As a locally sourcing caterer, I am always on the lookout for ways to utilize our local producers in my business, beyond the usual ingredient items. Recently I took in the fabulous artisan and pottery show at the Valhalla, November 16th and 17th. If you missed out on this plethora of artistic eye candy, you should feel pretty sad and regretful right about now.
It was overwhelming to say the least as I walked through the crushing crowd to view some of the finest works of art in this whole Northern region. I focused mostly on the pottery show, but did run into Karen from Bare Organics, who sold me a soothing remedy for my water and soap destroyed hands. Honestly, I can not say enough good things about her healing balm. If you have winter aggravated dry hands or eczema and don’t want to use a product that is either full of chemicals or limits your skin’s ability to provide its own moisture, then you need to get this stuff!
Anyway, I digress. What was making me truly gleeful this Saturday afternoon was the huge array of absolutely beautiful pottery. If you’ve been to a cooking class, you know how anal I am about presentation; making the dish look good to entice the taste buds. Not only is the actual food presentation important, but the dish the food rests in I find equally important. A handmade pottery mug can take your plain cup of tea to new heights. And serving steaming soup in a pottery bowl or mug will literally make it taste better. In fact, the other weekend while visiting Grand Marais, we stopped into The Angry Trout for dinner, and was thrilled to find our seafood chowder being served in pottery! It was probably the best chowder I have ever had.
While all the artists I met this weekend I am in awe of, I particularly like the work of Tim from Island Pottery in Rossport, (he’s doing a show at Kleewych Glass December 5-24 if you’d like to stop in) and Trudy Jamieson Pottery. Both use the original wood fired kilns, with clever uses of salt and glaze to make unique and really impressive pieces! After spending a little more than I had set out to, I came home with a fantastic collection of bowls and mugs, a serving platter, utensil vase and serving bowl with a honey pot on order! I am going to show off all of these pieces, particularly because I am excited about them, but also to give credit to each artist.
Cooking classes are going to get even more exciting, with your tea and coffee served in unique mugs and your hot soups in beautiful wood fired pottery!