Friday, October 21, 2016

Jean Marie Casbarian, Artist

Counting Pomegranate Seeds
Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, June 2012
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
2-day performance with Sami Ari

Counting Pomegranate Seeds is based on an Armenian family myth that the pomegranate, a symbol of life and fertility, holds 365 seeds. If one were to place a seed in their pocket every day, they would be granted good luck. Using old linen nightgowns and hand-me-downs, small pockets are constructed, each holding a seed. As the artist obsessively counts the seeds, the fruit bleeds into her lap in an attempt to renew and regenerate youth. 

Ideas for TASTE

Zhong zi is a delicious Chinese food that is basically sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaf and steamed. We added chopped kabocha (squash), flaked roasted duck meat, and goji berries to some of the zhong zi to add some interesting flavors. To eat it, unwrap the leaves and use chopsticks to hold the sticky rice and dip it in white sugar or maple syrup. It's chewy, sticky, and has the refreshing taste of bamboo leaf!

Black Beans. Source

Green Tea White Chocolate Ice Cream. Source artful


Mango pastry

Mont Blanc. Source


Apple cinnamon pull-apart bread. Source



Bon Bons


A baker prepares ensa├»mades, a traditional sweet bread, at a bakery in Palma de Mallorca. The ensa├»mada is a traditional Mallorcan dessert made with reduced pork lard. Source

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds

Let Them Eat Sugar Sculpture! The Getty Celebrates Edible Table Art

One of the main attractions in "The Edible Monument" exhibition at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is a nine-foot long sugar palace showing the Greek sorceress Circe meeting Odysseus' men.
Abbie Fentress Swanson for NPR

November 20, 2015
Enter a Getty Center gallery in Los Angeles, and you'll be greeted by a nine-foot long sculpture of the Greek sorceress Circe transforming Odysseus's men into swine.
What's most remarkable about this piece is that every inch of it – from the ornamental balustrade to the fine pink, yellow and white sands in the miniature garden — is made of sugar.
The sugar palace might have been the centerpiece of an 18th century French wedding table. Today, it's part of a Getty exhibit called "The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals" that runs until Mar. 16.
"These very elaborate centerpieces in the middle of tables were made for people to admire while they ate and then the food would be served around them," says the exhibition's curator Marcia Reed.
At the end of the party, guests were often invited to break off pieces of sugar sculpture to eat or take home as souvenirs.
What "The Edible Monument" shows us is that our love of party decorations goes way, way back, says Reed. Besides this sugar art, the show features extravagant serving vessels and scenes, such as silver tureens with sculpted rabbits and heads of cauliflower, colorful scrolls depicting 16th century ox roasts and prints portraying triumphal arches made of bread, cheese and suckling pigs.
Sugar and pastry were two of the foods that moved out of the kitchen and into the artist studio during the Renaissance. The period's finest kitchens employed chefs and confectioners who knew how to handle sugar paste and turn it into sculpture. White sugar was prized by Europe's elite because it was pure, beautiful and exotic, having been imported from Africa and the Caribbean.
At the end of the party, guests were often invited to break off pieces of sugar sculpture to eat or take home as souvenirs.
Abbie Fentress Swanson for NPR
"Sugar is a great way of showing how skillful these past practitioners were because it is one of the few foodstuffs you can show in a museum without it decaying," says British culinary historian Ivan Day, who created the Circe sugar temple on display at the Getty with artist Tony Barton using sugar paste, molds and a 1749 French engraving. Day's latest sculpture should last a while; he says similar sculptures he made 30 years ago remain in good shape today.
It helps that when sugar is combined with gum and water, it becomes an extremely pliable paste that has the consistency of Play-Doh, according to Reed. She says the sugar paste used in the Renaissance period is comparable to wedding cake fondant we see today. When it hardens, this sugar paste has the color and substance of Necco Wafers.
Medieval sugar statues were the inspiration behind the sphinx artist Kara Walker installed in Brooklyn's Domino Sugar factory in 2014. "I was reading this book, Sweetness and Power [by anthropologist Sidney Mintz], and I came across these sugar sculptures called subtleties that they had at medieval banquets," Walker told the Guardian. "Up until that point, I had been thinking of finger-wagging doom-laden things about the history of slavery and sugar and America. It didn't take into account what people wanted to look at."
Day says sugar monuments may be stunning to behold but also have a dark history worth remembering.
"When these extraordinary self-indulgent masterpieces of edible art were being produced for European palaces ... poor human beings who harvested the raw material lived dreadful and tragic enslaved lives," he says.
Selected works from "The Edible Monument" exhibition can be viewed online. And several special events are still to come.
In January, Day will discuss the evolution of edible table art at the Getty and teach museum visitors how to make their own Twelfth Cakes and tazze from sugar paste and 18th century molds. Then in February, art historian Joseph Imorde will discuss how the popularity of refined sugar led to an increase in tooth decay in Renaissance Europe. Sugar at that time was thought to have health benefits and was often taken as a digestive.
Other food exhibits at the Getty include the "Salad Garden," where artists are making salads from heirloom vegetables and "Eat, Drink and Be Merry," a room of rare manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the first known portrayal of a pretzel.

Abbie Fentress Swanson is a journalist based in Los Angeles. She covers agriculture, food production, science, health and the environment.
Source is

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ceramic History

Ceramics is one of the most ancient industries on the planet. Once humans discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by first mixing with water and then firing, the industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, animal and human figurines were made from clay and other materials, then fired in kilns partially dug into the ground.

Almost 10,000 years later, as settled communities were established, tiles were manufactured in Mesopotamia and India. The first use of functional pottery vessels for storing water and food is thought to be around 9000 or 10,000 BC. Clay bricks were also made around the same time.

Glass was believed to be discovered in Egypt around 8000 BC, when overheating of kilns produced a colored glaze on the pottery. Experts estimate that it was not until 1500 BC that glass was produced independently of ceramics and fashioned into separate items.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, when the metal industry was in its infancy. Furnaces at that time for melting the metal were constructed of natural materials. When synthetic materials with better resistance to high temperatures (called refractories) were developed in the 16th century, the industrial revolution was born. These refractories created the necessary conditions for melting metals and glass on an industrial scale, as well as for the manufacture of coke, cement, chemicals, and ceramics.

Another major development occurred in the second half of the 19th century, when ceramic materials for electrical insulation were developed. As other inventions came on the scene-including automobiles, radios, televisions, computers-ceramic and glass materials were needed to help these become a reality, as shown in the following timeline.

Timeline of Selected Ceramic and Glass Developments

24,000 B.C.Ceramic figurines used for ceremonial purposes
14,000 B.C.First tiles made in Mesopotamia and India
9000-10,000 B.C.Pottery making begins
5000-8000 B.C.Glazes discovered in Egypt
1500 B.C.Glass objects first made
1550 A.D.Synthetic refractories (temperature resistant) for furnaces used to make steel, glass, ceramics, cement
Mid 1800’sPorcelain electrical insulation
Incandescent light bulb
1920’sHigh-strength quartz-enriched porcelain for insulators
Alumina spark plugs
Glass windows for automobiles
1940’sCapacitors and magnetic ferrites
1960’sAlumina insulators for voltages over 220 kV
Application of carbides and nitrides
1970’sIntroduction of high-performance cellular ceramic substrates for catalytic converters and particulate filters for diesel engines
1980’sHigh temperature superconductors

Source is

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sanding Swabs

I found these "gems" on a website for gems!!
Thinking this tool can be used for sanding small spaces on greenware. 
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