Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This year we'll have a new jam available at our holiday retail event, Heaven and Nature Sing. It features a combination of three dark berries rich in antioxidants. All fresh from the garden,the berries combine to make an especially tasty jam. While the summer proved challenging for growing some plants, it proved to be just right for these berries.

The berries in From the Summer's Garden Mixed Berry Jam include black berries in the upper left, black currants in the upper right and aronia berries in the foreground. The pectin used to thicken the jam is homegrown and made from our Dolga crabapples.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This group mixed up a perfect batch of hypertufa. Everything set well overnight and the weather cooperated with pleasant breezes blowing through the studio making our last session of the season especially fine.
Elaine and Dorothy were very adventurous and tried many new things including making a platter out of recycled packing peanuts. It is amazing what unusual things can serve as an aggregate in concrete. She brought several bags of styrofoam shipping containers that serve as handy molds for hypertufa planters.

Blaze was our studio assistant on tap this weekend. He does a great job helping class participants with their projects. They are especially grateful for his help in mixing up the concrete!

Everyone goes right to work the second day, excited to see how their creations have set and dried.

Nicole used the studio as a work session to develop a model of her concept for a design competition. She used a combination of concrete and hypertufa in sculpture her human figures on a stand.

She built armatures from wire and hardware cloth and then covered them with fresh concrete.

Hypertufa 10's stepping stone on display.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


The weather this weekend proved to be the finest we've had all summer. Both doors were open on either end of the studio and we enjoyed the gentle breeze and the sounds of nature rather than the whir of the air conditioner. This was one happy group of tufa-makers and they had a ball creating their garden treasures.

Davey, one of our studio assistants helps Julia with her leaf platter. Davey is a senior at Shawnee Mission South. He is an expert tufa maker and works very well with class participants.

Jane supervises her sister, as Judy puts the finishing touches
on a bowl she is making from a canna leaf...

...and here's her finished canna leaf bowl.

I think Paula must be a perfectionist.
Her hypertufa planter has the straightest,
most beautiful edges I have seen on a handmade pot!

Kristen used her recycled glass pieces to great effect on her stepping stone.

Verna wanted a south western feel to her stepping stone and came to the session with a drawing of a stylized bear. Instead of scratching the design into the surface of the wet concrete, she sculpted a relief of the bear right on her paper and then slipped the relief onto her stepping stone for an interesting dimensional effect.

Sharon made her stepping stone in the shape of an empty word balloon. When it has cured, she plans to give it a coat of chalkboard paint which will enable her to write erasable messages on the stone with chalk. How cool is that?

Hypertufa Nine's stepping stones on display.