cakes, Singing and "Let's Make A Deal" and Happy New Year.
I thought I would post how I make my crab cakes.
There are lots of recipes I'm sure, but this one suits us just
fine. We learned it from our Chef
friend Uwe about two years ago and make it for our parties and to
help out at fund-raisers.
I doubled the recipe for this party. This
made 51 2-3 bite sized cakes. Sue is making some tartar
sauce. It has 1cup red onion, 4tsp garlic, 2 jalapeno (seeded),
4tbs cilantro, 3tbs thyme, 3tbs tarragon, 10tbs (one small container)
mascarpone cheese, ˝cup mayonnaise, 2tbs lemon juice, 2tsp zest and
1cup panko breadcrumbs.
Garlic, jalapeno (seeded), red onion and cilantro,
minced and ready.
This is a reason I love cooking, scenes like this
All those ingredients from above gets mixed with 2lbs
of lumb crab meat. You can use claw meat as well or a mixture of
I try to be very gentle with the crab as I mix
everything together, although it is important to get a consistent
mixture, I love having cakes with lumps of meat in there, and lots of
So after it's been mixed very gently it gets formed
into these cakes. We used an 1/8 cup measurer for this batch of
40. We pankoed the tray to lay the cakes on, then covered the
cakes with more panko, covered the tray and left in the fridge
overnight. Tomorrow they will prepare for the hot oil.
I'll use flour, crushed ritz crackers, a little
paprika, salt and panko. Blend it all, coat the crab cake and
dip into the egg wash and back into the crust mix completely
coating. Then dip them into 350 degree oil, maintaining
carefully that temperature. This will fry those babies and keep
the oil from penetrating into the crab mixture, they will be crispy on
the outside and wonderful on the inside.
New Year's Eve Party at the Gallery
Well, I don't know how many parties we've had in the
gallery over the years, poetry readings, art workshops, drum
workshops, plays, music. We even had a ping pong party in there.
I know we've had quite a few New Year's eve parties, I
can think of one where over 50 people came and it was so hot outside
that year we had both of the gallery doors open like a summer evening.
This year we have an interesting line up. The
Jay Singers will be performing and acting in places. Each will
have a nice solo performance and they all sing together as well.
Annie sings a piece from Fiddler on the Roof.
Colleen sing's "People" and Kathy and Tara
act out a song called "Sisters".
Sam is the music director
After the music section I will offer up "Let's
Make A Deal", based on the original TV Game Show. We played
it once before about 6 years ago and our friend Herb MC'd for us and
did a wonderful job. This year I'll do the MCing. We have
a really nice assortment of gifts to trade for.
Then quickly after hosting the game I have to pop my
spinach croquettes into the hot oil and immediately after that the
crab cakes go in. We'll have a pot luck thing going on.
We have a projector because one of the Singers songs
requires a video to be shown as well. Afterwards I will use the
projector to show a live website of Times Square.
I have big plans for 2012, I'll have to write down my
objectives next time.
I feel I must apologize to my blog for not
visiting. I feel terrible. All my new plans to have videos
up and running fell apart. I shot a lot of footage of showing
how Sue makes her thistle pots but for some reason my computer runs
out of memory and I can't do anything with it. It's so
frustrating as anyone with a computer knows from time to time. I
had footage of our Holiday Sale too and how the gallery looked but
that's not going to happen either. So for now it's back to
Sue got a wonderful order for 12 thistle pots, some
with legs. After I saw all the legged thistle pots it made me
think of aliens from space, we fooled around with the idea of Sue
pursuing a show of just all size thistle pots. Some could be
displayed in a diorama kind of display, and the background could be
from the moon or another planet.
I've been quilting. My Mom is going to be a
great-grandmother for the third time this coming spring and she is
making a quilt for the baby boy. However this time she needs a
lot of help.
Mom is 94 and pretty feeble. On oxygen most days
and 50% of the time uses a wheelchair to get around her house.
Although she struggle physically, mentally she's right on top of
This project has been going on for two months
now. We've shopped for fabric three times, and changed the quilt
design about five times, but now we are on track.
I've cut fabric into the proper thickness, then put
sewing lines a quarter of an inch indent from the sides, ironed and
stacked. So there's a nice selection of colors and patterns to
Mom likes to hand sew, and she'll do that when she's
having a "good" day.
Sue showed me how to use the sewing machine, and I'm
still learning and improving but I've finished my first square.
The colors will be yellows and blues, and the pattern is a "Log
Much of my time goes to helping Mom these days, but I
am planning on some studio work real soon. I need to prioritize
my time again for myself if I want to get anything creative
done. The problem is I spend a lot of time on the piano and
Sue and I have been fooling around with video on
our digital cameras. It's so easy to video something, take
the gizmo out, pop it in your computer, edit the video on Adobe
Premier Elements and upload to my youtube channel. Then I
can embed it here.
How about that! That was my first.
I'll be doing more of this. I want to
replace our "Tours of the Creative Source" on our
website, which now is with still photos and text, I think I'll
keep that option but also have the video selection viewers can
watch as well.
