New Beginnings

It’s been a long break from the studio. We have relocated to Pune and the studio is in the process of being set up.

A home shift can be very stressful, which luckily for us it wasn’t. While the studio was shut I suddenly found myself with a lot of time to create a few things for myself as well as others. Of course I missed my students like crazy.

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Watching over her ceramic eggs in the kitchen.

A fish wall for my husband. :)

A fish wall for my husband. 🙂

June to December was spent setting up the new home, getting the garden in shape and other such exciting things.

My first attempt at flowers.

My first attempt at flowers.

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Uttara the super talented, tech savvy daughter is back from a year in gorgeous Ladakh and will now be the official photographer and poster of my blog. Also, the tenacious Ketaki is back with Best Mango, which has made me feel guilty about being a lazy blogger. The children do have their uses after all. 🙂

Uttara's room at SECMOL in Ladakh.

Uttara’s room at SECMOL in Ladakh.

Uttara, Kunzes, the cat and the kitchen at SECMOL.

Uttara, Kunzes, the cat and the kitchen at SECMOL.

To new beginnings…

Wall Plates

The encouraging daughters have been home for a very short break so  the technology challenged mother has been prodded to write and post pictures (when did the role reversal happen? I thought I was supposed to be the pushy mom!!).

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Underglaze painting has been a favourite technique for adding that extra something to my pieces. From making simple polka dot designs to intricate patterns, using a wide palette to just a couple of colours the possibilities are endless.

These plates are part of a wall installation:

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Branches…

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Painting in the leaves…

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All done!

Monsoons in Bombay

The rains are here in their full Bombay glory. The trips to the farm get more beautiful and scenic with the countryside looking well washed and green. It’s amazing the number of shades of green actually exist and I’m sure we do not have enough names for each of them. Glaze making and expanding my colour palette is my main focus this year and all these trips inspire me no end.

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A variety of greens I used in my last year’s monsoon collection.

This weekend has been a very wet one but a great one for cooking. Fabulous haleem, chicken with loads of fried green chillies and achari baigan at a family dinner. Unfortunately my official photographer (younger one Uttara ) is off in Leh doing really interesting work at Secmol, and so no pictures of either the greens or the meal! But let me makeup for that with a very easy re ripe for the Achari Baingan-

Ingredients:

1 large brinjal
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
1 small carton of tomato puree
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 small sprigs curry leaves
2 dried kashmiri red chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilly powder
salt to taste.

So, all those on a diet do not read further the rest of us who live on the edge, here is how you proceed..

Method:

Heat oil in a wok/kadai.

Chop brinjal into small cubes and deep-fry to a nice even golden brown.

I usually let the brinjal stand in a colander while the gravy is made. That way I can pretend that the oil drains ( some of it does )!

In a sauce pan heat 2 tsp oil. Add the fenugreek, mustard and nigella seeds. When they make that delightful spluttering sound add the chopped onions and sauté till pinkish brown.

The ginger -garlic goes in and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.It’s always a good idea to cook on medium heat while frying the masalas so they brown evenly. Add the powder masalas and continue to stir another 3 to 4 minutes.

The sour component in Indian cuisine comes from a variety of things like tomatoes, curd, tamarind, raw mango to name a few. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they soften. The tomato puree, curry leaves,red Kashmiri chillies go in, cover and cook on a slow flame for about 10 mins.

The fried brinjal needs little work now,so add to the gravy bring to a quick boil and that’s it.

Ketaki (the older one)needs to bribe herself from time to time with some yummy food to get on with her writing, so this one is for you beta.

More recepies next time if the rain continues.

New Beginnings

I am always amazed at the kind of objects we can collect and actually use in a ceramic studio. Clearing and packing my studio has unearthed a treasure trove of things which make the most amazing tools. Of course I also threw things out in truckloads!

The nicest part of this excercise has been the discovery of my test tiles! I buy my glazes and all my other material from fellow potter Sandeep Manchekar (thank you Sandeep for helping Earth to fire in it’s journey). Over a period of time my colour pallette grew and grew.

With every little thing packed, taped and labelled we are ready to move.

Earth to Fire takes the next step of Pop up Stores, Trunk shows and the like. Always fun to try new ideas and actually make use of the test tiles, and all the different techniques clay can adapt to.

New beginnings again.

Earth to Fire Summer Sale April 19 Onwards (12-6)

Earth to Fire will be downing its shutters at the end of May and relocating. For all of you, students and friends, who have shared in the wonderful experience here, do come by and see our exciting summer sale! And buy a piece for yourself!

Address: Earth to Fire, G-2 Mangal Mahesh, 14th Road, Khar West, Opp. Costa Coffee

At a Glance

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Christmas

What a lovely Christmas it was with just family. Ever since the girls went to Kodaikanal at a very young age I always made it special for them. They were never home for the ‘Hindu’ festivals so instead of Janmashtmi (the birth of Krishna at midnight) it was the birth of Jesus that we celebrated and continue to do so.

Uttara my super creative younger one has always enjoyed doing the tree, the gifts and is like sunshine in our home. We have been really lucky to have at least one of our daughters with us this time of the year (always helps to have a slave in the kitchen if not two!) So I’m going to start with the most divine fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing that she made.

I believe that a family that eats together stays together. It’s another matter that one ends up cooking for the army by the time everyone’s favourite dishes have been made. But the end result is always worth it.

The table

This garlic was a BIG hit. 

From when Uttara was very little this showroom window always was a must visit and the tradition has been passed on to my niece Midori. Doing  a family walk-about to see the lights, churches and festivities in the neighbourhood was delightful.

Midori with her fractured arm and baby Jesus

The Family at the Mother Mary statue

Year endings are not my favourite but then there’s the New Year to look forward to and new beginnings.

Happy New Year and stay safe!