Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weird Looking Tomatoes!

My gardener took out at least a dozen oleander bushes in my back yard this summer because half of them were dying. All my neighbors have the same problem. So now there was an empty strip of ground along a sunny wall that I decided would be great for vegetables. I dug an area long enough for two tomato plants, sifted out the rocks and added good soil amendments and fertilizer. Then planted two tomato plants. I don't have the tags for them, but they were normal plants like Better Boy, and they were both the same. The plants definitely liked the soil and the warmth of the wall and now have grown higher than their cages. However, the tomatoes on one plant are normal looking, but the other plant has weird looking tomatoes. I think THEY think they are tomato pumpkins! I picked a few today and had to share them with you. It's definitely better than sharing with the scavengers who come out at night!  By the way, the tomato in the back is a "normal" one from the other plant! Here's the photo. What do you think? Tomato pumpkins?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Ovals Plates and A New Blue Mug

Wow! It's soooo hot in Southern California right now. And even though it will get cooler by ten degrees over the next few days, the humidity will be going up! We are not used to humidity. We don't like it. Go away!

I posted a few new items on Etsy. This mug is another of my series with the Southwest Swirl stamp. Will I ever tire of this stamp? Of this type of mug?  No. No. This one is almost a purple, but I called it blue.

The two plates below are favorites of mine. They have so many uses. Oh no, did I use that swirl stamp again?!  The bottom plate has a leaf imprint, fresh leaves from my garden that are rolled into the clay. I had great plans for my hosta leaves this year ... rolling them into clay. But the hot sun has burned most of the leaves. Even though the plant is in a shady spot now, the sun has found a time to peek over the roof top and do its damage. So the plan is to move the plant to a shadier spot for next year.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Photos of Stoneware Square Plates -- Rust Matt Glaze

I decided today to take new photos of my two stoneware square plates with rust matt glaze.  The original photos on Etsy were taken outside on my brick patio and they were not great (too much interference with the background).  The plates are a great size for a simple serving of lunch, salad, dessert.  Here are the new photos:

I like making these plates. A round slab of clay is placed on a plaster mold which is attached to the potter's wheel. When the slab has been smoothed, it is cut to this shape. Then a ring of clay is attached and the foot ring is formed. September is my scheduled month to start clay work .... next week!  Yay!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network!!

One blog I follow is The Pioneer Woman.  She starts her own TV series on the Food Network this Saturday morning, August 27th.  There's a short video of the upcoming show at the link below.

Fold Forming Projects

A few days ago I mentioned a friend and I were working with copper and trying our hand at fold forming. It's been so much fun, and no smashed fingers yet! This pendant is not finished, but it is looking good. There are scratches that need to be sanded and then patina to be applied. This photo taken with my phone looks pretty large here; the pendant measures 1-1/2" x 2-1/4".

I visited the local jewelry supply store last week because my liver of sulfur was no longer working.  I'm referring to the small chunks in a can and you use only a small piece in warm water.  Well, they told me they no longer carry the can with the chunks ... there is a new product for us to try, liver of sulfur in a liquid form that is supposed to last a long time. We experimented a little yesterday, but my piece doesn't want to be dipped yet.

I worked on this heart wall hanging yesterday and finished it today.  The center heart is raised about 1/4" with cut tube pieces and is attached to the bottom piece with rivets.  Then the little bird's nest with turquoise beads added a nice touch. The coiled hanger is done with "The Coiling Gizmo". This simple gadget is amazing and so easy to use!   Do you have one?

All the coloring on this piece was done with the torch.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Classes

I finished my second PMC class yesterday, having taken the first one a couple months ago. Something sparked my interest this time, but I still felt very inadequate when working with the stuff. And I felt the teacher picked on me! Seriously, she was trying to correct all the things I was doing wrong, but I noticed I was the one in class with the most problems! But at the end of the day, I felt I had learned and improved. And I want to continue working with PMC.

