Time for another installment of ‘Before I was a Potter’ – Once again, sharing some of the pottery that I acquired earlier in my life, before I became a ceramic artist.
This month I’m sharing a plate — A very square plate. I acquired this plate a number of years ago while on vacation, up through Quebec, down through Maine. After a day of sailing out of a quaint harbor town, I wandered in to some of the art galleries — I found this square plate and knew I wanted it in my life.
Interesting…. Now that I’m a potter; now that I make my own plates — I prefer to make square plates. In my own work today, if I think ‘plate’, I more naturally think ‘square’ before I think ’round’.
The Pottery — Square Plate/Platter:
The plate is stoneware; slab built, glazed with what appears to be a fabric-inspired pattern — An interesting contrast to the very precise ‘square’ form. The plate is stamped on the back ‘Cohen Pottery.’ From what I’ve found on the Web (a few auction-sites with similar pieces), it could have been made by a potter in Massachusetts, Michael Cohen.
In any case, I’m quite happy that I was in a square mood how many years ago, on my trip through Maine.
The Food — Snapper with Fennel & Roasted Tomato in Parchment:
To go with the ‘blast from the past’ concept — It seemed fitting to prepare some tasty, special seafood dish for this plate; something tasty baked in parchment.
I picked up some lovely Snapper at the market. I quickly sauteed some good stuff to pile on top — Onion, fennel (with crushed fennel seed), mushroom, and even some bacon; then a slice of Meyer lemon and some already-roasted tomato. I finished wrapping into the parchment packet and popped in the oven.
Once baked, the joy of cooking in parchment is TEARING OPEN the packet and revealing the contents. The Snapper with Fennel and Tomato was so delightful, delicious (really delicious)! So infused and flavorful, and aromatic!
And artistically, I LOVED the visual contrast of the wild, torn parchment, the wonderfully ‘messy-looking’ Snapper and Fennel — Against the very exact, very square plate. Abstract art — YUM!
And, if Michael Cohen is the artist — I’m certainly enjoying my very square plate!