food for the body and soul

We've had some rainy days here in Italy. I feel especially sorry for our guests that have come from so far, so today there was something extra special on the breakfast table this morning.

I filled baby zucchini flowers with creamy gorgonzola cheese and sauteed them in a bit of butter and oil - a bit of summer warmth for our dear guests. I served them up with zuchini-flower frittate, fresh fruit and proscuitto.

With breakfast finished, I felt the need to create.  As the rain pounded down, I put a meditative CD on and went to work in my studio.  How fortunate I am to have a warm, dry space that is bright even on the dullest day.  I had been contemplating the importance of creative integrity.  How everything we create should be an expression of who we really are.  I'm working hard on a new collection for a new Etsy shop.  I have had some false starts with selling ceramics on line and this time I want to do it correctly and am spending a great deal of time on the design of each piece.

 

I'm enjoying this process and feeling that so much of what I am doing is really reflecting how I feel about simple, elegant living.  To have beautiful things around you that mean something to you makes every day life so much more lovely, don't you think?

 

I see the collection starting to come together now.  Delicate ceramic bottles and vases. Fuller, heavier bowls and containers.

I also made a pair of muesli bowls that I am decorating in their raw, leather-hard state with something called engobe. Engobe is a mixture of clay powder and quartz.  To this base mixture you can add color - I've added a very small amount of copper carbonate which will give just the lightest hue of green to the decorated parts of the bowls. First I've painted a stripe of the engobe on the bowl, and  then I've sculpted out a design.  Here they are as I was working on them:

Now I am turning to the decisions about glazing the new pieces.  This will be the most work and the most exciting part -- except, of course, for opening the kiln at the end of the first glaze firing.  I will come back with updates about these pieces as I put the shop together.

Rainy days can be some of the best days. I love going inside of myself and manifesting creativity.   I love pottery and I have so many ideas that I want to realize.  This is only the beginning. Creative inspiration - in the form of raindrops on my window. It doesn't get better than that.