The PMC classes were taught by Lora Hart. She is a wonderful teacher and I really recommend her. She is quite famous and highly qualified in the PMC field. Check out her blog and learn more about her. The blog has a wealth of information and a long list of jewelry artist sites. Unfortunately Lora said she would be moving to the East Coast next year.  I'll take a few more classes from her before she leaves.

Here's a photo of the two pieces I made in my classes. The first is the heart pendant with the TOO large bail. I guess I can always replace the bail with another later. What was interesting about making the heart was the texture on it. After the heart dried, we used a template with a cut out pattern and spread PMC slip on the template with a knife, like Spackle. Then carefully lifted the template off. The slip remained as a raised decoration. That has tons of possibilities!

The heart was treated with Black Max. I don't like the look. I'll remove it and try liver of sulfur.

The hinged piece wasn't what I expected to make at all. I thought we would be making a pendant that closed. This one does not close and was never intended to close. But now I know how to make a hinge out of PMC and will figure out how to make a closed one later. I added two jump rings to which I will add silver chain. In class Lora asked me how I was going to hang this piece. I said I would drill holes after it was fired. She dragged me to her work table, took out a twist drill and said I HAD TO DRILL THE HOLES NOW!! She very quickly twisted the small drill bit by hand into one corner of my piece.  Then told me to do the second hole. It worked. Nothing cracked. The hole was clean. It's something you would not do with dry stoneware clay .... it would crack. So I learned how strong PMC was. She also showed me dry PMC could be cut with a blade and it didn't crack.  Wow.

Have you had any experiences with PMC you'd like to share?

Stoneware Square Plate - Buttermilk Glaze

I listed this plate in my Etsy shop today, after selling a similar one last week.  I have one left that I will keep, since I noticed it has a little flaw.  And what else is new?  I only get to keep the seconds!  These plates were so much fun to make, I can't wait to start on another batch.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baking Dish Wheel Thrown - Buttermilk Glaze

Here's a larger baking dish I added to my Etsy shop today.  It's a nice size and easily holds a quart.  It is made from red stoneware clay and glazed with Buttermilk (of course).

Stoneware Wheel Thrown Baking Dish - Buttermilk Glaze

I added this small baking dish to my Etsy shop yesterday.  It's one of the smallest I make, and so great to have in the kitchen.  It holds 1-1/2 cups.  Again it has the Buttermilk glaze.  Why do I like that glaze so much?!  On white stoneware it looks so pure and clean, and it picks up all the throwing lines.  On red stoneware it can vary with every reduction firing.  Sometimes the glaze has speckles from the iron content, it could have a golden or light brown cast, and the piece shows the double dipping lines which I really like.  I often do an entire kiln load with Buttermilk glaze and know that my other glazes feel hurt and ignored.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stoneware Wheel Thrown Bowl - Buttermilk Glaze

I love this bowl and continue to make the shape, bigger or smaller.  And I love the lines that are created by using a rutile and iron wash.  The lines always seem to come out differently, sometimes they are pencil thin like I brushed them, then other times the lines spread and flow.  That's reduction firing for you.  Like the outside of the bowl.  Sometimes when I trim I purposely make the trimming tool shatter, which makes groove patterns in the clay, and the glaze loves these grooves.  Magical things happen.

I listed this bowl in my Etsy shop this morning.  You can see more photos and details at:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Foldforming Copper

What a fun day my friend and I had today! We've been working with copper, not only because it so inexpensive, but also because the end result is so beautiful. We both like Southwest designs and made a couple of pieces that really were successful. And we were going to continue with the same theme today.

