embarrassing adult stories that I overheard.  She would be talking to someone, give me this knowing sideways look, and basically say "don't trust this kid with your secrets, c'mon, lets go share this juicy gossip in private".  Of course, I knew how to sneak along and listen at doors too....

ANYWAY, I have been in the mood to make useful!  Such pretty possibilities!

(pitchers by Gary Rith)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

talking about EXTRAORDINARILY cute....

It was gorgeous Tuesday, and I had to walk my friend's dog Nook... Penny and the wife came along. Penny and the wife are like "Let's go to the falls! Now lets go way up on the Cornell campus!". It was one and a half hours and some miles, mmm hmmm :) Sometimess I imagine how cute Penny and Nook's puppies would have been, they are very close friends....

In other news, I have been working on this teaset and the little dishes just came out of the kiln.  I am entering a special exhibit and competition this weekend in Cooperstown... I hope this wins a spot!
Have an awesome Wednesday!


(pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time warp Tuesday: 17, annnnnd....

You know Jen runs Time Warp Tuesday, right? A chance to look at your old snaps?
I took this one when I was 17.  You are probably thinking "Gary has a long history of taking pictures of himself!".  This is probably where it started!  I was a VERY artsy fartsy kid...still am :)

In other news, i see my buddy Kerry on Monday at her office....I brought her a monster choco chip cookie I had baked for her tea.  She already has my beagle cup....
AND lookit this delightful pic of Janet's young grandson Ralphy with a bowl she asked me to make for him, a shark!

Speaking of scones, on Sunday I was over at the Quaker meetinghouse after meeting and Melissa had brought along some vegan maple walnut scones HOLY CATS they were spectacular!  I had never eaten anything like that, and so rich and tasty and VEGAN?  No butter or cream?  Melissa says she will share the recipe but you know I jumped on it and found one here I liked.
Along the way I discovered that the number one listing for maple walnut scones is from Starschmucks... ah HA.  Maybe they had something everybody liked and clever people tried to replicate it, vegan?  Because it is right there for you to google:  the Starschmucks maple walnut scone recipe, all the buttery creamy stuff, like 400 CALORIES per scone.  Which is tasty, but maybe a lifetime's worth of cholesterol?  Then you see a vegan scone, made with clever soy substitutions, NO cholesterol, and like, 150 calories I KID YOU NOT.
Melissa has not given me her recipe yet, but I liked the looks of this one and OH MY you could make it at home, so easy.  I found that the cooking time of 20 minutes should be more like 15-20 minutes, make sure they brown but do not burn.  Also, the awesome glaze on top?  It is gonna be messy and you will see I set a pan under to catch all the runoff.  I will mix less glaze next time and put it on less messily....
I also did not have walnuts and used almonds instead (so what, right? try pecans!) and the sage seems a little odd in theory, so my recipe card reads "sage or other spice", so I can put in clove or cinnamon or nutmeg if I feel like it next time...see how great they look?  YUM. and healthy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

"the guild of chimney sweepers...and potters"

Eva Zeisel lived to 105 and was a huge presence in worldwide ceramics and design (our tea kettle on the stove top  was designed by her).  She had a nice way of designing  something useful, sleek, affordable.  A studio potter like me (a studio potter is basically a person who does the whole pottery thing start to finish, as in, wad of clay formed into pot then decorated and glazed and fired in one studio usually by one person--a complete artist and craftsman) would normally SNIFF with contempt (studio potters really do!) at Karim Rashid or others who are called "ceramists" or something when actually, to a studio potter, those people seem to be INDUSTRIAL DESIGENERS.  Meaning, they draw an item or make one item and have a factory do the rest.  THAT IS NOT A STUDIO POTTER, they are designers.  Potters get dirty and generally live in poverty and drink beer.  Designers make millions, drink chardonnay and drive BMWs.  Like I say, potters despise so called "ceramists".

Eva Zeisel is the exception.  She became an industrial designer, a very good one.  But first, when she was young, she lived in Budapest where she was an apprentice potter and a member of (this SO totally cracks me up)
(I was thinking about this the other day because I am a volunteer cleaner of our Quaker Meetinghouse, and we call  ourselves the "Third Street Sweepers")

"the guild of chimney sweepers, oven makers, roof tilers, well diggers and potters"

(mugs by Gary Rith)

Sunday, April 21, 2013


(new mugs by Gary Rith)

My pal Vegan Mother Hubbard makes a stack of pizzas for her husband's birthday and luckily there are twins to help eat all of those pizzas is THAI PEANUT SAUCE pizza and I am like "say WHAT?".
You know a) I love peanut butter and b)  I make peanut noodles all the time, so c) why NOT make a pizza with peanut butter sauce???? You can check how she does it here.  The only change I made was
a)  I knew I was making a big pizza and therefore made 50 percent more sauce and
b)  instead of cauliflower we used pretty little sliced bell peppers which I HIGHLY recommend, cauliflower or no
c)  my pizza dough recipe calls for baking at 400 and she says 375.  My wife said "try it her way first, in case there is burning or something" but next time I might go with my usual 400 baking temp, and watch the pizza around the 14-15 minute mark
d)  holy CATS, speaking of peanut butter pizza, I gotta TRY THIS next time too! Have a great Sunday!

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