One of our local libraries put the request out for
anyone interested in doing a project at the library. I
quickly remembered when we use to have the Book Parties in our
gallery. Back then we made it a pot luck and prepared
special invitations, some of them were puzzles that had to be
figured out. People would come to the party not really
knowing what was going to happen. But they have turned out
to be some of our best parties.
So....I thought of that and wanted to bring this
idea to the Library. What better place!
Seventeen adults and children passed through and
created a book or two from this project idea. You decorate a
piece of paper, then with a series of folds and one cut you fold
the paper into pages of a book. Some of what you decorated
is now upside down and totally out of context from the full
decoration. That is where you begin to write you book.
Look at the cover, come up with a title and write the book.
Sue and I did several of these pot luck book
parties in the gallery and I created web pages that are part of
the EatingArt archives section of this site. One of the
parties is from 2001 and it is here,
the other is from 2006 and it is here.
At the bottom of the pages are links to the actual books that were
This group of young ladies brought their own
leaves to color and use as a stamp, and they made some great
patterns and designs on their papers.
Two weeks to the Holiday Sale, it's coming on way too
fast for me. Sue is busy everyday right now, making pottery,
glazing and firing kilns.
Sue has these pots drying today. Plates of a
sort that are textured and a base is put on the bottom to lift
them slightly. I love the visuals that the textured patterns
It is said that an image is worth a thousand
words, and it can be true. We are currently working on
making video's available through youtube, showing some of the work
and techniques that we use.
I've been spending more time on youtube than on
the tv. I search for music videos a lot but I'm also
interested in talks by university professors, and people who drum
or act. Like I've been working on the Rolling Stones song,
"Angie" on the piano. I wanted to see the Stones
doing the song and I found them on youtube, but I also found many
other just regular people like myself who were playing and
uploading their versions of the songs and it was very
It reminded me of when I was in art school and
what a creative environment that was, to walk around the studio
and see what everyone was doing. The internet and youtube
are kinda like that in that you can see what everyone is doing
around the world.
It's Halloween night, I have to keep reminding
myself, because I don't have any children 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
Sue and I love mussels. We have a wonderful
recipe we learned from Steve (Uwe) Riehs (gratifood.com).
Most other recipes I've seen for mussels are much simpler, just
oil, garlic and basil.
This 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.
In 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
Here'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.
The 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
The thread gets cut very close to the block.
Binders board is prepared. One piece is cut
to the correct size while the other has a gap which will allow a
hinge to work
The 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.
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
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
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.
(on Gill Brook)
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.
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 waterfalls
I feel this moment
I observe the placement
of rocks over time,
I hear this day,
at this very spot.
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
and transcend with the forest
I burst out
upon a glorious rock
the lower and upper
Au Sable Lakes.
Wind comes soaring up the valley
rises against the small mountain
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.
might turn out to be that I do the poem and drum piece separately,
reading the poem first and them drumming the rhythms.
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
thing I want to record is Sue's Udu's and Xylophones.
When I was going through the scrapbook recently I came
Sue and Terry, November 1981 at Steinhoffs Inn
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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.
It just got busy around here. Studio Tour
weekend, the apples and grapes are ripe, if we don't get the
grapes soon the raccoons will eat them.
So we secured them with a mesh cover while they
finish ripening. After the tour we will make apple sauce and
apple jelly, then work on the grapes.
We've almost always have had a vegetable garden in
the back. When the girls were growing up we grew a
lot. We even had a pretty good size corn field one
year. I can picture the kids picking the carrots, washing
and eating them. I remember when we hired Annie Wise, a
friend and Sheppard, to watch after Emily during the summer months
when we were busy. They would stroll through the garden
sampling the bounty.
This year we had problems in the spring. It
was too wet. Our tiller broke. We were too busy.
We started some seeds as we always do, but there was such a lack
of sunshine that it was just terribly hard this year.
I guess that's why I'm so excited about the apples
and grapes. We made and froze seven apple pies yesterday.
With the price of food and fuel and absolutely
everything, we are making a concerted effort to economize.
Canning and freezing berries and vegetables just makes a lot of
sense to us right now. We always have too much during the
summer and not enough in the winter and I really dislike buying
food from Mexico and Chile. (Not that there's anything wrong
with those countries, except for maybe the civil war going on in
Mexico. There might even be one in Chile and I wouldn't know
right now, there's just too much going on here.)
Here's what the gallery entrance will look like
for Studio Tour this year. We got a good deal on 10 mum
plants, love the colors. In August we planted two very nice
Asters. The Aster pedals are very good in paper so I have to
remember to peel them after this weekend and dry them for my next
paper making episode.
Studio Tour 2011
This is the third year we're doing the tour with
Artists Guild in Saranac Lake. They do the tour in the
Autumn, we always did ours during the summer months.