HOWEVER .... when she arrived and sat down, she saw the book I left out for her, "Foldforming" by Charles Lewton-Brain.  That was it, that became the plan for the day.  Do you know anything about foldforming?  Please visit this website NOW.  It will excite you.  You will buy copper sheet.  You will buy hammers.  You will buy a torch.  And, of course, you will buy the book!  The book is beautiful, it is a wealth of information and worth every penny.  The website:

After about 6 hours of bending copper, hammering it, annealing, opening the fold, hammering it, annealing, and starting all over, my right hand started to cramp and would not stop.  We will resume our projects in a few days and will show you the end results.  My friend wants to make a folded form masterpiece to hang above her fireplace mantel.  I'm not sure just when that project will be ready ........  Mine is much smaller, a pendant.


Kimbiny is my good friend Kim Osborne.  She and her family just a couple weeks ago moved to France where her husband Mark will be directing an animated movie, The Little Prince.  How exciting!  And how double exciting to hear from Kim on Facebook.  She was craving that pickle recipe I posted yesterday and just accidentally found my blog.  She said there are no sweet pickles in France!

Kim is a true artist.  She has been working with resin lately and making adorable little pendants.  You can see her work on Etsy right now.  Go to her link:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Working with Gourds

Along with my gourd bird feeder which was featured in an earlier post, I have two other gourds in my shop at RoseMarysClay.   Making them was so much fun and rewarding, especially when you compare the before and after.  The 'before' was a dirty crusty mess that took forever to clean.  And that was only the beginning. There was the planning of the design, the cutting of the gourd, and the dreadful cleaning of the inside. When that was all completed, the fun began.

Here are the two gourds in my Etsy shop.  They have a Southwestern look.

I have a YouTube video you may like to see which shows me working with gourds.  We'll see if the link below gets you there.  If it doesn't, I'm sorry.  I'll try to work on that link later.   But you can log into YouTube and search for rosemaryflint and you'll find my gourd video, along with raku and whistle videos.


I don't have an abundance of cucumbers this year, thank goodness, but for those of you who do, here's a great recipe I got from my sister years ago.  I make it whenever I see great cucumbers during the year.  I usually use a gallon glass jar, and it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.  But try half the recipe first and see if you like it.

Refrigerator Pickles
1 quart vinegar (5% acetic acid)
1 quart sugar    (yes, that is correct -- equal parts sugar and vinegar)
1/3 cup Kosher or pickling salt
1-1/2 tsp. each celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric

Mix together until the sugar is dissolved.  Heat is not required.
Thinly slice cucumbers and onion and place in your jar.  Cover with syrup.  Keep refrigerated.

Let me know how you like these pickles.  They are my favorites!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Update from the Home Front

Finally .... my apple tree is almost finished with its crop!!!  Every day or so for the past couple weeks there have been 15-20 apples on the ground.  Some get a bruise from falling, but they are okay to use for applesauce and desserts and especially to give away to anyone who calls or comes over!! "COME OVER, ANYONE!"  I posted an apple dessert in my very first blog.  Did anyone make it?  I've made it too many times, have tried other recipes that failed my taste test, and always will make that one.  The best thing about it is that the recipe can be made year-round, because it takes only 6-7 apples to fill that 8 or 9" baking dish.

Last year I planted a lot of tomato plants and had a very disappointing crop.  Maybe it was the horrendous heat we had in Southern California?  This year I am having a bumper crop and am sooo happy!  My daughter and friends are also happy!  I have one cherry tomato plant that is the best! and six regular tomato plants, some producing medium size tomatoes and others larger tomatoes.  I have the tags in the ground and will keep them to try duplicate my selection for next year.  Each year I dig in mulch and chicken manure, then use Miracle Grow faithfully.  This has been my regime for years and it usually works.  Do you have a favorite recipe to share for tomatoes?  I've been happy with BLTs, salads and bruschetta so far.

I just planted a few zucchini plants, after pulling up the yellow crock neck squash I was not happy with.  Of course the zucchini will be SO happy to be combined with the cocoa and chocolate chips in the zucchini bread recipe I posted earlier!!  You'll have to try it.

