Monday, February 22, 2010
How many of you have ever tasted gooseberries? I'll bet not too many from N America! That's because the selling price's not worth the cost of picking them.
We always had gooseberry bushes in the garden when I was growing up. You knew they were really ripe & sweet because the type that my parents grew would turn a lovely deep reddish purple. Oh....and the size! Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
So here's your tutorial of the day:
Take some white and translucent mixed clay, add a tiny bit of leaf green; just enough that you can see a hint of green in the clay. Roll it into a fat short tube.
Roll some white and some leaf green clay into 1/8" thick ropes; roll them together but do not mix. Now place eight of the ropes onto your greenish tube equally spaced around its diameter. Condense your tube until it's just a bit thicker than an 1/8".
Of course you know that with this type of canework, you squeeze your tube thin. You do not roll it thin because that'll smudge the effect you're trying to achieve.
Cut off pieces just longer than your rope is thick. You want your gooseberry to be oval rather than round. Now comes the hard part: close in the ends! Take your best clay tool (your forefinger and thumb) and gently squeeze the end together. Because these berries are so small, it won't matter if you get them entirely closed. You really won't see it that well. But in any case, take your worst end and add a scraping of ochre clay to it. That's all there is to it.
Happy claying! I'm off to make some bread and one or two sponge cakes or angelfood cake as it's known here.