Sunday 27 April 2014

Baking Dish, Cake Stand Or ...?

As I have mentioned several times before, we live in a very old stone house. The walls of our home are very thick and the room arrangement is not ideal. The staircase is relatively spacy and the bedrooms are too small.

My kitchen is also tiny. The lack of space in the kitchen forced me to be more efficient when choosing appliances. And since I really like to cook and experiment in the kitchen, I was not so enthusiastic about having to compromise a lot. I need my old grain mill; I need all of my jars with spices and dried herbs; I really need all those pots, pans, baking dishes, bowls… 

So I came to a very smart idea to make a few multipurpose pots: a bowl that can be used as a baking dish, a fruit bowl, a salad bowl or - if turned upside down - as a simple cake stand.
Stoneware, wheel-thrown, 4 cm in height, 22 cm in diameter.

In some extreme cases it can be successfully used to grow cress on the window bench. Here is the result.

In order to be able to use this vessel as a cake stand, I had to glaze the bottom as well. For this reason, I had to leave the rim of the vessel unglazed. The vessel was then fired upside down.

There are no more excuses not to bake a moist chocolate cake now. Or at least as soon I get those greens out of it…

Saturday 19 April 2014

Sunday 13 April 2014

Old Viennese Rose

Call me old-fashioned, but I really love this simple and beautiful “Old Viennese Rose” from the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten. Even though I am not the type of person to have complete Meissen porcelain dinnerware in a glass cabinet in my dining room (like our grandmothers did), this is probably the only flower-patterned dinnerware I would really like to have.

Last time I stayed in Vienna, I went on a guided tour through the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten. During the tour, we visited the artists who paint all the porcelain by hand. There was one lady who patiently worked on the “Purple Rose” pattern. In the manufactory’s shop and museum I saw the “Old Viennese Rose” porcelain again. A few days later I visited some good friends, and I spotted it again, the good old Viennese Rose.  When I came back home to Switzerland, a very, very dear friend and a former working colleague posted the same “Viennese Rose” post stamp on my Facebook wall.

This “Rose” seems to follow me. Even though the “Viennese Purple Rose” was created in the era of Biedermeier, it didn’t lose any of its popularity.

A few weeks ago, I checked the Austrian online selling platform for the vintage articles and I was surprised that there are so many of the old complete Augarten’s “Old Viennese Rose” sets that are still offered for sale. Many times it was noted that the porcelain dinnerware is old, but never used. It had been locked up in some grandma’s glass cabinet.

For many people, this dinnerware was obviously too precious for a daily use. Also, I can imagine that it was purchased as dowry for the wedding. Maybe it was just a matter of prestige to own this particular porcelain dinnerware.

One thing is sure: if I had the "Old Viennese Rose" porcelain cup, I would enjoy drinking my tea out of it.

Monday 7 April 2014

Zebra Easter Egg

Turquoise zebra egg, stoneware, 30 cm in length, 15 cm in height.

Easter is just around the corner, so I wanted to show you my favourite Easter egg. I think that my love for zebra stripes and my obsession with the turquoise colour are no secret. This egg incorporates them both, so here it is, a silly turquoise zebra egg. 

I made the zebra pattern with liquid latex. I applied the latex on the bisque ware with my finger (I really hate to clean brushes). As soon as the latex got dry, I glazed the entire egg with my turquoise glaze. The latex stripes serve as a barrier so the areas with the latex on it didn’t soak the glaze. Those parts will stay unglazed. When the glaze is completely dry, I can pull the latex stripes away. It is very important to remove all the latex, because I'm pretty sure the kiln wouldn’t be happy about it.

Freshly glazed egg and removed latex stripes.

Late-night glazing.