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  • Writer's pictureMary

Et alia

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Thoughts, behind the scenes, goings on, life lately.

Lilia Brooklyn

I recently had dinner at Lilia in Brooklyn, and wanted to share some pictures from our meal. Lilia had been on our radar for some time but we knew that reservations weren't easy to come by and we weren't in a rush to go. Since my very mom is in Chengdu, China for an extended visit with my grandma, and my dad was about to leave for his 40th college reunion cruise from Shanghai to Japan, we decided to out for meal before he left.

Some pictures below from our great meal. I especially loved the baked clams, the pink peppercorn cacio e pepe, and our two desserts, lemon ice with vanilla gelato and olive oil cake with blood orange grappa and whipped cream.

Citrus seed update

One of my lemon seedlings has emerged! I’m feeling pretty proud of it and of myself for this development. It makes me want to try growing more types of citrus plants. I found myself at Eataly the other day rummaging through a basket of kumquats wondering how many I’d need to buy to have a chance at getting a nice pit.

I'm very excited to watch my newest plant's growth over the next few weeks.

Terrazzo pieces

For the past several weeks I’ve been playing around with clay tints in porcelain and making dishes inspired by terrazzo tile. It’s pushed me to pay more attention to the amount of moisture in the clay I work with as it requires a degree of micro-management to prevent cracking and warping after smushing different clay bodies together which increases the risk of uneven drying.

My process involves rolling out a slab of porcelain and then arranging slices and pieces of tinted clay all over. A spritz of water goes on the slab before its covered in cling wrap for a bit of rest and hydration (luxurious, I know). Then I roll it all out again to an even thickness and cut forms from the slab freehand with an old, dull paring knife, and allow each piece to dry some more before shaping the edges.

Next starts the long and nervous drying process where I wrap each piece in a cling wrap lined cotton towel and check on it every few hours. I spritz the areas I think are drying too quickly, weigh down the dish to help prevent warping, and keep an eye out for cracks over about two days of drying time. Each piece that makes it through this process is wrapped in a lot of padding before I bring it with me on my commute to work and then walk it over to the studio with both hands clutching my precious cargo.

While these first terrazzo pieces have already taken a lot of work, I love the organic shapes that come from the freehand cutting and edge shaping. Over more making I hope to get better at managing the drying process, learn the ratio of tint to clay to get my preferred saturations, and play with more color combos and patterns.

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