Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mussels, Fresh Kiln, Tower Album III

It’s Halloween night, I have to keep reminding myself, because I don’t have any children at home  to do the reminding for me anymore.  We always had a plan of attack for this night and the kids always got a lot of candy.  Once when Ula was here as our foreign exchange student she was so excited about Halloween, because apparently in Poland they don’t have this.  She was beside herself waiting for the evening to come.

Sue and I love mussels.  We have a wonderful recipe we learned from Steve (Uwe) Riehs (  Most other recipes I’ve seen for mussels are much simpler, just oil, garlic and basil.
10_31_11_musselprepThis recipe is a little more involved, but not to, it also involves bacon…….ahh…..I have your attention now.  2 poblano peppers, half an onion, 6 cloves of garlic, a cup of chicken or veggy broth, blend.  (Crackers and goat cheese for a snack).  In a 6 quart stock pot, a little oil and just a little thick bits of bacon, brown and add the poblano blend, heat for a minute and add the mussels.  Stir and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes until they open.
10_31_11_musselpotIn this photo I just put the mussels in, I forgot to take a photo after they were done, I was too hungry !!    Remove from heat, add juice from 1 orange along with some zest (because its free) and a bunch of basil and your ready.  Be sure to have a nice baguette ready to soak up the broth.
10_31_11_sueglazingHere’s Sue glazing a multi-cultural mug.

And here’s the fresh kiln.

This kiln was about one third orders and I believe that from here on out all pottery will be for the sale, which takes place on November 19th and 20th.  Sue is going to try and have some pottery available on the website for web sales, all pottery will be 25% off.

Tower Album III

This book begins with ripping sheets of Reeves BFK, 100% cotton paper from France.  It’s the same paper I use in printmaking and is also good for watercolor.  The tower album  has a binding that allows it to expand to accept photographs and cut-outs, such as scrap-booking.

On 30 sheets I place a 3/4 inch template and with a folder tool I made a score along the paper enabling me to fold the paper very accurately.
10_31_11_paperfoldThe paper has a fold on one end of 3/4’s of an inch, so that when all stacked together the binding side will be thicker than the other side.  The fold accommodates whatever will eventually be added to the page by the owner.

The paper block is drilled through in four places and linen thread is tied to secure the block
10_31_11_paperblockThe thread gets cut very close to the block.
10_31_11_daveyboard_1Binders board is prepared.  One piece is cut to the correct size while the other has a gap which will allow a hinge to work
10_31_11_daveyboard_2The hinge is a piece of linen tape.  This is the basis of a Japanese Stab binding.  A binding that works very well for this sort of book.


I chose a wonderful piece of hand marbleized paper from an artist in Oregon for the book cover, and for the end sheets which you can’t see here I have a Japanese paper.  The tower has a wonderful splotch of Oxblood Red on top, I thought it would work with the colors in this paper.

You can see more of this book and others here at my Book Arts site.

Recording, Throwing Pots and Poetry

Sue’s throwing pots and getting ready for her big pottery sale the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I’m suggesting we call it, “Occupy our Gallery and come to our Tea Party”.
Because Sue always has tea and cookies for her sale.  I don’t know about the name in this climate, but I think it would be fun.


Sue use to have the big tea pot sale, but after several years I think everyone who wanted one or gave them away did so and we saturated the local market.  But Sue will still have a nice selection of traditional and foot teapots for 25% off.

Right now Sue is on hold with the cold that I had last week.  Now my Mom has it too and I have to pay careful attention to her health now while she works it through her system.  Mostly it was one day of sore throat and a week of sniffles, so I’m hoping it will be the same with Mom and Sue.

I’m back in the Recording Studio, I should come up with a name for my studio.  I just turned, “Journey up Gill Brook to Indian Head”, into an mp3, you can listen here, that’s my Adirondack Drummer web site, give it a moment to load on a separate page.

I’ve hiked Gill Brook many times, meditating at all the waterfalls, drawing them and mindfully walking onto the next one.  I wanted to capture the wonderfully subtle changes in the sounds of one little waterfall to the next.  Then everything changes as you climb up to Indian Head outlook

I had written a poem about Gill Brook, titled, “Stream of Sound” and I would like to somehow incorporate the drum piece and the poems, this will be a work in progress.  Here’s the poem.

