Saturday, 26 September 2009

on porcelain and tomatoes

this morning [as is our wont] we wandered to the Barossa Farmers Market.

there, among other things we found the hard-working growers of excellent tomatoes.

they were selling their produce at $12 per box. of course we invested.
as soon as we had arrived home with this bounty i chopped a heap into a pyrex dish and put them to cook very slowly in the oven.

after a cup of tea i rushed off to my porcelain class and forgot all about the tomatoes.

in class we trimmed work from previous sessions, de-dusted our bisque-fired work and dipped things cheerfully in glaze.
Ying Qing to be precise.
it was wonderful to watch the glaze turn from shiny wet to soft eggshell.
some time during the week they will be fired.

i'm rather pleased with that bowl. it's no masterpiece but
it was produced during my second attempt at wheel-throwing [or whatever the correct term is] and at least looks like a bowl and not just a pile of stuff

i had a truly splendid afternoon in my porcelain class.

much, much later i remembered the tomatoes, stewing in their tomb.
there could have been a disaster, but wasn't.

so i can tell you [in case you need to know] that about 3kg tomatoes chopped into a pyrex dish, seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and a vigorous grating of palm sugar and baked for 7 hours at 100 degrees Celsius makes a jolly good topping for toast


  1. The bowl is a perfect wabi sabi example of beauty.

  2. kudo's on managing to throw such a purdy bowl! I've never worked with porcelain but know it has a reputation for being temperamental.. love the simplicity of the lines but it still retains an earthy ruggedness.. :-)
    The tomataoes sound ace! We currently have a glut of yellow ones, slowly including themselves in our dinners every night :-P

  3. took the happy snap because who knows what will happen when the glaze is fired
    it will shrink by at least a third for a start
    in the lap of the dogs for now...

  4. i have been slow oven roasting tomatoes from a friends garden for days and then freezing them for the upcoming winter days - for 8-9 hours with a drizzle of olive oil and some garlic to keep them company and i am hooked!
    lovely bowl
    looks like something to eat breakfast in each morn

  5. we already have your inspirational book. Thanks for visiting our site and I've just had the most wonderful time exploring your postings, pictures and fascinating links. Louise

  6. that's making hungry, although I have just past breakfast. Don't forget the garlic next time, garlic is one of the human's rights so I've heard some days ago! Bon appetit+sheers with tomatoes+bowl xD

  7. don't worry Dorie...the garlic was rubbed fresh over the sourdough rye toast before the tomatoes were piled on

  8. mmmm tomatos garlic sourdough rye bread, ur making me hungry. a few months out from summer and tomato season but the funny thing is australian tomatos are cheaper here than nz ones at the moment. and that bowl, yep, that bowl. what is it about little pottery bowls. i have been steadly collecting them from thrift stores. handmade dishes from wood and clay. they are delightful with their inconsistencies. treasures.

  9. A beautiful bowl India. If you're interested in doing a pottery swap one day let me know.

  10. Yum to the tomatoes - and thanks for the tip. We have a glut at the moment, so your recipe is exactly what I needed. I expect you could put what you don't use in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for a while?

    Your bowl is a thing of beauty - can hardly believe it's only your second attempt on the wheel. And the glaze...just perfection. (My sister is a potter and she is constantly looking to achieve that eggshell glaze. Ying Qing, you say? Is that 'recipe' universally known, I wonder, or is it a closely guarded secret?)

    Thank you so much for stopping by my's so nice to 'meet' you. I will certainly look for Raphaella Barker's 'Hen's Dancing' - thanks for the recommendation!

  11. glad to be of service to the tomato glut...if you're going to preserve them add garlic and top your jars with olive oil to keep the air out, that way they'll keep better

    the bowl has only just been dipped...some time this week it'll be fired and then we'll see the proof of the pudding. i'm hoping those two little claw marks will melt into the surface...

    the recipe was given to the JamFactory ceramics studio by visiting potter Takeshi Yasuda [google him to see extraordinary stuff] - as a mere novice visiting the studio, i don't have the formula...but am allowed to dip...maybe contact him and ask?

    and Jason, i'm honoured that you'd make such an offer but i think i need a little more [as in several years] practice before inflicting my product on someone else!

  12. Do i see a new book in th offing? Something along the lines of 'Fortuitous accidents of the forgetful cook'?
    Nice work on the wheel but do you really have to outdo me at everything???
    Only joking, nice the see the the next generatiin surpassing what has gone before.

  13. Love those growers markets,

    and making deliciouse stuff, on the wheel andin the oven..

  14. If you really want to get rid of the claw marks you just rub them. I think for some initial bowls they add that touch of authenticity. Any kmart can offer you a flawless pot. It's the flaws that make them remarkable.