The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pH strips to the rescue!!!

RobertS's picture
RobertS

pH strips to the rescue!!!

Still working on making a seed culture, using dark rye flour, so I can create my first barm, so I can make my first sourdough loaf. To make a long story short, conflicting information I had read caused two misfires with my first two starters. Both misfires hinged on the problem of knowing for certain when a seed culture has been successfully created. In one source, it said wait for bubbling and doubling. In another source, it said wait for yeasty smell AND doubling. In another source, it said if there is a yeasty smell, it means the yeast are dead!   OK, so I plunged ahead.  Well, on my first starter, I got the doubling and proceeded to next stage, i.e., mixing up a sponge. Nothing whatsoever happened, not even bubbling, for 5 days (not the 4-6 hours I was hoping for!!). On next attempt, I got bubbling and doubling, but understood that was just bacteria action. For 6 days now, nothing further has happened, despite my following instructions faithfully.


Then I whipped up another batch as per BBA seed culture instructions, but ordered in some food pH test strips. Day 3, which is today, I got doubling, and followed Reinhard's instruction to toss 1/2 and feed again, nevertheless. But where, really, really, is this concoction at, anyway, I asked myself? Gas or yeast expansion?  The smell is --- i don't know--- definitely not yeasty, but it is not unpleasant. My nose hasn't told me anything, really. So I dipped in my handy-dandy pH strip and discovered the culture is at 5. And a couple of bubbles are just starting to make their appearance.


Now I KNOW where my culture is at. (Thank you, Debra Wink.) I look forward to tomorrow, when I probably will be ready to make my barm, and definitely will not be tempted to think that maybe any future doubling is bacteria-caused. And yes, I will take another pH reading just to make sure.


I don't know if anyne has used pH strips in their baking, but as for me, I believe they are a great and really cheap tool which I intend to use from now on.


Discuss.


 


RobertS

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Well, Robert, I'd say your starter culture is just about to take off.   Feed it well, and don't neglect it and you'll be fine.


I want to ask you about your understanding of what the word "barm" means to you?


To me, and being UK based and a fan of traditional beer, I think of barm as a culture made using a combination of traditional [ie. "live"] beer mixed with flour.   This forms the fermentable base for making bread.   It was the traditional way bread was made in the UK from the Early Middle Ages through to Industrialisation and the ability to produce Bakers' Yeast biologically.


I don't really know of any correlation between "barm" and "sourdough".   Beer is fermented using the same strain of yeast as modern bakers' yeast.   Sourdough from a natural leaven uses a combination of wild yeast and lactic/acetic bacterial fermentation to raise the bread.   The wild yeasts are numerous, and the strain saccharomycees cerevisiae plays a minimal role.


Best wishes


Andy

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Andy:


Thanks for your post. Yes, it is coming along. Now pH is down to 4, and falling towards the "sweet spot" of 3.5, at which point yeast begin to multiply, a/c to Wink et al.


According to Wikipedia, "barm" is the ancient British term for the froth atop fermenting beer, which contains not wild yeast, but cerevisiae, as you say-----that yeast being ancestral to our present day commercial yeast. So yes, it is a misnomer, as you imply, to say "barm" is a sourdough starter. But there you have it. Personally, I think of "barm" as just a generic term for a pre-ferment. There are a lot of confusing and misleading words out there for pre-ferments, aren't there?


It just so happens that I intend to make a traditional sourdough bread from this particular batch of pre-ferment, which is why I am creating a wild yeast starter "barm" rather than a cerevisiae "barm".


I used to brew beer seriously, and was a rabid fan of Real Ale. In fact, I spent some energy promoting CAMRA attitudes and our Canadian CAMRA campaign was instrumental in Ontario striking down the law that forbade home brewing.


It was a pleasure hearing from you Andy. I intend to post-up the results of this rookie excursion into wild yeast country, so stay tuned, brother.


RobertS


 


 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

nothing to really do with the barm, but do you know of a forum that is similar to this one, for home making wine and or beer, one of each or one for both?


The reason I'm asking, is I have inherited a lot of wine already made, needing bottling, and would like to have some source to ask questions on, and find out what I might be doing wrong. I have helped bottle before, but as I also have fibro and a memory that is sort of sieve like at times, I would like some positive feedback. I won't be bottling for some time, and would like to read some posts.


I have looked on the net, but don't find anything that is similar to this forum, the ones I find seem much more structured and rather cold.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

I am sorry to say I don't know about any homebrewing/winemaking websites or forums, but I can say you probably would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find an equivalent site in which the members are so knowledeable and helpful. I am thrilled to be a part of TFL.


