Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Campana Clear /Grey tests with variations in kaolin

Here are some images of a test I ran with the glaze Campana Clear cone 6 Glaze. There was a question about this glaze effect Scott Chatenever observed where it was getting milky with the colorants.

There was a suggestion that kaolin was at the source of the milkiness so I decide to run a test. I mixed up the recipe and left out the kaolin and then just added a bunch of different ones I had on hand. They are EPK, Ball Clay, McNamee, New Zealand, Grolleg, Peerless #3, Standard, Super Standard, Dixie, and D'Arvor kaolins. Each of these have various amounts of iron, titanium and other impurities and they vary in amounts of Al/Si so it is hard to isolate one material when testing.

I tested these on test tiles in cone 6 electric E1 firing cycle.

The claybodies are Frost, P5, Redstone, and 266. All this is listed in each image.

The colorants I used were the ones for the Campana Grey - 0.15% Cobalt carbonate, 0.6% Copper Carbonate, and 1.8% Manganese carbonate.

(Remember that these were quick tests and not definitive, and there were some problems with mixing as can be seen on D'Arvor tests with white specks and in color set with some streaking because of no sieving.)

What I learned:
  • Most of the clear glazes had a yellow cast from the iron in the kaolins, even though it is only a small amount. But the CLEAREST one was with New Zealand Kaolin. It was the clearest glaze I have ever seen!   This may translate to other recipes ...getting a clearer CLEAR glaze. Best on Frost clay.  The Grolleg was the next clearest. [remember that this particular recipe has low iron so if you use Custer or other feldspar with iron the clay may not help as much.]
  • The next most amazing thing was the OM-4 set (which is a ball clay but I wanted to see what it would do since it and EPK is often used in glazes) This set was the most milky and it is very visible in both the clear set and colorant set. Probably caused by impurities in ball clay. ( it has  a lot of iron and titanium compared to kaolins and it is quite a variable material!)
  • There was a great difference when I added two kaolins, Peerless #3 and Dixie which required me to add  more water than the rest. They are made to have high surface area for rubber manufacturing. You can google the kaolin name and "digital fire" and a description will come up.(e.g. Dixie digital fire).    This cause come application variation because it was thicker.
  • The colorant test had several with big pinholes/bubbles which are presumable from copper carbonate or manganese dioxide gassing off. (I have observed this in other colorant tests.)
  • Not sure if it is visible the the Frost clay in the two colorant tests were all very clear but the test on the P-5 were almost all milky with blue and white flecks. So the clay body (P-5 is a domestic porcelain and I don't know the recipe but presume it contains EPK and some ball clay) with the colorants is clearly causing this effect. You can see this in the thickest drippy spots toward the bottom. So the effect Scott was seeing is possibly related to his clay body and the colorants. (this is not really visible in the clear set on the same two bodies.)








Campana Clear /Grey with D'Arvor Kaolin and colorants (Detail showing milky blue streaking and white flecks. )





































Sunday, April 24, 2016

Faux Pho from Budget Bytes

Quickie Faux Phở - The next best to the real thing when you're short on time. BudgetBytes.com

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/04/quickie-faux-pho/

INGREDIENTS

SOUP
6 cups chicken stock* $0.78
½ Tbsp five spice blend $0.15
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped $1.50
8oz. wide rice noodles $1.75
TOPPINGS
1 jalapeño $0.14
1 lime $0.50
2 green onions $0.20
¼ bunch cilantro $0.20
Sriracha to taste $0.15
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes if you like it more spicy
Added peanuts
Hoisin sauce to taste $0.15

INSTRUCTIONS
Add the chicken stock, five spice blend, and chicken pieces to a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and continue to boil until tender** (about 4-5 minutes).
While the noodles are boiling, slice the jalapeño and green onions, and cut the lime into wedges.
Spoon the broth, noodles, and chicken into four bowls. Top with a couple wedges of lime, a few slices of jalapeño and green onion, and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Serve with sriracha and hoisin on the side.

NOTES
*Use the best broth or stock available. Since my stock was made with scraps and nearly impossible to estimate the cost, I used the price of the store bought broth that I usually use (Better Than Bouillon).