Initially the Jay Artisans Studio Tour was the
second weekend in July. The second was noted because it was
always a slow weekend coming off of the Fourth of July. Then
the Ironman Race decided that was the weekend they were going to
race. Of course no one bothered to poll the businesses in
town as to whether this was a good idea for our tourist dependant
businesses and so we moved the Jay Tour to the second weekend in
I dug into the archives on my cloud and found
this from 2003. Cheri Cross went out and got sponsors for
the tour so we raised move printing money. I worked on the
By 2005 we were combining the JEMS brochure
with the Studio Tour brochure, I think this was Fred's idea,
it was also used to promote Tourism for Jay.
I did the brochure and Cheri got our
2007 was my last year doing it, because it was
too much of a hassle dealing with all the details it takes to
put it together. I had some serious fallings out with
people and I just decided it was better use of my time to look
after number one and our own business.
Joan took the Tour over for two years and did
a wonderful job. It was a real treat to just pay our $50
entry and sit back for the benefits. I never got paid
for all the time spent on the brochure, gathering info and
dealing with people.
That's why we love this new Tour too.
Sue was the impetus to get us involved in the
Saranac Lake Tour. They get a grant and a large
distribution. There are over 30 studios to visit and it goes
for three days.
We are very happy to be a part of it. We
don't see nearly as many people over here as they do in Saranac
Lake and compared to our Jay tour it's probably less than 25%, but
ours was in the heart of summer, and to have this Tour happen on a
Fall Foliage weekend works really well. This year we will be
demonstrating, wheel throwing, clay instruments, raku and book
Goblet sales had slowed down for this summer and
then out of the blue four separate orders came in.
Sometimes customers want to have the wording
around the rim specialized, I don't think Sue charges extra for
that. She keeps a list of her sayings posted somewhere in
the studio, so she doesn't have to come up with new sayings each
We've never understood how retail sales work, but
after being in business for so long we have seen patterns
emerge. One of the patterns is like these orders for
goblets. Goblet sales really were lax over the summer,
usually it's one of the more dependable items, people are always
buying them for gifts. Then out of the blue come four
Sometimes in the gallery we'll notice something that
is just sitting there for the longest time, we will pay attention to
it and move it, or turn it around or something like that, and very
soon after it will sell. No kidding. We've seen it so much
it's spooky. It's like we put our attention and energy into the
piece and customers were drawn to the energy that was still
there. We've talked with Lee & Cheri from the Jay Craft
Center about this and they totally agree in this phenomenon.
Recently Sue did some Raku.
We had a new propane tank put in and we tested it, it
worked fine as you can see.
I love her shapes they are so organic and alive.
I'm her biggest fan.
A while back I advertised for apprentices to
help me cut paper. I got a big response from the Jay News and
chose two. One fellow I just never seemed to hook up with and he
lived over by Styles Brook which flooded really bad, so I might not
hear from him again, as he was a professor in a university and must be
back at school by now. My other apprentice still might work, but
she teaches pre-school and we have yet to work out a time.
So....I started the dreaded cutting of signatures for forty books.
I have a cardboard template I made, line up the slots
and cut away, I have 6 sheets of paper there, so I'm cutting through
12 layers all together once folded. This is why I hate doing
this part of the book, it's so tedious and hand numbing.
I'll also take some photos when I weave the pages and
covers together, then I'll make a creative tour of the Piano Hinge
book and put it on my Bookarts
Sue unloaded a kiln yesterday.
I thought this piece was really cool. Sue was pinching this
pot with the neck off to one side when she did a demonstration for
someone to show them how her molds work. She chose the cat mold
and then she didn't want to waste the cat so she attached it to the
pinch pot she was working on. That's how this pot came
about. I love the little pink tongue.
I noticed this mug came out of the kiln, I love her
blueberry design, I hadn't seen it on a mug before.
This is Sue's new blue glaze and new Multicultural
design. It's based on Henna designs and Sue keeps some ideas on
a sheet of paper tacked up in her studio.
The thought just occurred to me about making
an Eating Art page about all the things we have hanging in our
Recently I heard Sue telling a customer about
the energy she receives from the gourds she has hanging in her
studio. They wanted to buy one and she wouldn't sell it,
and that was the reason.
Sue had a wall of admiration until recently,
we had to move it when we put the pellet stove in. It
contained letters and cards from people and groups that Sue
has made work for or did volunteer work for. We'll have
to find another place to put it.
In my studio I seem to have a lot of written
words on the walls, or sketches of ideas.
The flood of August 28-29 in the valley of the
East Branch of the AuSable River was devastating to many families
and the community at large.
First off we had no damage, I was busy for three
days running a generator for my Mom who was on oxygen, cooking and
We have friends who lost their homes, some of them
are salvageable but will have to be stripped of sheetrock and
Luckily we only lost a week of business as roads
into Jay were cut off and detours abounded. We continue to
help out where we can.
I feel really lucky and we are giving back to the
community in many ways, but I also wonder about what is going on,
with almost everything.
This flood was seven feet above the former high water
mark, houses flooded that never flooded before in 150 years of living
in the valley. That was pretty unusual.
