Thursday, 13 October 2016

Something different, Elderberry jam.

When I am not designing and making beautiful dichroic glass jewellery, working at my Monday to Thursday job, working for my partner Sue of Inspired by Script or catching up with all the odd jobs that needs doing around our home and garden. I  occasionally try something that I have never tried before.
This week I had a few hours spare so decided to do something with all the Elderberries that we collected over the last couple of seasons.
This first pictures shows the small amount collected from a previous year in the bag and the bowl carries the next years collection.



After de-stalking the berries they were put in the freezer until I had time to do something with them. The choice was Wine or Jam and as Sue doesn't like red wine I decided on the jam option. 
Well that was last year and this week was the week to get boiling.
The next picture shows straining the boiled berries, I expected a little more than this but free jam is, free jam!

Here you can see the hanging set up. The straining sheet had string attached to each corner and then hung from a long piece of string from handy hook in the ceiling. 
(where there is a will, there is a way). 
The same amount of suger with pectin was added with a little lemon juice and brought to the boil, and kept vigorously boiling for about 20 minutes. You can see this short video on the following link.


Whilst the jam was boiling, I sterilised a few jars, more than I needed but I did not want jam left over with nowhere to put it.

Here is the final product, about 1kg in total. 
Nicely set as well.
One thing I didn't know was the smell of Elderberry jam, whilst being made and when finished. It's a very peculiar smell, lets hope it tastes better than it smells. LOL.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this little diversion to my normal blog post. I will be posting other daft stuff in the future, I might post about the fully insulated box for our local stray cat I made for the garden or the multi coloured garden shed or whatever I have not even thought about yet.
Only time will tell!
Steve  

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Why use kiln wash when firing glass!

A few weeks ago I was very rushed in the studio. I had orders to fulfil and commissions to design and make.
In my hast, I grabbed a kiln tile to fire some long dichroic glass cabochons and thought the tile had already had kiln wash applied. 
Well, unfortunately, it was a brand new one and although it felt like there was wash on it. It was just the newness of the tile.
As you can see from the outcome, glass fired on un-kiln washed tiles is not a good thing.

That's a very expensive lesson, double check the tile before assuming anything. Unless you want to waste loads of dichroic glass, time and a brand new kiln tile.
Luckily I had more glass and kiln tiles and all the jobs were completed on time and the customers were happy.
If you would like to see my designs that are for sale, please visit my website at 
Thanks for stopping by and having a read, Steve :-)

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