Enchantment begins
because I want it that way.
Allowing myself to be
swept away by water,
forest and day.Sitting in a brook,
upon ancient rock
listening, absorbing sound,
a world of life
flowing past me.There is so much here
I’ll never get to touch,
only know that in my soul
I bathed for a little while
in it’s waters.Water that has swirled
around this planet since eons ago,
passing here now,
as it has passed
every traveler since time began.playful, slapping, pouring
I watch it splash,
foam and bubble together
I hear different moods
of the waterfallsI feel this moment
I observe the placement
of rocks over time,
I hear this day,
at this very spot.
The trail turns to Indian Head lookout
receding into the forest,
my mind feels as rinsed clean
by the sound of water
as if I had taken a cleansing bath.So intent I was listening
to flowing water
that now in the quiet of the woods
I meditate
and transcend with the forestSoon I burst out
upon a glorious rock
to see
the lower and upper
Au Sable Lakes.Wind comes soaring up the valley
rises against the small mountain
pressing, condensing
and along with the rock
I stand into it.I open my ears for the sound of it
My mouth instinctively opens
for the taste of it
freshly made in this glorious land
and now temporarily belonging to me.

It might turn out to be that I do the poem and drum piece separately, reading the poem first and them drumming the rhythms.

My immediate recording goals are to finish the five pieces I don’t have up on the Adirondack Drummer website as yet.  I’m relatively happy with the five that are up there, though I feel I can do better, but I’m still learning to record.  The ones with poetry and percussion are the hardest to record, because I can’t seem to do them at the same time and I’m learning to get a good dubbing of my voice in afterwards.

Another thing I want to record is Sue’s Udu’s and Xylophones.


First Date, Winter Ready and Back to Work

When I was going through the scrapbook recently I came across this.


Sue and Terry, November 1981 at Steinhoffs Inn Wilmington
We were having dinner after the craft show we organized for
Mountain Artists of NY.  The photo was taken by Dick Parks.

I was a vendor at the 1981 Lake Placid Horse show, where I met Stevie Bowman, Jeri Wright and Annoel Krider.  We put together a party at Stevie’s house for local artists and craftspeople to meet one another.  At that party and I guess a subsequent meeting we organized a craft show at Steinhoffs Inn.  I had experience in putting shows on and Sue joined me.  I guess you could say this was our first date.

Lately we’ve been out of the studio more than inside.


One day Sue went over to Scotts when he was pressing cider from his trees.  Sue loves cider, I’m not such a big fan.


I’m a bigger fan of goat cheese.  This is Asgaard Lane to the Asgaard Farm in AuSable Forks.  They are open on Saturday mornings and they sell organic meats and cheeses.

Years ago I did an etching of this lane.


Here’s the scene outside our house’s front door.  The gallery deck is behind the bush on the left and Hamlin Mountain across the street is under a cloud.  Autumn was a little later, very pretty, but our large maple which usually turns heads, stops buses and leaf peepers never got to its bright red this year.  But the bright orange was spectacular.


It’s that time of year to finish up the outside chores and get ready for the inevitability of winter. I haven’t as yet put away the outside chairs, there’s still going to be lots of nice days to sit outside.


Sue’s back in the studio, this is her second day of mug making.  We have a month until the Holiday Sale, the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Sue will be making a page of sale items on the website, if we don’t have your email address….send it over and you will find out when the Website Sale begins.


This is why I wanted to have apprentices.  To cut and prepare as much of this work as possible.  When I got a response of 14 people I choose two and then Tropical Irene came to town.  My apprentices never came to help, because they needed to help themselves and their neighbors from the storm damage.  There are so many components to this piano hinge binding, staining skewers, cutting twigs off my bushes, folding and cutting paper………I have made about 30 of them and I have ten others in the wings.  I will never make them again.


Perkey’s Elves came to visit and we bought some of her Holiday work,  Tree ornaments and balsam pillows.  Mrs. Perkey is in her 80’s I imagine and makes these wonderful crafts out of birch bark.  We haven’t seen her for a couple of years, so this is fun to have her wonderful craft work again.


Sue made a new batch of “Warmers”.  She picked out some wonderful fabric designs and filled them with seed corn.  Every year she make a batch for sale in the gallery.


Here’s the madness in my studio….a picture is worth a thousand words.

Our Studio Walls

We have a lot of shelves in the studio, filled with all kinds of things, even other potters who come into our spaces comment on the organization.  It’s hard to believe it looks organized to anyone.

With whatever wall space that is still there, that is taken up with whatever……..take a look…..

onthewalls_1 onthewalls_2
This door leads to the chemicals and large kiln, Sue has posted pictures of inspirational pieces of pottery on it. Can you see the cube hanging in the air.  It hangs over Sue’s wheel like a cloud, it has pictures on it, I have to ask her what it means.

onthewalls_3There’s a beam that Sue hangs all sorts of things from.  Baskets, old teapots and pine cones, gourds, trinkets from our trip to Chinatown, mugs, more pine cones…..

This is above Sue’s wedging table.  She has a list of the Clay Weights of all the pottery she makes.

onthewalls_5 onthewalls_16
 On the very top is a poem Sue wrote.“A child’s boots stick in the mud
Puddles dry and crack
Images whirl pas on a long bus ride
Fodder for a future potters dreams”
Below that are the sayings that Sue
writes on her Goblets.
 This I’ve shown before in the blog, they are Henna designs that Sue keeps up to inspire her new “Multicultural” design pottery.