Bon Chance on your web search Eva.


RobertS

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Mike Avery summed up the misuse here   He further commented on the term in his 2008 blog at his site, sourdoughhome.com:





Part of the problem comes from his non-standard use of baking terms. If I had nickel for every time someone told me they were making a barm of their sourdough, I could retire. Or when they tell me they are making a poolish from their sourdough.


Though it was used elsewhere, barm is a largely British practice that was an early alternative to sourdough. It used yeast from fermenting beer to raise the bread. It is a good technique, but like bakers yeast, it is an anti-sourdough. You can't make a barm out of a sourdough any more than you can make a vegetarian meal of pork chops.



I recall reading a note from Mike stating that Peter Reinhart subsequently indicated his regret for using "barm" in the BBA, acknowledging it was inappropriate.


Of course, the problem is that it wasn't changed in the BBA, so the beat goes on.


Robert, I admire your tenacity in tackling the instructions provided in the BBA and look forward to seeing the results of your bake.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Morning LindyD!


I do appreciate your underscoring of the "barm" issue. Yes, it was Peter Reinhart's bo-boo, and I went along with it, though, in truth, "it don't make no never mind", as they say in some quarters south of the Canadian border.


I was hoping for comments on the use of pH strips, but I guess there is a message in the silence.


My culture this morning, Day 4, is holding at pH 4, and was quiescent on its surface until I stirred it. It immediately started bubbling (which quit after I fed it), which led me to this question I hope you and/or others can answer for me. When Reinhart says "aeration" (as in: daily areation will remove 'bad gas" problem), does he mean letting air into the culture, or forcing air into the culture by stirring it?


It would seem that, if I got immediate bubbling in a culture just by turning it over with a fork a few times, then I ought to be doing this several times a day at this "doldrum" stage.


Am I correct? Discuss please.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi RobertS


It's been interesting to read of your experiments and your use of pH strips. I have used pH tests to measure the acid or alkaline nature of garden soil and this has helped me to choose plants that would thrive in the garden. I do think,therefore, that knowing the pH of a young culture would be helpful. I worry sometimes that if my starter is too acid it might start to attack the dough over a long autolyse or retardation. I have other ways of noting the acidity but they are not as accurate as a pH strip.  Personally I'm not sure where I would get PH strips easily in the UK outside of a lab but look forward to further reports on your starter.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Daisy!


It was very nice of you to take the time to reply to my question. Yes, I agree there is no replacement, as far as pH levels are concerned, for measuring the level scientifically, using pH meter or strips (which are not as desirable as a costly meter, because the results have to be interpolated---a judgment call---to obtain .5 degree of accuracy reading.)


I am certain you can find a UK supplier of strips via the internet.


Happy Baking, sister!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Robert,


You're in good hands following Debra's advice.


As to pH readings, stirring, etc., I was a total neophyte when I mixed flour and water about three years ago, to start a sourdough culture. 


I had read the BBA but found the instructions so convoluted that I put the book aside and used a simple approach found on the Internet. About two weeks later, I had a nice culture that produced good bread and tasted great, and still does.  Thus, I've no reason to check the pH.


In my case, ignorance was bliss and the only change I've made over the years was to switch the hydration from 100% to about 55-60%.  The only time I stir my culture is during refreshments.


Am betting you are going to be very happy when you taste your first loaf using the culture you're creating. 

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Nice to hear from you once more. My obsessive side-trip into pH strips probably reflects my anxiety over two failures in a row. (My second culture, following John Ross's simple instructions, is still sitting there like a bump on a log, doing absolutely zilch, and I can't imagine it will be any different a 5  days from now, at which point it will be two weeks from its start date. On the other hand, your saying yours took two weeks is hopeful, and in any case, I am not planning to throw it out till another Kennedy gets elected.)


The wonderful thing about all this is that when (not if!) I am successful, the starter will outlive me as long as it's fed, and I can look back, like you do now, and not care about its place on the pH scale!! :-) There is no doubt that from a practical point of view, knowing the pH is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for success. But I am the obsessive type, I'm afraid, and somehow its comforting erstwhile, like a transitional object to a baby.


Thanks for your feedback on stirring and keeping a drier creature in your fridge. A lot of folks have said they prefer it to be less fluid and I believe stiffer is better also.


It's 10:30 PM, and down in the kitchen, Waldo---yes, Waldo---sits there unmoving in his 4-cup measuring jar, causing Mr Magoo to twitch and blink as he turns off his bedside lamp and tries to reason himself into a sleep both deep and bread-free.


