How are you? In Michigan, we have had a mild winter. A snowstorm during the holidays and then some snow last weekend. Just in time for Grand Haven’s Winterfest. When, I had the brick and mortar gallery, visitors would always say “you always have fun things happening in Grand Haven”. I agree with them. Year round, there are community events.
Throughout the winter, You will see changes happening to the website. We are focusing on Sun Inspired Home Decor. My ceramic pieces feature our Lake Michigan sand on their exterior. It has taken me more than 18 years to develop this line of pottery. I am enjoying my time in the studio creating these pieces. Wall art will feature water related themes. Our hand fabricated jewelry is organic, unique, and fun to wear.
I will continue assisting artists in marketing their artwork. Each month, I plan to visit and interview different artists. You will be able to read about what they are creating, what gets them excited, and most importantly see new art. I always learn something during these conversations. I know you will also. For instance, did you know that Pewabic Pottery is a National Historic site and that they sell more than 20 different ceramic artist’s pots?
While I am writing this post, I am listening to a conversation that I had with Tony Clennell. We did a zoom meeting with fellow ceramic artists during Covid. One thing that he said was life can’t be like a four burner stove. You can not have all of the burners turned on high. You will burn out. I believe we will hear nuggets of wisdom during these artist talks. I look forward to sharing these with you.
I almost forgot: Free shipping to beat away the Wintertime Blues. Use Code: Blues2023 through February 15, 2023. (Even on paintings.)
A fellow clay artist, Naomi Clement, shared her grandmother’s shortbread recipe. With it being cold outside, I thought it sounded great.
Naomi says, “Every year when we were kids, my mom corralled all four of us into making and decorating shortbread cookies to give to our teachers, as thanks for putting up with us in school. She made the dough and rolled it out, and we had the more enjoyable task of cutting out and decorating the cookies, using a selection of homemade buttercream icing in a rainbow of garish colours, and various sprinkles. I distinctly remember one year when my brother hid big silver sprinkle “balls” under the icing on a few of his cookies for a teacher he wasn’t very, um, fond* of. I’ve always kind of worried about that teacher and if her teeth made it through unscathed.”
Here’s the recipe. It’s pretty simple, but delicious:
1 cup butter (I use salted)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups pastry flour
Cream the butter and sugar together, then slowly mix in the flour. Roll out on a wooden surface, using extra flour as needed. Cut into shapes, and cook at 275F for 45-60 min (low and slow means they are less likely to burn). Cool on a rack then decorate as you see fit.
Most recipes call for icing sugar, but brown sugar gives these a nice caramelly flavour.
If you give them a try let me know what you think!
I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head. I have ideas for large platters. New beach vessels in round and oval shapes. Some tall vase forms. All relating to sun oriented home decor ideas. I love sunsets and the beach – any beach. My ongoing work will be thinking about water, sand movement, lines in the sand, and textures. The kiln is firing while I write this newsletter. I am firing the gas kiln with a different firing cycle. We will see what the changes create.
Take good care, please, Cyndi