Working with the darker clay bodies is great fun – maybe because they seem to create more mess. Gold raku is a clay I’ve become quite partial to. I love the warm orange/brown it fires to in oxidation and it’s earthy texture when left raw. This clay has a good amount of tooth (meaning grog – small ground up particles), which makes it easy to shape and form.
Gold raku is great when it comes to joins. All the grog in the clay makes handles bind easily. After attaching the handle, I tend to wrap my pieces in plastic for a day before letting them dry out completely – this ensures the handle and body of the vessel have a similar moisture level which prevents cracking.
The grog it the clay can be quite abrasive at first so be careful if you have sensitive skin. I find it good to use a barrier cream, which stops the clay absorbing into my hands, protecting them from becoming dry and cracked. Thermal shock can be an issue when ceramics go from one extreme temperature to another, causing wares to crack. To avoid, make sure you don’t take tableware straight from the oven and put it on a cold marble bench top and vice versa.
A new favourite for Sunday morning breakfast. I love serving food from the dish it was baked in. It's such a humble way to present good food and there's less washing up! These ramekins are ideal for baked eggs and can be served straight from the oven.
4 free range eggs
1 small onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch chilli fakes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
1 tin chopped tomatoes
½ cup labne
1 bunch coriander
Soften the onions in a fry pan with oil. Add spices and tinned tomato. Spoon a generous layer of the warm tomato mix in the bottom of the ramekin. Crack in two eggs and add a couple more spoons of the tomato mixture around the eggs. Place in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until eggs have cooked leaving a runny yolk. Dollop with a generous spoon of labne and fresh coriander. Serve with toasted sourdough.