Saturday, June 28, 2008

A visitor in my studio

He didn't enjoy his time in the studio, rather he flung himself at the window repeatedly. After trying to help herd him to the open doors, I finally just left the studio and came back sometime later to find that he had left. He is obviously frightened in this picture, but what a pretty bird!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ceramic Cookware

Although Pipkins are a favorite, they aren't the only Medieval cooking pot. I make a variety of other Medieval cooking pots for the firepit or brazier too.

A very basic cooking pot is a round bottom piece. Simple ceramic cooking pots are literally found all over the world and all through time for cooking. A few show surface decoration, although it was probably to help the cook get a good grip on a slick piece of pottery. The Ashmolean Museum has some good examples of round-based cooking pots:

This little brown bowl on tripod feet is about 2 cups in capacity and can be used for various culinary work. I especially picture it for sauces or warming up a small amount of water.

The green pouring bowl is 2 qt. size and is also on three feet to fit on the coals. Of course, these bowls have many, many uses on the kitchen counter as well as on a firepit.
"Pre-industrial Utensils; 1150-1800" published by the Museum Baymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam is an excellent reference and the one I like for these bowls.

This is a good example of a skillet. With an interior of about 5" in diameter, this becomes an excellent size for a pancake or frying a couple of eggs. The handle is hollow for insulation like I make many of my pipkin handles. Although this fry pan is on tripod feet too, I also make them with a flat base. My favorite example of this in history is used in a painting by Pieter Aertsen titled "The Pancake Bakers".

The cauldron can be used for anything a pipkin can be used for. I particularly like them for baking, I just scoot mine to what looks like the optimum coals and keep an eye on the heat to insure the coals don't get too hot or cool down too much. There are many examples of medieval cauldrons, the Museum of London has some of my favorites, for example this "London Ware":

You can see a bit of the tripod feet of this Norman spouted jug in this picture. A jug like this can heat water or warm up beverages in the coals. The Ashmolean has a couple of great examples in their "Pot Web"