RobertS

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

It sounds like things are coming along for you, and your starter might even take off by the time you read this. But if it doesn't, that's normal too. It can go into a holding pattern around pH 4 if the whole grain flour has been replaced too much by white flour (which doesn't have as many organisms to seed your culture for the final phase in the succession). I advise feeding with whole rye or whole wheat at least every third refreshment to keep things progressing.


The immediate bubbling you speak of when stirring, is just bringing micro bubbles to the surface where you can see them. The micro bubbles are a good sign, because it surely means there are heterofermentative bacteria growing---they produce tiny amounts of CO2, but nothing like the yeast will when they take off. Aeration isn't necessary if you are feeding your culture everyday.


Have you tasted it yet? Be sure and taste it at pH 4 and again at 3.5 (before feeding), so you know what I mean by very tart :-)


-dw

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I have a ton of pH paper in the lab, as we use them rarely - we do have a glass-probe pHmeter, but I doubt people would be happy if I brought my starter to get its pH measured


 


I will take some paper home and play with it on my next feeding of sourdough starter

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Sally!!


Your post is appreciated. I love this site; the folks here are so helpful and knowledgeable.


Let me know, will you, if you find the strips useful?


Got an idea for you: take your glass-probe pHmeter home and keep it there till they notice it's missing :) :)


 


RobertS

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Ha!  THat's an idea, isn't it?   ;-)


 


I am just trying to picture myself cleaning sourdough starter from the probe and making it look pristine again....   that could be tricky, the probe is extremely fragile...


 


Ah, the things we would do for bread baking!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

pH paper isn't a requirement by any means, but it sure is nice to have at times. Don't forget to taste your starter whenever you take a pH reading, and soon you won't need to get out the paper :-)

RobertS's picture
RobertS

pH paper isn't a requirement...


Yes, why deprive yourself of the information from a pH reading, when the cost is not a factor. I tasted both starters yesterday, and wow, a right smart sourness. Thank you my wee microbes.


 

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Afternoon Debra:


Well, the culture has risen only slightly so far---six hours after feeding---so I will just have to be patient. I will  take your advice and slip some dark rye into it every 2 or three days. BBA counselled white from Day 3 onwards, and that's what I did, intending to produce a white sourdough, but your suggestion definitely makes perfect sense.


I was delighted to learn my  micro bubbles are a good sign that various beneficial bacterial beasties are alive and thriving, contributing their bit to the taste.


Speaking of tasting: you know, I haven't, but will. This morning I was searching through some older TFL posts which gave the same advice. And yes, will keep tasting as the pH drops. Thanks for the tip.


Debra, your reply gives me an opportunity to tell you that you are my heroine! I was mightily impressed with your Pineapple articles, which have bumped up our breadmaking IQ considerably. Grazi mille for all your grinding experimental work and for the many other contributions you have made to this site.


RobertS

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink


Jesus took 3 days, but this baby is stubborn



Ha!  :-)


Well, starters usually take longer than 3 days, even for me, so don't lose faith. How's it lookin' today?



Left: 100% refined flour   Right: 100% whole grain flour   Center: 50/50 mix of the two


The BBA formula is one that I am intimately familiar with. Here's one of the experiments I did with it, starting initially with water, and the above flour or mix of flours. From day 2 and on, I used only white flour, per the formula. The picture shows the order that they started rising on day 2. They all reached the same height, but the one with the highest organism count---the whole grain flour---started rising first, the white flour last, and the mix started rising halfway in between. Now, this was leuconostoc growth, and all got quiet the day after, but the difference in rate of progression through the rest of the phases got even more pronounced from there. The one started with whole grain took a total of 7 days until it started expanding with yeast. The 50/50 mix took 10. And the one with only white flour throughout, took 14+. This illustrates why it's best to stick with whole grain until the yeast take off---about 200x more microorganisms (of all types) to keep things moving along.


Thank you so much for the kind words,
-dw


Edited to add that what I should have said above, is that the micro bubbles are a sign of heterofermentative lactobacilli, because leuconostocs are also heterofermentative LAB (lactic acid bacteria). Obviously, leuconostocs produce a LOT more gas, but they don't grow when the pH drops below 4.8.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Afternoon Debra:


Do I understand correctly when I say your experiment shows clearly that the whole wheat culture acidifies faster than the alternatives, and therefore triggers the yeast faster? And that the faster yeast startup in the whole wheat is not a function of more (or "better") yeast in  whole wheat, contrary to intuition? Of course, more or better yeast surely would shorten the time between yeast startup and completion of the seed culture phase?


