April 12th, 2004

The wheel will shape me

Fear and Decadence at the Gamble Mansion.

I did go back to attempt the sharp-shouldered jar again. What I came up with borrowed a lot from what I learned a couple of weeks ago and vastly improved the idea. I gave the body a bit of a taper towards the base to break the angle against the table. I also managed to produce the form I was picturing. After I finished, two other students came by to comment on it, which was a bit of a high, as was their reaction to the large bowl that's come from bisque. I'm getting somewhere, at least.

I threw a couple of other pieces Saturday as well, mostly for the sake of experiment and so I'll have more goods for glaze experiments. I'm flirting with the mindset that pieces are expendable, which is good insofar as it frees me from a great deal of the fear and anxiety that something will go wrong (or I'll do something wrong) at some point in the process. I could describe it as removing the ego to get at the Self, but for now it's sufficient to say that it's an important step. Art is funny.


I like cheese, which will go a long way to explaining why I'm headed to a cheese tasting at BCAE tonight. And, since the outlay for the evening happened a couple of months ago, it feels like I'll be sampling a bevy of sexy cheeses for free. (I know, I know. Don't confuse me with your logic.)

Did I mention there'd be wine? My evening is filled with deliciousness.
Road Warrior Diaries

Better than most sex

The gentleman running the event is a rep from South End Formaggio, and wow did he put on a good show. It was a fantastic assortment of textures and flavors, and though I think we were pushing limits with eleven different cheeses, I was very pleased. High points of the evening were the Chevrot and the Valle d'Aspe, both of which were better than most sex (and yes, I dare you to prove me wrong...) The oddest cheese of the lineup was the Garrotxa, which was very tasty, but had a rind that smelled a little of salt cod and turned a lot of people off. In the afters, we were offered a number of things that have traditionally accompanied cheeses, such as an aged balsamic vinegar (syrup thick and tasting almost of port) and green apples pickled with mustard seeds (yeah, it sounds strange, but it was soooo good.)

Best of all, I learned that one can make a career as a Cheese Hunter. Cheese Hunter. You get paid to wander through the backroads of Europe seeking out rare cheeses. Damn.

For those who are dying to know, here's the full lineup:
Selles Sur Cher: artisinal goat's milk, Berry, France
Chevrot: artisinal goat's milk, Poitou, France
Pierre Robert: triple crème cow's milk, Ile de France
Comte: alpine cow's milk, Franche-Comte, France
Valle d'Aspe fermier sheep's milk, Aquitaine, France
Garrotxa: aged goat's milk, Catalonia, Spain
VT Dandy: sheep's milk, Townshend, Vermont
Pecorino Caggiano: sheep's milk, Apulia, Italy
Mahon: cow's milk, Menorca, Spain
Bayley Hazen: cow's milk blue, Greensboro, Vermont
Parmigianno Reggiano: organic cow's milk, Reggiano, Italy