xmas barks and brittles.

thank you martha!



honeycomb brittled


  • vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 1 1/12 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda


coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. bring sugar, honey, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. reduce heat to medium-high. cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. remove from heat, and whisk in baking soda until combined and mixture bubbles. gently pour mixture onto baking sheet without spreading. let cool. break into pieces.

brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


basic brittle recipe


  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • mix-ins, according to variation


  1. coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until sugar dissolves. cook, swirling occasionally, until mixture just starts to turn golden around edge.
  2. stir in mix-ins. cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is pale amber, about 8 minutes. pour onto baking sheet without spreading. let cool. break into pieces.

brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.



add-ins (slightly modified by yours truly):

cashew and cayenne:
2 cups whole raw cashews
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp sea salt flakes
extra salt to sprinkle on top

coconut and spice:
¾ cup large unsweetened coconutflakes
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chinise five spice powder
¼ tsp salt

pepita and lavender:
½ cup petites (green pumpkin seeds)
1 tbsp dried lavender (and extra for sprinkling)
¼ tsp salt




peppermint m&m bark:

  • melt 12 oz. of  white chocolate in a double boiler (aka bowl-in-a-pot).
  • spread over parchment on a sheet pan.
  • bash up a large package of peppermint m&ms and sprinkle over the melted chocolate.
  • cool and break into pieces.

peanut butter crunchy two tone bark:

  • melt 125 oz. of white chocolate  in a double boiler.
  • add  3 cups of puffed rice, stir.
  • spread over parchment on a sheet pan.
  • melt 6 oz milk chocolate in double boiler.
  • add ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter and stir.
  • mix in 1 cup crisp rice.
  • spread over white chocolate.
  • cool and break into pieces.

chocolate of choice and nut of choice:
as above, with whatever you’ve got hanging around



hope everybody enjoyed!


spring recap





spring semester as a post bac at UF was crazy busy.  nceca was amazing.  it’s summer and i can’t wait for fall!

the hard part.

so it’s almost the end of the semester.  this program has been super challenging.  when i look back on the last few months i feel like i haven’t gotten much work made, certainly no where near the amounts of productivity i was at during my residency.  but after my last crit i felt like what i wasn’t making in quantity i was making in quality.  the work is no where near resolved but i feel so great about it.  i feel like it’s moving forward and coming closer to the images in my head, i’m so glad!

hello gainesville!

well, i’m settling down in yet another temporary home.  i guess i’m starting to get good at this.  anyway, i am now in gainesville, fl doing a year of post-baccalaureate studies at the university of florida.  gainesville and uf are both quite nice places.  really a breath of fresh, oxygen rich air after philadelphia.  philly is a amazing city but i am amazed at the unconscious sigh of relief i breathe when i look around and see so much green. proximity is much improved.  i’m back to an 8 block (ish) bike ride to the studio which is sweet.  this is a much bigger program then i’ve ever been a part of so space is limited, there is a snap of my work space above.  this decrease in personal space is more than made up for in the huge and wonderful community, faculty and facility.

my favorite piece of equipment, at the moment, is the test soda kiln.  it’s a small soda kiln that shares a chimney with a regular sized soda kiln(very similar to the soda kiln at the clay co.).  it’s just one shelf (12×24) deep and you can stack 3-5 up depending on what your making.  it’s firing away right now.  very excited to see what comes out.

from the past.

bfa show

mollusk/dilators and mouth series

i recently aquired these images from my bfa exhibition.  i have minimal documentation, at best, from this show, mostly in the form of black and white images taken and hand developed by my brother.  so i was happy when g.m. found these on his comp and copied them to my thumb drive.  a mix of low fire glazed work and hand built gas fired raw porcelain.  some things change and some things stay the same.

mouth series

dead birds

coconut crop circle




this work was completed in 2003.  most of it was made in the semester leading up to my exhibition.  up until that point i was making a lot of figurative work with little cubbies and found objects (i’ll have to post some of that work one day) so it represented a new vein of work which was far less representational.

hmmm, funny.


i put a test of the blue porcelain in the gas kiln last week.  didn’t look so hot.  the body didn’t melt which was good but it got a little burned/dirty looking in reduction.  in the electric it stayed a nice bright blue.  the particular mason stain i used had vanadium in so it has a little yellowish hue which really came out in the reduction firing.  i decided to go ahead and fire the little blue wall pieces to cone 6 oxidation with a wash of gerstley borate since it had worked so well on the white piece.  the next day, while i was at work, one of my studio mates sent me a phone pic of the piece finished.  i couldn’t totally tell what was going on but i was pretty excited.  it looked amphibious……

i finally got to see it yesterday in person:

weird huh!?  i wondered if it was some kind of anomaly so i sprayed the other piece and slid it in the test kiln and this morning i pulled this out:

so now i’m wondering, is that what happens to gerstley borate at cone 6, or is some kind glaze forming between the gb and the mason stain components.  lot’s of questions.  love it.  especially love to see the BRAINS surface.

notes from the studio.

sorry for the rough pics.  they are from my phone.  anyway, i’m still plugging away in the studio.  the trip to florida, and working quite a bit has been keeping me away more than i would like, but that’s the way it goes. in addition to my regular job i’ve been doing something really fun and educational assisting a local artist.  so far we’ve installed a piece at the nceca invitiational and pulled some stuff out of storage, organized and packed up work.  it’s a really wonderful experience.  i’m learning a lot just seeing how she does things.

i’ve got some aps in the works, and a few deadlines coming up.  like every other  ceramic artist at the moment, i’m scurrying to finish up aps and wondering what i’ll be doing next fall.

in the studio i’ve been amassing some work, but i’m still really struggling with how to finish it.  i haven’t even bisqued any large sculptures yet.  i’m waiting for them to get super bone dry, but i’ve been keeping plastic on them for weeks.  i’m afraid to keep them uncovered and risk cracking.  and since i don’t know exactly how i’ll finish them i need them to be perfectly smooth.  ehhhhh, finished work…..sometime….eventually…….:-)

new sculpture in progress….

studio mate e. with her giant math mold……