To clarify: you did not use pineapple juice at any time, is that correct?


By the way, I think you meant to label the middle jar 50/50 and the right hand jar 100% whole wheat (see your descriptive text and the colouring of the two jars).


I had two questions that perhaps you can answer.


1. I have read so many opinions on this, I'm getting cross-eyed, but what do you do about covering the seed culture. Is airtight OK, and if not, why not? Once a starter is made from the culture and kept in the fridge, I understand that then you should let the starter breathe a bit. I can understand the danger of "blowing the stack" if gas builds up too much, but are there other reasons for the advice to let your pet breathe outside air?


2. I fed both cultures (which, by the way are doing nothing yet) dark rye flour initially, and now am feeding them bread flour with whole wheat every third day, as per your suggestion. My question is: if, after two weeks++ they don't start up, is it possible the problem is the rye flour?


Going to cook several loaves of Ancienne mix in my pots today, and am anticipating a flavour boost over the standard  Lahey warm fermentation method. Man, the Ancienne baguettes I made in June were light years ahead of the Lahey loaves, so I can't see any reason why the fabulous pot method of cooking won't work with that Ancienne dough.


Any thoughts on pot-cooking? I think it is brilliance personified.


Here's to lactobacilli!


Robert

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Do I understand correctly when I say your experiment shows clearly that the whole wheat culture acidifies faster than the alternatives, and therefore triggers the yeast faster?


Yes, but it doesn't have to be wheat. Rye works just as well. The key is that it be whole grain.


And that the faster yeast startup in the whole wheat is not a function of more (or "better") yeast in whole wheat, contrary to intuition?


The faster acidification and startup are a function of more organisms in whole grain. But of everything, not just yeast---all the microorganisms in the succession (and then some).


Of course, more or better yeast surely would shorten the time between yeast startup and completion of the seed culture phase?


Once the yeast start growing, they increase exponentially. The purpose of the whole exercise is to create a natural leaven. So essentially, yeast startup is the completion of the seed culture phase.


To clarify: you did not use pineapple juice at any time, is that correct?


That is correct.


By the way, I think you meant to label the middle jar 50/50 and the right hand jar 100% whole wheat (see your descriptive text and the colouring of the two jars).


I did. I just didn't line them up with the picture.


what do you do about covering the seed culture. Is airtight OK, and if not, why not?


Airtight is fine, as long as there's a way for the pressure to vent. I like canning jars with two-piece lids, because they are designed to be screwed down hand-tight (so that they remain water-tight when submerged in a boiling water bath), but they also vent the pressure that builds up inside. It acts as sort of a one-way valve.


are there other reasons for the advice to let your pet breathe outside air?


It isn't necessary.


if, after two weeks++ they don't start up, is it possible the problem is the rye flour?


It's unlikely. But, if you're anxious about it, feed with just whole grain flour (wheat or rye) until it starts expanding and smelling yeasty. Then switch back to your white flour after it's up and running. It will be a white starter in no time, but whole grain now will speed things along. That is really the point of my picture :-)


-dw

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Debra:


I am indebted to you for taking the time to deal with my last post. I learned a couple of things, and that is the whole point.


Re my dark rye: I was led to believe it IS whole grain.


Will use the jars we call "Mason" jars from here on in. Sort of amazing to learn they are both airtight and can vent too. best of both worlds then.


Will leave you to your life now Debra. You have been a big help.


P.S. Made two killer breads today: used BBA Onion Loaf filling inserted into the classical Lahey recipe, with 8 hrs added retardation, and then into the cast iron pot. Onions beautifully distributed and a lovely crust and crumb (will post pix tomorrow). Only negative is PR shouldn't have put sugar in the onion mix recipe because the taste was overly sweet. Then I inserted same onion mix into the BBA Ancienne recipe. So it was a taste showdown. For comparisn, I baked two other loaves using the exact same two doughs but without onions. Results tomorrow when I acquire a panelist to taste all four. My wife and I are way too biased!!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Re my dark rye: I was led to believe it IS whole grain.


It is, and I'm sorry if I seemed to imply otherwise. I just wanted to be clear that whole grain isn't limited to whole wheat. It's the outer coating of the grain that carries the organisms. That is stripped away in the milling of refined flours. Rye flour can be refined too.


Will use the jars we call "Mason" jars from here on in. Sort of amazing to learn they are both airtight and can vent too. best of both worlds then.