I'm concerned that the weather is really affecting
business in general, that the government, both sides, have really
affected business too. There just seems to be an incredible
greed and corruption that has eaten away at the fabric of our
Government. I know business is good if your a very large
international company, because they've moved all their jobs overseas
for cheap labor, but that's left a huge portion of country out of the
middle class and thus, out of small mom and pop business like the one
Sue and I run.
I know it's a fact. We have many friends who are
just like us, run really small businesses and we are all in the same
boat. The fabric of this country is changing and I don't know it
or like it.
So this has turned from weather into politics and that
is never good. ha ha ha
I guess it's just frustration with everything.
We have close to 30 years of business in the Adirondacks, many ups and
downs, making it totally as craftspeople. Raising two thriving
daughters, contributing to the community and the Adirondacks in so
many ways. Making a difference I will dare say. And now
facing an uncertain future, with the weather and the economy.
It's been a great summer for the weather, warm and
sunny. We are waiting for what will remain of Hurricane
Irene. With any weather event there's always the worry of damage
to our property. It's been so expensive and time consuming to
keep up on the gallery and studio buildings, let alone our house and
my Mother's house. We're making a plan to re-do the roofs of the
business, this time in metal. I can't believe we're coming up on
16 years that the new gallery has been there. We have been in
business a total of 28 years, we had 12 years in the little gallery,
that is now an office.
Gallery business is so different. People are
spending less and there are less tourists around. Thank goodness
we have 28 years of business with us, because we have so many great
customers who regularly shop here for themselves or for gifts.
Sue and I had but one customer today, she was visiting
with a long time customer of ours and she made our day. We have
seen over the years that the final week of August really gets quiet as
people return home and to school. We don't expect much this
weekend because of the coming weather.
I've been prepping my hard cover piano hinge
books. I'm making 40 of them, so I need a lot of binders boards
and stained skewer sticks.
I decorate my own paper using my paste paint
recipe. It's very simple.
Boil 10 parts water to one part corn starch, to a pudding consistency.
Add 2 to 3 parts acrylic paint and 2 parts modge podge
glue. That's it, and it's very durable.
I will get four covers from this sheet, enough for two
I use a template to cut my paper, glue the board in
place, then glue and fold the edges.
For the piano hinge, since I'm using a hard cover I have to have a
hollow spine, so I only glue the tip and fold the unglued part over.
Eventually this hollow spine will be
sectioned by a series of cuts that will allow it to be woven
into the body of the book
Here's what 60 book covers for 30 books looks like.
Tomorrow will be a good day to finish the remaining 10
books. Next week I'm hoping to meet up with my apprentices and
get the pages cut to and ready to be woven.
Sue didn't do a Farmers Market last week because she
needed the time to make pottery, and she just finished a large and
Here are the contents of the large kiln. Sue has
developed a new blue and black glaze as well as some new designs.
The small kiln doesn't usually get fired to a glaze
temperature, Sue uses it mostly to bisque the pottery. It does a
nice job when it does go to full temperature, both kilns are within
three years old and both are run by digital systems. They have
been very acurate, but we've already replaced two relays in the
smaller kiln. It's not expensive or hard to do, but it puts the
kiln out of work for a couple of weeks till the part arrives.
I haven't been writing because it's been busy in the
gallery and busy in our lives. We've taken advantage of the
cultural scene in the Adirondacks, having gone to several plays and
But now I'm gearing up to make some books. In
September we are part of the Studio Tour created by the Artists Guild
in Saranac Lake. It isn't nearly as good as the tour we use to
put on for the artists in Jay, but we're hoping that over the years it
will build into a very profitable weekend. This will be our
third year and there are more participants in Jay this time and that
should make it more worth peoples time to come here. I think the
first year it was just us and the Jay Craft Center and then next year
it was four and now I think we have six located in Jay and more in
On Sunday of the tour I'm doing a book binding demo,
of the Piano Hinge binding. I want to have examples of the book
in each stage of creation and then I want to have plenty of books to
sell, because I will offer them at half price for that day.
There is so much cutting to do with this book, that I
sent the word out, via Jay
Community News, requesting an apprentice. I received 12
requests and decided to choose two because there were so many.
The apprentices will cut the notches out of the paper for several
hours. I will go over the whole book making process with them
and they will weave together two books for themselves as well.
If this works well, I have other books that need lots
So today I cut some boards and papers and glued some
test pieces to make sure I've got it right and the glue is good and
it's a go.
Although we just had a wonderful period of sunny, hot
and dry weather now we are having rain and humidity and no pottery is
drying in the studio. Sue has pottery from a couple of days
piling up and waiting to dry, right now she has two fans going,
because she wants to run a bisque fire tonight.
Sue has colanders she's trying to dry and a group of
pendants that have a horse image on them, they were ordered by the
Morgan Horse Farm in Vermont.
The Ikibanas were made yesterday and still quite wet,
they are under the fan now too.
It will be hot in the studio tomorrow with the bisque kiln going.
I saw Sue working on this interesting pinch pot.