I work out thoughts on large pieces of newsprint, then hang them around the studio while I think about them.
onthewalls_8Behind that drawing on the left this paper hat is pinned to the wall.  It was worn by me as “Teach” in American Buffalo.
onthewalls_10Says it All

When I use to get the Sunday Times I would cut out pictures and words all the time.  One time I made an art piece out of a bunch of word strips from the Art Section of the Times and entered it into a show, got an honorable mention.
onthewalls_9Family photos and a Christmas picture from a very young CJ
onthewalls_11Charcoal on newsprint idea

onthewalls_6 onthewalls_13
 A copy of my Woodstock ticket, and a poster, after the fact.  I was on leave from Vietnam for this concert.  From War to Love in five days.  The remnant of a once favorite tee-shirt.  Jefferson Starship in Central Park
w/ The Outlaws in 1975.  The painting below it is done by my mother.
 onthewalls_15  onthewalls_14
 I have some whimsical cut-outs on my walls.  The kid on the left has the caption, “This is Art?”

Of course I always have something to do.


This is a pen and ink drawing from a couple of photographs I took in Vietnam.
A older girl carries her sister and a boy squats near a wall.  A school bag is
on the ground and parts of a bicycle.

For me it’s so emblematic of all wars.
I don’t dwell on it, but it was so pivotal an experience for me,
I want it to help shape my thoughts even forty plus years later.

Thanks for looking at our Studio Walls

Food Prep, Studio Work, Tour and Life Thoughts

First off we’ve canned our grapes and apples, Sue did a wonderful job


Here’s our apple jelly and today we did grape jelly, still have apple sauce to make, but we’re making good use of this wonderful crop of apples this year.


I also made a huge batch of Onion Soup, seen above.  I caramelized the onions real slow for three hours, the baguette is from Lake Flower Bakery and the cheese is from Clover Mead Farm.  I froze the soup and now we have eight servings, waiting…….

Stoneware Tea Set by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

Sue made this wonderful child’s tea set, complete service for six, with little plates and a creamer and sugar.  It’s going to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts as a fundraiser.

Studio Tour

It was disappointing, but also welcoming.  Here’s why.  We pay $50, that’s it, we don’t do anything else except mail out some postcards and tell our customers.  That’s welcoming.

Compared to the Jay Tour we reached about 20% of what we would make in a good year.  That’s disappointing.  We spend a lot of time in the studio getting ready for the tour, but we still have the work, so that’s really not a loss.

Of course gas prices, the general malaise of the economy and people’s confidence in the future I’m sure affects the outcome of all business deals these days.

Which takes me to wondering about the next year of business and life.  Both of my daughters are working, but I worry about them continuing in their jobs.  You never know when you work for someone in an environment like we have today.  Corrine informed us that a friend was recently let go of her job with no advance notice.

It appears to Sue and I that there is going to be a new generation that is going to take a long time getting their feet on the ground to drive this economy.  Everyone seemed surprised when the crash occurred in 2008, but we had predicted it.  Yep, two artists in Jay predicted something bad was happening.  We began seeing the middle class disappearing from 2003 on.  We witnessed a lot of credit card use and just a general reluctance of politicians to do anything to reign in what they were calling American Exceptionalism.  Like it was our right to use as many resources as we could in the short life spans that we have.

Well, it appears now that future generations will pay for this exceptionalism that we enjoyed.  Little towns and shops everywhere will pay for the fact that the middle class was sold out to other countries.  That the big corporations that made their profits from the backs of our citizens, from the roads of our country, from the lives of its soldiers, are keeping their profits overseas, away from jobs and taxes here in the country that made them great.

Regardless of what your politics are you can’t deny the country is in a mess, and it didn’t start with a Republican or Democrat……it started with greed, in my opinion.

I would like to see us go back to a time with Mom and Pop shops, the local butcher, shoe repair, grocery….etc…..that’s what I grew up with in New York City.  I would love to see more products made in this country and more people shopping locally.  I would like to see more people satisfied with living their lives with simpler things.  Like pottery and art, just as an example.

I’m not a big fan of free trade.  I’m still trying to find what it has done for me.  We get old food shipped thousands of miles to our shores, junk products from China, made by questionable labor.  Our corporations that have regulations here against using pesticides go overseas to use their pesticides and they wind back up on our tables anyway.  It just doesn’t make sense.

It’s hard these day’s not to slip into a political discussion, or a weather related talk.  There is much going on, and it will continue.  We just all try to do the best we can, I wish those with the power to make true change would do the best they can too.