Only the two-piece lids (bands and seals). Other less-tight containers will work fine too---like Gladware. Just keep in mind that the pressure needs an escape.


Will leave you to your life now Debra. You have been a big help.


You are very welcome,
-dw

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Robert,


Great to read you are on board with real ale.


I'm not so sure I agree with you about there being a lot of misleading words about pre-ferments; although I do agree there are a number of different words used, they do all apply to a particular type of pre-ferment.   So a stiff levain is a naturally-fermenting "tight" dough, and a "poolish" is a stiff batter innoculated with a small quantity of baker's yeast, etc.   A "barm" is a pre-ferment made up of a traditional beer element plus flour.   I had hoped to demonstrate that "barm" is not a generic term; it is somewhat more specific, even than the redoubtable [?] Wikipedia may suggest.


That aside, if you have Debra Wink advising you , then you are indeed being offered the most substantial knowledge to support your quest.


I've done pH testing before in College myself.   We slurried sour dough with a given weight of water in order to establish particular acid concentration readings.  It was quite involved, but also revelatory.


I wish you all the best in your breadmaking ventures


Andy

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Afternoon Andy:


Yes, I see your point: the various names of preferments are not misleading, except for PR's use of the word "barm". I meant to say, rather, that to the beginner, the sheer number of terms is daunting, and it will take awhile to feel comfortable with them. But as you imply by your very return to the topic, Andy, it is important for any would-be baker to learn the lingo at some point down the road, and more importantly, to know how to manipulate the various types of preferments.


Don't make or drink beer anymore, but it was fun while it lasted.


Thanks for your good wishes. I hope to see success eventually.


RobertS

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hello


This is possibly useless information, but do you know you can make a PH indicator from boiling red cabbage leaves?


Careful though because it stains absolutely everything. 


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Craig,


Interesting: how do you actually use it to test things? How do you gauge the results?


Regards, Daisy_A

Maya1's picture
Maya1

Craig, I was thinking the same thing...red cabbage tea, adding a small amount to a dixie cup half filled with this tea: Pink for acid,  reddish purple for neutral, green and so on.......kid memories.

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Great minds think alike! 


 

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hi Daisy_A 


I don't know how successful it would be for any accurate readings, but acid goes pink and alcali goes blue - and everything inbetween.


I learned about it from an instructional video on how to make foam rubber for prosthetics and SFX. 


I have tried it for fun, and it does work, but like I say it really does stain anything except metal, so people would have to be careful. 


I was thinking if someone was keen to know how acid or alcali it was, they could maybe break a bit off and drop it in a - see through? cup to have a look :)


I don't know that you really could guage the results accurately, but I'd personally look at the 2 extremes - like have 3 cups, put vinegar in one, salt in the other and your bread mix in the 3rd, and see what colour it goes, you couldn't very accurately tell what the PH was, but it would tell you where you roughly were in PH by using the constants colours. 


Utter pish or genius? I don't know, I seem to sit there quite a lot hahahaha 


:D 
(pish probably! haha) 


("only he who attempts the rediculous, can achieve the impossible" - Champion Rabbit Breeder - Roger Law's Spitting Image Book)
(I actually met him when I was a sculptor in London, he had a reputation for being big and scary, but he was lovely to me. Useless fact for you there!)

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Craig,


Thanks for this information! 


Sounds good to have met Roger Law.


Didn't the guy from Hairy Bikers do prosthetics for film too. Do you know him? Just watched them on heritage foods; the cauliflower. Inspiring stuff!


Wishing you happy continued baking!


Best wishes, Daisy_A

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hi Daisy_A 


Roger was lovely, everyone was saying he was nasty and aggressive and all this rubbish, and he was a perfect gentleman to me, he said he knew what it was like living in the North wanting work as a sculptor and he'd try to get me some work if he could: I also met their head sculptor, "Pablo" who was also lovely.


Ron Mueck too - but now I'm showing off haha (you should look up Ron's work, he's a genius, I was honoured when he called me to say he thought one of my sculptures (Ice T) was excellent).


(but that was another life time ago - that Craig's been dead for years).


I don't know any of the "Hairy Bikers" no, never met them :) 


Thanks for your interest.


Happy Baking to you too! :D I love it!
Craig

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Craig,


That was an honour then to be complimented by Ron Mueck. Sculpture must have been good :-)


I have seen some of his work - 'Dead Dad' - in a mixed exhibition about the human body in British art and sculpture. It was brilliantly delineated  but very perturbing, because it was shown lying down on the floor, almost under your feet...