The cat is from a mold she had made years ago, she was demonstrating
her mold techniques (Sue makes all her own molds, from clay sculptures
that she creates) to someone and used the cat, so she wanted to put
the piece somewhere and attached it to this pot.
So the studio is a beehive of Sue activity, she is
trying desperately to keep up with her pottery sales.
I'm working on construction projects here and at my
Mom's house, man the gallery when I can, do my web work and play
piano. At present.
Ahh....can't enough of
these summer days. Love to feel the warm ground on my
feet. I feel really restricted when I wear shoes or sandals, so
I go barefoot most of the summer and in the winter I wear socks.
There are some days when my feet never touch a shoe, that is a good
Gallery business is slow, so we made the outside
of the gallery look as if something big were happening over the
put the canopy up, Sue put out her craft show displays, I put a
painting on the outside wall. I put a couple of
"Pottery" banners up on the corner road side signs and we
Saturday was a good day, we had several new
customers. The first lady to stop by said she's been driving by
for years and always wondered about us, she was on her way to play
golf in Placid, but she bought a nice bowl and said she'd be
back. So Saturday turned into an old fashioned summer business
day. Sunday though was a bomb. One week to "The
Ironman Race" and we will have to close for the day. There
are only 8 or 9 summer weekends for businesses like ours and they have
taken one away.
Now I love bike riding, swimming and
running, and I admire the athletes who participate in the grueling
Iron race, I just wish they would close someone else's road for the
day. As an Adirondack business in the Town of Jay, it's been a
challenge to make a living as an artist here. We have had to use
our creativity and raw energy endlessly to make it happen.
addition I believe the "Race" has destroyed business the
whole week prior to the event, because people now know that if you are
driving in this area you have to deal with hundreds of bicycles on the
roads, so they just don't come here. Us and the Jay Craft Center
agree that business for this whole week is terrible and the whole
"Ironman" weekend is a bomb for our business.
would have been nice had the Town consulted with business owners who
would be affected by the race requirements that they close half of our
most important roads in town for the day.
Last year Sue
and I went away for the whole weekend and visited with Emily in
Rochester, this year Corrine is coming home and we'll celebrate my
63rd birthday. I'm planning on drumming the bikers up the hill
as long as I'm going to be here. I not a total sour puss....
one of my fantasies...... learn about ten good blues tunes on piano
and go to some bar and customers put bread in my jar.......I think I
wrote about this already. I'm working on it everyday. Sue
took some photos of me practicing "Misty". Sometime's
I sing along, but right now I need total concentration on my piano
Long stretches of silence this summer, unlike from
five years ago when one of us would be in the gallery doing business
all day long. We're not seeing tourists come through our neck of
the woods this year. Yet.
We still are busy though, Sue did the farmers market
in Lake Placid today and had a kiln cooling and also worked on making
a dozen small plates. I looked after the quiet gallery, we had
one good customer at the end of the day. After being in business
for 28 years we've built up quite a lot of love out there and
customer/friends always come around when their in town.
A friend came by and we shagged golf balls into the
woods, I'm keeping a club to practice my swing. I use to play
golf on Long Island, but when I moved up here I left everything behind
that didn't have to do with art. So I haven't played in 30
I played a lot of piano today too. I'm working
on "Misty", I'm so happy when I play piano, I get so
lost. Like when I use to do artwork. I just am having so
much trouble getting into any artwork right now. The only thing
that actually appeals to me lately would be building some of my clay
towers, firing them and then constructing books for them. I've
been eyeing the slab roller when I walk by it and picturing a project
going on there. That's a good sign.
After Sue came home from the market, which isn't up to
par either, she emptied her kiln. Let's see what was in
Here is what I am most excited about, the Butter
Dishes. Back on June 28th I took pictures of them in their raw
state. Here they are finished. Love the Cow. I'm
sure they will go fast, I need to get some good pictures tomorrow.
Lately the kilns have had a good amount of orders in
them, that is so good in this economic climate to be out ahead of
selling what you are making. In Sue's case I'm sure it's because
her work is of the highest quality and creativity.
A dinnerware set that was sold off the website as a
bridal registry. Five piece service for eight.
Platters with the leaf design
Bowls with the leaf design
Sue always has something drying, something ready to
bisque and glaze. This time of year she fires about three kilns
Sue empties the whole kiln and records a list of all
the pottery. She's been doing this for many years, it enables
her to tell at a glance what she should make for the coming year, what
she should stop making, etc.
