Updated: Jan 21
Hello, summer. June has been an eventful month. Despite being busy as ever at work, I look back on the past several weeks and I'm happy with the balance of friend time, husband time, me time, and Mammoth & Minnow time I've been able to schedule in on the weekends.
I wanted to share a bit of what my summer has looked like so far.
Finger Lakes, NY
Below, pictures from a friend's wedding in Upstate New York, at a winery overlooking Keuka lake. What a gorgeous summer's day and beautiful, late sunset we saw there. It was my first time back to the Finger Lakes since college, where I was with some of the same women I saw at the wedding on a drunken, rowdy "wine tour" during Senior Week before graduation. The event has since stopping being a part of the annual Senior Week line up after several wineries asked the university to please stop sending schoolbusfuls of students so that's all you really need to know about my previous visit.
This time, we took Friday off from work to drive the 5.5 hours upstate, and spent Saturday before the wedding driving around the lakes and stopping by a couple of wineries, including Hermann J. Wiemer, whose rieslings we were first introduced to by the sommelier at Momofuku Ko. We knew we'd like the rieslings we tasted, but were surprised to really enjoy a Chardonnay as well and brought a bottle of it home.
The wedding on Saturday night was such a fun time. An open air ceremony, a lofty tent, a jazzy, energetic band, and old friends.
The newlyweds taking their sunset stroll
When the photobooth stops working and you take selfies instead
Passing through Bath, NY as we started our drive home on Sunday
We stopped at Roscoe Diner, just off NY 17 for a late breakfast
We spent a weekend morning in Williamsburg recently. Our first stop was at Okozushi, a new restaurant from Yuji of Yuji Ramen. A tiny 9-seat hole in the wall, it serves three set menus of varying sizes. It features cured fish and pickled vegetables and peculiar flavor pairings in their bites. Wasabi and ricotta, for example, or rhubarb and yuzu.
After this quick meal we walked around Williamsburg. It seems this neighborhood is constantly ready to be rediscovered.
Custom Planter Project
Today, I wrapped up a large cactus stamped planter for a custom order that's been in the works for several weeks. The design is based on my cactus mugs and uses blonde speckle clay finished with clear glaze on the inside and green glaze in each of the mini cacti.
I began working on it before leaving for France and Spain in May. It took me about a week of night time work to make it. I wanted the construction to be completed before departure so it could slowly dry while we were away.
You can find a highlight reel from the making process on my Instagram.
Handbuilding is sometimes a much slower technique than wheel throwing, and this piece required a lot of patience due to its size. First, the rolled out bottom needed several days of drying to be ready for me to start building up the walls, and each coil that I added needed time to dry to be able to sufficiently support the next.
This also meant that the finished areas would begin to dry to leather-hard even as I was still building upward, so I had to apply my cactus stamp imprints as I went along. I used my metal and wooden ribs at various stages to smooth the surfaces and shave off/scrape out excess clay.
I dropped the planter off at the studio for bisque firing by carrying it on my lap during my morning commute in a large box with foam and paper padding. The whole thing was covered in a trash bag to protect from possible rain. This is my potter’s life: lugging clay to and from Manhattan on the subway, squeezing in visits to the studio on nights and weekends.
I held my breath and crossed my fingers and toes as it went through the bisque and glaze firings, and the next major hurdle will be the shipment to its final destination.