Best wishes, Daisy_A

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Yes, he had made that when I was at his workshop, I didn't see the model but he was talking about it to Chris Halls (Cunningham) who went on to be a successful director - haha I'm the only one of the 3 who amounted to nowt haha


(I'll just gan hang meself - I'll finish this first though).


Yes, at the time - and you're talking nearly 20 years ago I was trying to be a sculptor, I'd done a sculpt of Ice T, who I liked at the time, I always admired people's faces and I liked his amongst many others.


Everyone I spoke to in London (where the work seemed to be) said I had to do more realistic things and not monsters, so I tried to sculpt "Ice".


It turned out alright, I met Ice and gave it to him, but the other real honour was for Ron to telephone me to say he thought it was excellent.


I was lucky and had a work experience with him through college, and I used to ring him all the time and collect his artwork which was usually in adverts at the time for things like whiskey- things in glossy magazines.


But anyone who knows Ron, knows that he is incredibly quiet and private, so for him to ring someone like me, who was just a kid trying to be someone, to encourage me, it was incredible for me, it was like a dream.


I'll always remember it, he said, "Hi can I speak to Craig?" - "Craig speaking" - "Hi Craig it's Ron, how are you?" - "fine thanks, how are you?" (I was worried I'd pssed him off or something and I was going to get "wrong" for something) - "I got your photo of your Ice T sculpture, I just thought I'd ring you to tell you that I think it's excellent!" - "Really? thank you! I quite like it but there are things I don't like about it" - "there are things about it that I'd change, the nose isn't quite right, and maybe the cheek bones, but for your first attempt, it's excellent, well done" - "I can't believe that you'd ring me to say that, thank you very much!" - "Well you're always calling me so I thought I'd return the favour, keep going, right well I have to get back to work now, instead of talking about it."


-------


Etched in my mind for ever - the worlds greatest sculptor said something I did was excellent.


And Chris Halls (changed his name to Cunningham) was a bit jealous because, "I never get a social call from him, he's never rang me up just to talk" hehe but Chris is a genius too, especially with his social skills.


I'll actually put some photo's up so you can see, hang on :D 





 


It's great that you saw some of Ron's work, he truly is magnificent, when I went to see his art exhibition in Edinburgh, I was actually touched at how good he was, and so glad that he, as an artist, could really use his skill to express himself, instead of basically prostituting his talents for advertising because he needed the money - he's done very well for himself now, probably a millionaire - and he deserves it, he is incredibly talented but he works incredibly hard too. 


Every time I think of that time in my life, I think of listening to Ozzy's "No More Tears" album on my walkman, walking back to the hostel where I was staying with a strange little man who was in to a cult movement (I'm sure it was him who got everyone to kill themselves, is he called David Koresh? My friend where I used to work made me laugh because I told him the story and he said (in a thick Cockney accent, "Being from Newcastle probably saved your life!!" because I'd said that when I went and people asked me if I liked it there, and asked if I'd go back, I'd said, "Well it would be better if there was a bar and we could have a bit drink like" HAHAHAHA


Hahaha


I've been around when I think about it - got offered cocaine by a famous band - refused then made a sharp exit when the guy who'd just snorted it decided to tell me he thought I "looked about 14 under these lights" - 


Dunno how I'm still here.


Haha well I hope you enjoyed my little tale :) that was 20 years ago, I don't sculpt and nothing remains of the person I was.


 


I can make bread, he couldn't hehehe


x


 


 


 


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Craig,


Wow - Ice T looks magnificent! That is some story.


Go make some bread now!


There is some debate about whether making bread is an art form or a craft form.


There are artists doing bread-related projects. Have blogged a bit about two we know - Katy and Rebecca Beinart:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19923/bread-art-heritage-katy-and-rebecca-beinart039s-work-and-simple-white-sourdough-tin-loaf


Personally I think making a loaf is both an art and a craft. My partner and I are both involved in arts too but I'm really into bread making now. Edible art that nourishes other people? What's not to like?


Best wishes, Daisy_A

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

is that making bread can be an art and a craft.


Along with editing videos which is my other hobby/interest/passion making bread is about the only artistic thing I do now, and I really love it. 


Some of the things I see being made in here, quite clearly are works of art, they're beautiful - and I'd say the skill they took to make, would give the baker the right to call themselves a craftsman (craftsperson?).


 


Thanks for liking the sculpture someone I used to be, made :)


Look out for my next loaf :) 


Craig