Today I discovered a few peaches on the ground!  WOW.  This is a very special tree to me, a Rio Osso peach tree.  A hundred years ago we drove out to Little Rock, CA, every year and bought this brand of peaches to can.  Then I was able to order the same tree for my yard!  It suffered a set back during a high wind storm years ago and half the tree was ripped away (bad pruning job by @!%^!).   But even though the tree is leaning a little to one side, it is healthy and doing well.  It's a freestone peach, sweet, simply delicious.

Hope you are having a great weekend!
Rose Mary

New Items on Etsy

Here's a beautiful Ohata Khaki bowl I added to my shop at  This glaze has always been a favorite of mine and it looks great on white stoneware clay.

And I also added the following three stained glass pieces to  The top piece with the beveled glass was so interesting to photograph.  See how the light shining on the bevels added different levels to the photo!  Or maybe it was my photography skills .....

New Sterling Silver Earrings Posted on Etsy

Just last week I made a couple pairs of new earrings that I love and posted them on Etsy:

Fused Iridescent Glass Dishes with Enamel

A few days ago I fused my iridescent and black glass squares together and discovered the fused pieces were just a little too big for the 5" molds.  DRAT!  DARN!  I calmly cut a 1/4" strip from two joining edges to make the piece 4-3/4" square.  I promised to show you how they looked after they were slumped.  Here are two pieces:

You can see more details in my Etsy shop where I just posted them:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chocolate/Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is wonderful, and who would guess it was zucchini bread!
The recipe makes two loaves.  

In a medium bowl, mix together:
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 cups grated zucchini
In a large bowl (I use my mixer bowl), add and mix:
2-1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Stir in:
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips
Then add the zucchini mixture to this and mix well.  Pour into two greased pans.  If you cut parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, the loaves are easy to get out. Bake in a 350 deg. oven for 45 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pans.

Team Madcap Blog feature!

One of the Etsy teams I belong to, Team Madcap, featured my gourd bird feeder in their blog, "It's A Madcap Life".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Studio Potter Archive Blog article

Studio Potter Archive featured me on their blog!  Wow!


I was so honored to be the featured Studio Potter Archive Team potter last week!  Here is the post:


I have been experimenting with enamels on fused glass.  Here are my latest pieces that need a little more work. I cut 5 inch squares of glass, a layer of black for the bottom and iridescent for the top.  The iridescent glass was stamped with white enamel and then the pieces were fuse fired. These were to be slumped into 5 inch molds. HOWEVER, the glass pieces are just a little too big for the molds, so I will have to cut a sliver off two sides of each.  Here are photos of the three fused pieces and a photo of my mold. Should I cut the three pieces, fire polish, then slump them? OR should I use other molds for these pieces and start over with new smaller squares?!!! I'll let you know what happens.


Here's a gourd bird feeder looking for a good home.  You can find a complete description and more photographs at my Etsy shop:  Gourds are so much fun to work with. You can get carried away with the wood burner, but this gourd is very simple.  All it needs is a cup or two of bird seed.

Stoneware Baking Dishes - Buttermilk Glaze

Here are two stoneware baking dishes that I added this week to my Etsy shop.  I love these dishes, as they are functional, decorative, and have so many uses.  The top one is rectangular; the bottom one square.  A complete description of both can be found at my Etsy shop:

Here's my first post on my new blog! Hurray!

I want to share a lot of things with you.  Today I am sharing a recipe that I just sent to my nephew in Wisconsin.  I have one apple tree that is loaded, and each day I could pick enough apples off the ground to make one of these desserts, but .... you know the story.   It's a simple recipe and the topping could be used with other fruit. I've tried it with a strawberry/rhubarb mixture, also very good.  Hope you enjoy it!


Spray or grease an 8" x 8" pan and pare and slice apples to
almost fill it (you'll need room for the topping)

In a medium sized bowl, combine and mix with fork:
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg, unbeaten

Spread the mixture over apples.  Then sprinkle heavily
with cinnamon.  Bake at 350 deg. 40 minutes.