Big Blue Tagine

IMG_2358Big Blue is the first result of my Tagine theme.

A holiday in Morrocco in 2007 introduced my wife and I to the wonderful lamb stews of this sub Saharan state. Dried fruit, especially apricots adds to the sweetness of the lamb and the contrasting bitter herb rosemary well known to Mediterranean cuisine.

The stew is eaten from the large pot in the centre of the family table, each diner dipping in with their fingers.

Traditionally tagines are of low fired earthenware in terracotta red clay with straight tapered sides to both pot and open topped lid. My take is to use stoneware clay, curved lines and varied glaze effects. The spouted lid remains for culinary reasons!

Commissioned Tagines

IMG_2538At a recent craft fair I was asked to repeat myself!

Having sold the large blue tagine elsewhere on this site a customer asked me if I could make her something similar. It reminded her of working in the local pottery factory years ago.

So I’m way out of style but who cares if it sells and I enjoy making it?

These are two versions I’m hoping she’ll like. At the moment they are “green” wares having been thrown, dried and now ready for the next “biscuit” firing. After that they’ll be glazed and she will have a choice to make, assuming both survive submission to the fire!

Tagines as useful pots

IMG_1517Tagines are Morrocan stew pots with conical spouted lids. After making the first trials it was obvious I needed a larger kiln to make them big enough for the average family. For me ceramics is fundamentally about useful wares. I do decorative pieces sometimes but Form is Function as the Bauhaus designers always said. So the new larger kiln arrived in August.

I am always asked if my pots are oven dishwasher, and microwave safe. They are! It’s an indication that function plays an important part in the decision to buy.

I recently had a fireclay (bricks are made from it) vase returned because it didn’t hold water; and quite right too. it didn’t do what it was clearly designed to do. Hopefully a re-fire with a better glaze lining will do the trick.