Today was a music day. It actually started
last night when Sue and I attended the second night of
"Opus" at the Recovery
Lounge in Upper Jay. It was an excellent performance and
probably the best I've seen there. Of course excluding the
one's I wasn't able to see there, because I was in them.
was wired from the play last night, almost like I had
performed. It was that good for me. I've been thinking a
lot about music and loved the way that Bob's character, Dorian,
described the sexual nature of the music he was playing. Just
several days before I had been telling Sue of a goal I've developed
for my piano playing. I want to be able to play a small repertoire
of bluesy tunes, enough to be able to go into a piano bar and have
people "put bread in my jar". I was describing what
it's like for me to get lost in the music, the only comparison is
having sexual energy welling up inside and taking over.
had a piano ever since I was ten or so. Took lessons twice in my
life and have continuously played all these years. Presently and
for 20 years we've had an upright that belongs to Sue. Although
she doesn't play much, she can read music enough to play a tune,
she's better at guitar and I love listening to her play.
piano has been a struggle for me, I really have to work at it, it
doesn't come easy. For years while the girls were growing up I
worked on Beatles tunes, but now I'm getting back to my blues roots,
whatever that means. I'm working on "Misty" at
present. I'm going to be working on "St. Louis Blues"
which I already know somewhat. Another one I'm seriously looking
at is "Bell Bottom Blues".
I go to a place on
the web to buy music, it's called Music
Notes, and I can print out the music and listen to it on an
application from their site.
So....I played piano a lot
today, but I also was in the gallery with customers and one woman
wanted to buy my drums. I told her they weren't for sale, and of
course we got to talking about drums. She is from India, her
husband is from the US and has lived in India for quite some time it
sounds like. He happened to have some wonderful music from
Shujaat Khan on sitar and gave me a copy. At the same time a
good friend Erdvidlas came in, he's given me a wonderful collection of
Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern music. When I work in my studio
it's usually to sitar music. So this developed into a social
event in the gallery, especially when they spotted my sitar.
never know what adventure will happen in the gallery. After
being in business for 28 years, we've met a lot of people and made a
lot of friends.
The summer season is off and running. We
pretty much stay close to home during the summer because a large
part of our income, comes from summer sales, so we are open every
Now with the Ironman bike race in the area we have
to close that day. Last year we closed for the whole weekend
because business was so bad. Don't know what we're doing
this year for Ironman. I'm feeling like staying home and
drumming for them.
Sue took on a dinnerware order. She's not
turning anything down right now.....so this would be a great time
to get her to make something she wouldn't have made several years
ago......let's think of something.........hmmmm.....how about a
salsa dish.....I remember her turning that down. I mean
she's taken on butter dishes.....!!!
So she's made the plates and now they have to slow
dry and cycle through the kilns.
Earlier I talked about my etching "The
Hunter", that I am framing for a customer. They wanted
it in a barn frame and I had just found an old one that was 13 by
16.....the print they had was in a 13 by 14 mat......So I added a
turkey feather to the mat.....take a look....
It gives it a handsome look. The guide Mark
who posed for this etching gave me the feathers from a
turkey. I've used them for many things over the years, it's
always good to have a bad of feathers around when your an artist.
I looked in on Mom this morning and we walked down
her driveway, and fixed her food for today, she's all set for a
I'm going to take my watercolors under the tree
and practice painting sky. I'm loving the watercolors and
looking for my own way to express them.
I'll probably play piano, I'm working on
"Misty" at present, and play my drums, Sue will work on
the dinnerware set, I think.
No kids home for the fourth, so it'll be quiet for
Sue and I.
First thing I'm going to do today is mat and
frame an etching of 'The Hunter' that someone dropped off. They
wanted it framed in barnwood, but I don't make frames like that
anymore, However, I just came across a frame for this, how
about that for coincidence. It's longer than the current
mat, but what I'm going to do is make a new mat with two holes, the
one of the bottom I will put a turkey feather in.
I made this etching in 1994, it
has a soft ground etch with aquatint.
The hunter is in a camouflage outfit posed as ready to let loose an
I wish I'd done more soft ground etches, it has such a nice quality
about it, and they were very enjoyable to do. I think I did
about three like that.
I got out my jewelers loop and
looked at the image very close, I was amazed I was able to get some of
the detail I saw in there. It made me yearn to do an etching.
But what I'm doing today is
watercolor. I want to draw in ink and then lay in some
watercolor wash to the image and I would like it to be on Arches text
wove so that I can eventually print the images as well.
A hiker sitting on a mountain
top. I want to work on the rock he's sitting on today, I think
that will be the biggest challenge of this work.
Also around the studio Sue just
finished some special order butter dishes.
She got a request for one and
figured she might as well make several of them, people have requested
them in the past, but they are labor intensive and probably will be in
the 40 dollar range, or more.
Here's my favorite one, with a
cow on it. Love it!!!
She's so talented!!!!
So much seems to change and yet stay the
same. What changed with Eating Art was my enthusiasm for
it. So many life changing events occurred in the last couple of
years, that it affected my creative sensibilities. However
though it all I absorbed life and now I will try to bring it all out
Having our daughters grow up and leave home
affected me deeper than I thought. There were many nights of
awakening, wondering and thinking about them. When they were
younger I never worried in the middle of the night about them, I could
always just go into their bedroom and see that they were ok.
Having me for my Mom, soon to be 94, as her
caregiver. That's takes time mostly, but also it brings much
thought and contemplation about life and what it's like to get old,
really old. Like Mom says, "If I only knew how young I was
when I was 62". She's an amazing inspiration to our family.