**If you plan to store your soup in the refrigerator, cook and store the noodles separately from the broth. To serve, just place some noodles in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the hot broth over top.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Chocolate Babka






INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE DOUGH:
½ cup/118 milliliters whole milk
1 package (1/4 ounce/7 grams)active dry yeast
⅓ cup/67 grams granulated sugar, plus a pinch
4 ¼ cups/531 grams all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest(optional)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
10 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing bowls and pans
FOR THE FUDGE FILLING:
½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
¾ cup/177 milliliters heavy creamor half-and-half
Pinch kosher salt
6 ounces/170 grams extra bittersweet chocolate, preferably between 66 and 74 percent cocoa, coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons/112 grams/1 stickunsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
2 teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE STREUSEL:
½ cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons/45 grams granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons/11 grams cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ½ tablespoons/64 grams unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup/60 grams mini semisweet chocolate chips
FOR THE SYRUP:
⅔ cup/135 grams granulated sugar


PREPARATION
Prepare the dough: In a small saucepan or a bowl in the microwave, warm the milk until it’s lukewarm but not hot (about 110 degrees). Add yeast and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.

In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, or in a food processor, mix together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the salt, the vanilla, the lemon zest (if using) and the nutmeg. (If you don't have a mixer or processor, use a large bowl and a wooden spoon.) Beat or process in the yeast mixture and eggs until the dough comes together in a soft mass, about 2 minutes. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl and doesn’t come together, add a tablespoon more flour at a time until it does, beating very well in between additions.

Add half the butter and beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Beat in the rest of the butter and continue to beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and stretchy, another 5 to 7 minutes. Again, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Butter a clean bowl, form the dough into a ball and roll it around in the bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place (inside of a turned-off oven with the oven light on is good) until it puffs and rises, about 1 to 2 hours. It may not double in bulk but it should rise.

Press the dough down with your hands, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (or, in a pinch, for at least 4 hours, but the flavor won't be as developed).

Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cream and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Scrape mixture into a bowl. Stir in chocolate, butter and vanilla until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Filling can be made up to a week ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before using.
Prepare the streusel: In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in melted butter until it is evenly distributed and forms large, moist crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Streusel can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.

Prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 2/3 cup/158 milliliters water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
Butter two 9-inch loaf pans, then line with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of paper hanging over on the sides to use as handles later.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9-by-17-inch rectangle. Spread with half the filling (there's no need to leave a border). Starting with a long side, roll into a tight coil. Transfer the coil onto a dish towel or piece of plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

Slice one of the dough coils in half lengthwise to expose the filling. Twist the halves together as if you were braiding them, then fold the braid in half so it’s about 9 inches long. Place into a prepared pan, letting it curl around itself if it’s a little too long for the pan. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy (it won’t quite double). 

Alternatively, you can cover the pans with plastic wrap and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight; bring them back to room temperature for an hour before baking.

When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use your fingers to clump streusel together and scatter all over the tops of the cakes. Transfer to oven and bake until a tester goes into the cakes without any rubbery resistance and comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. The cakes will also sound hollow if you unmold them and tap on the bottom. An instant-read thermometer will read between 185 and 210 degrees.

As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, use a skewer or paring knife to pierce them all over going all the way to the bottom of the cakes, and then pour the syrup on top of the cakes, making sure to use half the syrup for each cake.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Cinnamon Babka


http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018045-chocolate-babka

I adapted the chocolate babka recipe and just used the dough and put on butter, cinnamon and sugar to make Cinnamon Babka.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DOUGH:
½ cup/118 milliliters whole milk
1 package (1/4 ounce/7 grams)active dry yeast
⅓ cup/67 grams granulated sugar, plus a pinch
4 ¼ cups/531 grams all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest(optional)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
10 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing bowls and pans

FOR THE CINNAMON FILLING-  for each loaf:
3 Tbls  granulated sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon


PREPARATION
Prepare the dough: In a small saucepan or a bowl in the microwave, warm the milk until it’s lukewarm but not hot (about 110 degrees). Add yeast and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.

In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, or in a food processor, mix together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the salt, the vanilla, the lemon zest (if using) and the nutmeg. (If you don't have a mixer or processor, use a large bowl and a wooden spoon.) Beat or process in the yeast mixture and eggs until the dough comes together in a soft mass, about 2 minutes. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl and doesn’t come together, add a tablespoon more flour at a time until it does, beating very well in between additions.

Add half the butter and beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Beat in the rest of the butter and continue to beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and stretchy, another 5 to 7 minutes. Again, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Butter a clean bowl, form the dough into a ball and roll it around in the bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place (inside of a turned-off oven with the oven light on is good) until it puffs and rises, about 1 to 2 hours. It may not double in bulk but it should rise.

