Thursday, July 12, 2012

euro shock

cheese booty
I've been home from France for for about a week and a half, and it's been a slow process of re-integrating back into my regular life. I visited the cheese man the day before I left to load up on cheese to make the transition easier. My suitcase was on the dot of 71 kilos at the airport. One more kilo and they would have not let me check it. I was loaded up on olive oil, wine, salt, perfume, olives, chocolate, cheese, and butter. I know you want to know why I would bring back butter. Because French butter is awesome. I know I can buy El Presidente at the grocery store, but I would rather pay 50 euro in overweight charges and bring it back from the source than pay $5 for 7 oz of butter, okay? I'm eating the butter right now, and it has chunks of fleur de sel in it. Someone in America needs to start making this kind of butter. By the way, there is nothing wrong with treating butter as cheese and eating it in slices on top of bread.

 My lovely assistant promptly went on a two-week vacation when I returned, which she deserved for keeping the chaos in check while I was working on my tan in France. But I had to figure out how things run again on my own. It's amazing how quickly you can leave your life behind.  My website went down about a week before I came home, and I'm just now getting it back up again. It's an external indication of the way things are fraying at the edges.  By the way, please click on my website link a few times, because after two weeks of being down, my website totally lost its google ranking.

So there's that, and then there's trying to get ready for two shows, two weekends in a row.  This weekend is the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival, and the next weekend is the Renegade Festival. Somehow, I had the foresight to make all the work I needed before I left for France, so I'm not in dire straits with making work, I just have no juice right now for packing all my work up, driving it places, unpacking, setting up, and standing around all weekend. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't come see me if you can, because you should. Come see my mediterranean tan, and buy something, because I'm still recovering from euro shock.

rolls of buttery limoge porcelain
People have been asking me about the new new cake stands that I made in France. I won't have any at the shows, there is just not enough time to whip anything out.  Let me rephrase that: there is not enough motivation to whip anything out. When I got back into my studio last week I decided I can no longer tolerate my clay, which I have been using my entire career.  I was using a Limoge porcelain in France that was so white, I only had to slap a thin coat of clear glaze on it and it shined a clear, bright white. And it was tough, it took a ton of abuse with no cracking, unlike my sorry-ass B-Mix. I threw a couple of orders with the B-Mix this week, and I could barely look at it.  I've been unhappy with this clay for a while, and it took running off to France and having a wild affair with Limoge to realize that B-Mix and I need to part ways. There's no spicing up this relationship, a full-on breakup is in the offing. I've met with a few other clays already.

new french cake stands in limoge porcelain

16 comments:

  1. I have butter envy. My stupid butter has no chunks in it.

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  2. Oh my goodness...limoges AND that butter?!? I have butter and clay envy. Stunning cake stands, so French :)

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  3. gorgeous cake stands. makes you want to eat them, though that could change when the dessert goes on top.

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  4. great cake stands - always like reading your updates

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  5. Good luck w. the new clay relationship. CrAzY that you brought back butter, totally cool too! Hope the shows treat you right.

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  6. Absolutely without a doubt the greatest cake stands I have ever seen! I want to go to France and come back with work like that!!!! really nice :)

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  7. Do you have a recipe or source for the new clay? I'm in a love/hate/hate relationship with BMix myself.

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  8. Whitney... adore the idea of SLICES of butter on the bread... YOWZA. The stands look awesome licious. As I have an ongoing abusive relationship with clay I hear ya and would love to hear all dirty secrets! Welcome back. Hang in and just live as the French do, here... I decided that is my new plan as moving at the moment isn't gonna fly, I will just live like the italians, french, spanish, balinese, thai HERE in the melting pot of the USA... everyone else is BOUND to catch on....

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  9. Whitney. I live in Oakland and I'd be happy to assist you this wknd if you need some help. Email me at lettinggo02@yahoo.com. I'm serious!

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  10. I've been getting some delicious butter at my local farmer's market here in SF. It's made by Spring Hill Cheese Co. in Petaluma. I totally slice it like cheese! I get the unsalted kind so I'm not sure if there's chunky salty goodness in the salted version, though.

    Have you tried Matt & Dave Clay's The Coup Porcelain? I've heard good things but haven't tried the sample they sent me yet.

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  11. Ahhh Whitney you are pure and utter entertainment:) Loove reading your blog.Thanks!!

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  12. Hey everyone, thanks for the comments! judi I've been hanging on to my French vibe thanks to my butter, excellent local bread, and all the love I've been getting from my family, friends, and customers. I agree we need to take the best of other cultural lifestyles and import them to our own households

    A porcelain called theCoup? I need to check that shit out.

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  13. Hope you get over your Euro Crash soon your cake stands are so pretty. Fabulous!

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  14. Butter and porcelain envy-- I'm bright green, help! We get wonderful milk-from-the-cow here, so I can make cheese, but not that kind of butter. And porcelain- I use a community kiln (electric), can't go higher than Cone 5. So I use one of those "Porcelain-like Cone 5 stonewares"- it's nice but it ain't porcelain, and no, it doesn't take any abuse, it's a diva....What will you do???

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  15. drooling.....smiles...

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  16. What beautiful cake stands!

    We make our own french butter (but we also raise our own dairy cows - Jerseys, of course, for the RICH cream). It takes a lot longer but you can eat it by the slice and it has FLAVOR...which is hard to come by in commercial American butter.

    I was delighted to find your blog.

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