Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Dandelion greens...fiddlehead ferns...morel mushrooms...this Spring I've been struck with foraging fever.

After living many years in the high plains desert of Wyoming, where only sage brush cares to grow, I am back in the Midwest for Spring and feasting on the abundance growing in my own back yard.

Today I spent the morning harvesting purple violets to infuse in a simple syrup that will bring the freshness of Spring flooding back even in the heat of Summer or cold of Winter.

My favorite ways to use this treat are drizzled on broiled grapefruit halves, splashed into a cool glass of sparkling water, lemonade, or other icy drink, or mixed into chamomile tea.

It is nearing the end of violet season, but if you want to try this recipe yourself just follow these simple directions. (the hard part is the harvesting)
*Gather clean, pesticide free blooms and using a canning jar, cover with equal parts boiling water. Cover and let sit for 24 hours shaking gently now and then. Strain the blossoms but do not press on the flowers.

*Add lemon juice to the violet juice one teaspoon at a time. This will turn the violet juice from a deep blue to a colorful purple. Stop when you reach the desired color. I went a bit too far this year and would have preferred a slightly deeper color, but it is still beautiful.

*Now you make a simple syrup out of the juice by boiling it with 1 1/2 cups of sugar for every cup of juice. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Place in a sterilized jar with a screw ring top and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes for longer storage or refrigerate and use promptly.

I also tried my hand at candying a few of these beautiful blooms, that didn't go as well. I think I'll figure out the technique with a few more sturdy specimens like mint leaves first and try the violets again next year.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nature Calls

Numerous times this spring I have heard the call of a strange, strange bird, always sounding very close to the house, but I could never spot the feathered friend. Now I know why, it was not a bird. It was a frog!

We found this little guy the other day hanging out in the tree right outside our back door. He's just about 2 inches long. I believe it is a Bird-Voiced Tree Frog and from the way he sounds, the name fits. He is still hanging around, just caught sight of him again today.

Love those little suction cups!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Almost done!

Place settings
Originally uploaded by JD Wolfe Pottery
I am starting to hit a groove in my studio.

This week I had a lot of dinner set orders to finish. Last week was nesting bowl set week. Too bad I didn't take any pictures of the process. I had bowls covering every flat surface in my studio!

This is a picture of some of what I've made, in various stages of completion.

My standard place setting is shown in the middle all glazed. It includes a round dinner plate, a square salad/dessert plate, a low pasta bowl and a soup/cereal/ice cream bowl.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Here we go........

It is time to ramp up my studio production! This week I got my acceptance letter into Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI (July 12-13) It is my favorite show and I am really excited about this year. It is the only show I have planned for the summer, so I am really able to focus all my energy on making the right inventory for it. I have lots of large nesting bowl sets planned and will try to showcase my line of Plaid Pottery.

I am also very excited that I will get to meet one of my Etsy faves circaceramics. It seems they have been accepted into the show as well. Yay!

Time to get to work!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Today we set our clocks ahead 1 hour and that sets my mind ahead to spring. Even though there are still mounds of snow on the ground I know spring is just around the corner.

My Etsy find for today is this sweet little porcelain Robin's Egg Pendant made by Etsy artist Ginpins, made even better by the great photography set up, all warm and cozy in it's little nest.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sun Dappled Spring Green Rice Bowls

Every time I make these bowls I smile.

When I started making pottery over 15 years ago, I have to admit my pieces were far from stellar. The pots had wobbles and wiggles in places I did not want. I got creative in many ways to save my creations from collapse and one of the ways was to tweak the rims of my bowls just enough to keep them in line and it also served as a bit of camouflage for my lopsided ware.
I decide 3 evenly spaced notches were the most visually pleasing and my customers agreed. Soon this style of bowl became one of my most popular designs.
I have since expanded my line beyond this standard piece and my pots no longer need the disguise they once did, but I have a special fondness in my heart for these little notched bowls and will continue to make them. They remind me of where I came from and make me dream of all of the discoveries and progress I have still ahead.