Having disillusionment with friends and not
being forceful enough to express myself to them. That pretty
much changed a total social network for me. It gave me much to
think about and still does.
Having a heart attack, recovery and pills
forever. Makes one think.
So I guess I've spent much time thinking,
writing down notes and visualizing.
I also have a passion for drumming and composing new Adirondack
rhythms. I want to incorporate more poetry and perhaps some
acting into the mix as well. I currently have a drum program
that is 30 minutes long, consists of nine original rhythms, two with
my poetry and one rhythm, re-arranged from the Mountain Drum
days. I want to make a one hour or longer program along these
lines. For now you can follow my progress here: AdirondackDrummer.com
But as I record new tunes and make better recordings of current tunes
then I will post them here.
I'm developing a vision for my future, as I
will be 63 on July 26th. Once I read a book titled, "The
Artist's Way". It's a personal program one takes to restore
their creativity. Now I'm thinking of doing it again, just for
me. It will enable me to stay focused on what I truly want to do
One of my problems has been not being focused
on my art work. I do so many other things that aren't creative
that I've found it hard to make that switch.
My new commitment to Eating Art and the blog
will also bring me around to where I want to go. I needed
to meditate on continuing it, and I've remembered that Eating Art
always promoted moving forward. Taking creative risks, don't get
homogenized and making the best work you can.
And this blog will follow me on my creative
journey ahead, and I'm going to encourage Sue to also begin a blog.
I don't think people liked the drum cakes, although the chocolate was very good
on top. The pecan cookies were the big hit and the fruit.
I was pleased with my playing and energy, and I stayed focused. I made several
mistakes, but of course no one but me would know. Sunday, March 20, 2011 Equinox
I rehearsed twice today, and between the morning and evening
rehearsal we drove over to see Corrine and pick up a load to
store in attic. She's moving to her new job at a Rehab center.
She will be a councilor and resident manager of one of the
houses. She'll have from 1 to 3 people living in her house at
any one time. It sounds really good for her because there are
extensive grounds and they make their own maple products and
many other things that they sell to make money and support
this institution. It began almost ninety years ago. It sounds
like Corrine will be able to work on other areas of the campus
I'm excited, I can't help it. Only a few
close family members have heard only parts of my program, so
tomorrow night will be the first official rehearsal in front
of a small audience. I wanted from ten to twelve and I have
thirteen. I have some people who will make the second
rehearsal in April. By that time I'm hoping to at least have
one new rhythm and poem to add.
It'll be a totally new experience for me with these rhythms.
I've played some of them now for over two years, it's easy to
concentrate when I rehearse on my own. This will mostly be a
great practice on staying focused and in the moment.
My method of playing this performance is to attack the drums
and then make love to the drums. Caress the drums to get the
most out of them.
a date and put up a notice in the Jay News and now I have 12
people who are going to watch my first rehearsal of "Into
the Adirondacks", a Percussive Art Performance Piece.
I'm limiting it to 12 because
I don't want a lot of audience and I only have 12 chairs,
otherwise I'll have to scramble for more. If I get more
than 12 I'll see if I can get enough to have another rehearsal
of the performance in several weeks, which is what I want to
I want to hone my performance
until this summer when I will perform it at an opening in the
gallery along with new art, pottery and books.
This performance piece really
means a lot to me, it's as important as any of my art works or
books. First off, its current. Its a current work,
its where I am at the moment. It speaks of who I am, and
how I perceive the world. Although I've had 8 years or
so of drum performances under my belt, 6 years with Mountain
Drum, its always been within a group. This is totally on
my own, my own rhythms, ideas and words. "Into the
Adirondacks", is or course Adirondack inspired, from just
living and hiking in the mountains. Two of the current
pieces have poems with them, when I write some new pieces
after this performance, I will have more with poems in them.
When Mountain Drum broke up,
I was practicing the tunes we used to play, but I was playing
some of the other parts that I wasn't playing. Being in
a band like that, you pretty much just play your part in each
tune, so it was like learning and discovering totally new
One day I was playing on the
deck when I just got into a groove while looking at the apple
blossoms on my tree, the sky was blue, spring colors were
moving up the mountains, the bees were humming around the tree
and just found a groove and it turned into my first rhythm,
"I Just Love Fruit". It was written for all
fruit, but inspired by my apple tree.
Unfortunately I make no
income from the drumming, its just a hobby. But one
painting......"Whiteface from Coperas Pond".
I'm still working with my
colored pencils and ink and hope to have a beginning drawing
Sue is making production
pottery and doing work for Adirondack Life Magazine.
She's presently making a master for their Photography contest
trophies, which are bowls of her's with the Adirondack Life
logo on them......
Here is Sue working under a
magnifier on the master. From this she will create a
plaster mold in which she can impress clay to attach to the
bowls. This master has really presented some problems
and this is her third cast, so we're keeping our fingers
crossed on this one. For some reason some of the plaster
was staying in the mold.