Press the dough down with your hands, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (or, in a pinch, for at least 4 hours, but the flavor won't be as developed).

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9-by-17-inch rectangle. Spread 2 Tbls of melted butter on the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the entire surface. (add more or less - cinnamon or sugar depending on taste) Starting with a long side, roll into a tight coil. Transfer the coil onto a dish towel or piece of plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

Slice one of the dough coils in half lengthwise to expose the filling. Twist the halves together as if you were braiding them, then fold the braid in half so it’s about 9 inches long. Place into a prepared pan, letting it curl around itself if it’s a little too long for the pan. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy (it won’t quite double). 

Alternatively, you can cover the pans with plastic wrap and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight; bring them back to room temperature for an hour before baking.

When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use your fingers to clump streusel together and scatter all over the tops of the cakes. Transfer to oven and bake until a tester goes into the cakes without any rubbery resistance and comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. The cakes will also sound hollow if you unmold them and tap on the bottom. An instant-read thermometer will read between 185 and 210 degrees.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cone 6 Ceramic Glaze Discussion/ Weekend in Central Pennsylvania-Montoursville

Got a few spots left open for this weekend workshop next weekend (April 29 - May 1, 2016)



April 29 – May 1, 2016
CENTERED EARTH CLAY ART STUDIO AND GALLERY

A Visiting Artist Workshop with John Britt

Cone 6 Glaze Discussion/Weekend

Tuition: $250

This workshop will be a general overview of ceramic glazes, focusing on but not limited to cone 6 glazes. It is designed for beginner to intermediate potters. We will discuss cones, kilns, firing dynamics and principles as well as applying those principles to various firing cycles. This will lead us into some basic classifications of glazes, like ash, celadon, temmoku, etc. We will discuss how and why each type of glaze works and how you can achieve them, how to adjust your glazes and how to find new ones. We will discuss glazes from my new book: “The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes: Glazing and Firing at cone 4 – 7”, but will go into more detail than the book allowed.

There is no firing with this workshop but John will bring tiles samples from his book as well as pots.

Slide Talk Friday 6-8 p.m.

Glaze discussion Sat and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For registration contact :
Kathy Görg
111 North Montour Street
Montoursville, PA 17754
1.570-666-3159
http://www.centeredearth.com/workshops.html

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom




Got this book from interlibrary loan today and wanted to post the Forward which I found to be brilliant:

"KNOWLEDGE is the accumulation of information provided by education as we begin to store the data in our brains that should prepare use for the challenges of the manufacturing environment. It applies to every level and every opportunity of education, formal and informal. This is simply to Know, without any requirement except a good memory, and is the basis for the following two thoughts.

UNDERSTANDING is the assimilation of knowledge, or the thinking process, as we begin to arrange and rearrange the data we Know for quick recall as it may be needed. This also applies to every level and opportunity of education. It is Know-why based upon what we Know, and it requires some scepticism of oversimplified answers and a hunger for mental consistency.

WISDOM is the application of both knowledge and understanding in real life enterprises. As we apply both our knowledge and understanding in those situations, all three are further enhanced by each progressive experience. This is that wonderful Know-How -- to apply our education based upon Know-why which was based upon Knowledge -- which provides the confidence we need to advance in all phases of performance.

If you graduated yesterday,
And you stop learning today,
You will be uneducated tomorrow." page xxxi

James Funk and Dennis Dinger



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Business Class for Artists in Spruce Pine NC

jon_low_res


Jon Ellenbogen and Rebecca Plummer have been operating The Barking Spider Pottery in Penland for over 40 years. In this workshop, Jon will share his experience in running a small, successful business. The concepts and strategies he’ll offer at the workshop can save a crafts business owner hundreds, even thousands of dollars every year!

Class will include topics that often go unexplored by crafts artists—establishing credibility, record keeping, tax considerations, insurance strategies, business practices, operating a co-operative gallery, creating your own crafts show—things you may never have thought of but that are easy to learn and put into place to make your business a success.

Bring questions.

This class is perfect for an artist just starting out and trying to learn to ropes of the business or a seasoned artist looking for greater success with her/his craft.

Class will be held on Tuesday, May 10 from 10 to noon at :

TRAC Arts Resource Center above the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery at 269 Oak Avenue.

The workshop is free but you must register.

Please call 828.766.1295, or email Allen Cook at tcook@mayland.edu.

For more information, please visit the TRAC website, www.toeriverarts.org or call 828.682.7215.

http://www.toeriverarts.org/for-artists/art-business-classes/