Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Granny Would Be Proud

For Sadie Jane, two page artist book spread by Gayle Pritchard

We have family visiting (again) and in last night's conversation I got on the topic of Granny Pritchard, my husband's grandmother. The cyanotype image on the left is a picture of her on her wedding day. Anyway, I was remembering last night that it was Granny Pritchard who taught me how to make pie. I was in my early 20's, in her kitchen, my trusty old Betty Crocker cookbook in hand. I made notes all over the illustrated pages about making pie crust. Granny had a lot of tips, such as keeping the water for the pie crust in the freezer, along with the dough fork, pie plate and all other utensils until ready to use. Her most important tip, however, was to place her marble rolling pin in the freezer until it was time to roll out the pie dough. I proudly own her marble rolling pin, and I dutifully place it in the freezer as soon as I begin gathering the ingredients for pie dough. It works like a charm. Now, if I can just find a member of our family's next generation who is interested in learning how to make pie!

I am traveling again this week, this time to watch my baby granddaughter while her family moves into their new home. Instead of bringing my bag of art supplies, I am bringing my idea journal and a small quilt I am finishing. I don't anticipate having a lot of free time to sketch or work, but always like to have something to grab when I do find a few minutes. That is always how I accomplished so much when my own children were small, and why I prefer to sew by hand: it's portable. I pieced, appliqued and quilted many artworks while sitting at dental or doctor appointments or school activities, or even waiting in my car to pick them up.

Once I return home, I have a lot of artwork-work to catch up on. I also desperately want a playday, since I got a Yudu home screen printer for my birthday.

Here you see it sitting on my dinner room table. It is now in my temporary "garage" studio, calling my name. I have watched several online links demonstrating how it's used. Fortunately, I have done silk-screening before, although it was many years ago at the Cleveland Institute of Art. They, of course, have a wonderful facility, with very large work tables and a separate wet room. With the Yudu, everything is self-contained. The screen size is limited, but I am hoping it will be sufficient for my needs right now. I'll keep you posted!


  1. I'm anxious to see what you think of the Yudu---almost bought one but then thought, well, will I actually USE it? (trust me, piles of *had to haves* have gone as donations....)
    Pie crust, ah, yes. I love to bake and I love good pie crust and everything you wrote about it makes sense. Keeping all the utensils cold helps to produce a very flaky crust. The fat stays more solid, the flour releases less gluten, easier to roll with less strokes so it's tender.
    I'm smiling---it is such a NICE thought!!!

  2. I'm smiling, too, as I read your post. Making pie dough is akin to gardening, and both are related to art-making for me: creating something from nothing with my hands directed by my mind. Cool!

  3. YUDU deserve a wonderful place to work. Hope the screen printer is a joy.