Friday, March 11,
day. Can't complain. I was in my head, because I
had chores to do and had to check on my Mom and that took
longer than usual because she was very tired and her back was
out. So I was with her for quite awhile till she felt
I didn't leave the house
until 1pm because I was glued to CNN and the quake and
tsunami. I also didn't want to venture out onto my
slippery driveway which was a coat of ice from the rain.
I just took care of a little
web work and am anxious to experiment more with my colored
pencils and ink ideas......I'm including a view of my
wouldn't say this idea has been torturing me for plus three
years now, but it's sure been on my mind and I haven't quite
known what to do with it. It deals with trees, without
leaves. It deals with personalities and the transient
nature of everything. I want to be able to print the
images that I make with this idea. Be it either
individually or in a book with poems. We'll see.
see that Sue has made two wonderful oval platters, that are
sitting on the slab roller. I'm sure she must have
thrown the forms and then altered them. They look
I'm glad I'm able to put up
images again. I don't know if it was the blog program
or the way I'm program, however I checked it out and it was
working so I snapped a couple of photos. It's so
effortless to this when it works rightly.
I'm going to devote this
weekend to recording my new rhythms and getting them onto my
website...... AdirondackDrummer.com I have a couple up
there presently, but I'm recording much better now and I've
refined the rhythms since I posted those tunes.
I would like to perform
what I've prepared. I have nine original Adirondack
Inspired rhythms, two that have accompanying poems and I've
added a tenth tune, an old Mountain Drum tune that I've
arranged for a solo player. It's a thirty minute
program. My goal is to write another nine and arrange
one more old tune and make an hour long program and take it
on the road.
I'm thinking next Saturday
night, I'm going to advertise in the Jay news for an
audience and I'll limit it to about 10 or 12. I want
to practice in front of people and get use to it again.
tried blogging on my computer, but it wouldn't work for me. I
could upload pictures but I couldn't type. So this is cool
just sitting back in the gallery and pecking away on the pad.
degrees this morning and I had to take Mom for a doctors
appointment. Everything went well, it was her first trip out
of the house in about four months or so.
spent the rest of the day painting, cooking and catching up on
some T-Vo. I re-painted "View of Hurricane from Owl's
Head". I don't like this either. However, I was just
looking at it again and in the cliffs I could imagine a hiker,
a climber in stone, seeming to be just a rock formation, but
yet a sculpture of a rock climber.
decided that it will be my next pencil drawing. I was
beginning to wonder when the next pencil drawing was going to
complete two oils in February, I'll try to upload them here.
guess I won't know if it worked until I publish. I'll have to
get better at this blogging.
painting is of Avalanche Lake looking south, and the other is
Copperas Pond looking at Whiteface.
fired two kilns this week, the gallery is flush with pottery.
The gallery just had it's two worst months in a row in
probably the 28 years that we've been in business. Even my web
business is very slow and clients are taking longer to pay.
It's probably the first time in three or four years that I
don't have a site to build on a regular basis. My last one was
for a painter in Florida and since I didn't have anything else
to do, I gave him a lot more and he's told me he's going to
talk me up down there. Aafinearts.com if your interested.
are picking up for Sue, Adirondack Life is commissioning a new
pendant design and there's some other work "in the
works" with them. Most recently she got some nice pottery
orders. Next week she'll be working at the Keene school on the
decided to make the leap to Social Security. It'll help the
income. We believe that things will be getting worse before
they get better. Sue and I have been real survivors. We've
always stayed true to ourselves, we've lived on fumes many
times. This time everything just feels different, government
really is not concerned about the little guy anymore. They've
totally forgotten where this country came from. Their only
concern is making the other side look bad, scoring political
points at the expense of a country.
feels like you could be flicked aside, stepped on and
forgotten. Rather disheartening after 28 years in business
together, 7 additional years for me before that, make that 35
business years for me. Also being a combat vet and having the
feeling that your helpless to make a change in this great
I'm wondering about the future of eating art and thinking
perhaps it's time to move it to a blog or facebook kind of
That's why I'm here tonight writing this, after neglecting my
blog for year.
I could still post photos, I could have stories.....
I'm trying to convince myself.
Eating Art Newsletter began mostly as an exercise in writing
and communicating incognito with other artists, although it
became quickly apparent to quite a few, who was writing.
The actual website was begun to showcase the work we were
creating and family times. The two are pretty much the same in
my mind, even the house is another part of studios, and there
were always projects the girls were working on when they were
growing up. Or Sue might have a project on the kitchen table
and have to move it for dinner.
It's still going on, Sue has a mural project right now and the
kitchen table has been active for several weeks, now that it's
the two of us we sit and watch our favorites shows we've
taped. It 's a different dynamic, that's for sure.
Major changes all over the world, why not at Eating Art as
well. I'm certainly going through major changes myself, or
probably I should say that all around me family is going
through changes and therefore that affects me, in a major way.
I made three paintings on small canvases last month,
12x16". I'm loosening up to paint some larger canvas.
I've been sketching out trees that I will eventually draw a
series of on pastel paper, I'm really having fun with this
idea now that I can see the direction and colors I want to