Daily Bird Pottery is taking a short hiatus to care for a family member. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when we return…approximately mid-March. Online orders will resume at that time.
We are also changing our name to Laughingnome Pottery. Stay tuned for more!
Welcome to Laughingnome Pottery, formerly known as Daily Bird Pottery!
We are excited to share our new knowledge about our pottery. Our pottery has always made drink and food taste better, but now we have the science to explain why. It’s called Nucleation and here is our nucleation explanation:
Nucleation: Adding additional molecules of oxygen created by the texture of Laughingnome Pottery clay!
A cup of tea or wine contains many flavor and aroma compounds including phenols, amino acids, and minerals. In a high-fired unglazed ceramic cup, the inside of the cup has a rougher surface than the inside of a glass or glazed ceramic cup, and this roughness can break up these flavor compounds into smaller bits.
Think of cooking with garlic. If you throw a whole garlic clove into a dish you’re cooking, you’ll get a certain amount of garlic flavor. If you mince that same garlic clove into little pieces, and add that to the dish, you’ll get more garlic flavor because there is more surface area for the garlic to interact with oxygen, with other components in the food, and with your nose and mouth.
In the same way, the rough surface of the unglazed cup brings out the flavor and aroma compounds of tea, coffee, spirits and wine so they are more available to our taste and smell. If we glazed our pottery, we would loose the nucleation effect.
This effect is related to the physical process of “nucleation.” When you pour champagne into a glass, you see that the bubbles originate at certain places in the glass, and rise to the surface. The places where the bubbles arise are imperfections in the smooth surface of the glass. They’re called “nucleation sites,” because that’s where the dissolved gas in the champagne nucleates into bubbles.
The same thing happens with beer (where the bubbles form the head) and carbonated beverages. We think that on a more subtle scale this is also going on with tea. Though you can’t see or taste bubbles in tea (unless you’re drinking bubble tea), the flavor compounds in the tea are nucleating at these rough sites on the inner microscopic surface of the cup. This contributes to the oxidation of flavor compounds, which releases flavor. According to one reference, oxidation of phenols can contribute fruity and nutty aspects to the taste of wine. Something similar is going on with tea and other beverages.
To see this nucleation process at work, we did an experiment. We poured carbonated water into a wine glass, and the same amount of carbonated water into a high-fired unglazed teacup. In the wine glass, the water bubbled moderately. In contrast, pouring the carbonated water into the unglazed cup caused a violent eruption of bubbles, indicating that oxidation was happening much faster.
The videos are available at the following:
Unglazed Daily Bird cup: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/43857778/Video%20Aug%2024%2C%2017%2058%2005.mov
We believe everyday ware should be beautiful and practical. We intend for you to enjoy each piece as you use it … touch it … look at it. We draw inspiration from the many natural elements that are part of our daily lives to design and craft pottery drinking vessels and cookware. We throw everything here in our studio, using no molds. Our small crew takes the time to imbue each piece with artistic intention, making each piece truly unique.
Please enjoy your visit to our virtual studio, and contact us with any questions or special order requests. And if you are in Port Townsend, stop by to see us! We also show and sell our wares at Port Townsend Farmers Markets on Saturday, April through December, and Ballard Farmers Market in Seattle on Sundays, year round.
Everyday Art, In Touch With Your Everyday Life:
Cradle a bowl in your hands, wrap your fingers around a mug, lift the lid on a butter bell. Connect with the tactile earthiness of the rich, red clay, unglazed and natural yet fired to solid impermeability. And go ahead, ring the bell … then close your eyes and listen to its clear, pure tone.
Enjoy the aromas and flavors of your signature casserole, steamed sugar peas fresh from your garden, strawberry-rhubarb pie from a recipe handed down through generations of your family … Daily Bird Pottery cookware heats quickly and evenly for picture-perfect results. Serving bowls and plates, tumblers, tankards, and cheese dishes help set the table in stylish simplicity … Daily Bird Pottery tableware lets you keep it casual or dress it up as suits your mood and occasion.
Everything we make is frostproof for outdoor use and safe for microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher. Outdoor pieces are fully weatherproof, happy in summer sun or winter snow.
Reaching Through Time:
We bring in the rich red clay we use for all our pottery from the Ohio River Valley, where it is mined from extensive clay fields left in the wake of retreating glaciers about 12,000 years ago. Ancient cultures used this clay to make cooking pots, storage jars, water jugs, and figurines. Iron oxide gives this clay, which has a fine texture suitable for both thrown and sculpted pieces, its uniformly red color. Silicas and other minerals give this clay its superb plasticity when we work with it and its robust permanence after we fire it.
This Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep Besides Nucleation:
We call our pottery “naked” because you see and feel only the natural clay. Yet beneath this natural beauty lies unrivaled durability. Our firing process seals, hardens, and strengthens the clay, permanently changing its chemical and molecular structure. The clay needs no glaze when fired to its full maturity. We hand-burnish each piece for a smooth, unblemished finish.
Our processes bring out the best in the clay to showcase both artistry and function … and to highlight the best in the foods and beverages you prepare and serve in the Daily Bird Pottery pieces you bring into your everyday life.