Category Archives: Friday Finds

Announcing O&P’s Newest Venture: Maiden South

As you may have already gathered from social media, I have an exciting announcement to finally officially make: my friend Jessica Grace and I are opening a shop together in downtown Bainbridge!

Maiden South: Quality Crafted Goods in Downtown Bainbridge, Georgia

It’s called Maiden South (say it out loud… get it?) and as the tag line states, we will feature quality crafted goods, along with some of our favorite vintage items.  We just launched our brand-spanking new website this week, and I am so excited I could burst.  I suppose I have it in my blood.  My grandfather started his own little shop in Bristol, Florida after he got back from World War II.

Bristol Novelty Shop | Oysters & Pearls

Conveniently, his last name was also Bristol.  And although we won’t be selling the same things he did, it will still be a shop full of novelties of sorts.

We had a little picnic to celebrate our venture together, and my sister Anna Jo took some really great pictures.  I thought I would share a few of them with you today, then continue to shamelessly plug ask you to head on over to our new Maiden South website and check out the rest.

Maiden South Summer Picnic | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring Julie Guyot and Heartwood Forge | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring The Refinery Candles | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring Anhaica Bag Works | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South: Quality Crafted Goods in Downtown Bainbridge | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South Maidens | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South Maidens: Jessica Grace and Natalie | Oysters & Pearls

Cheers to new adventures, friends, the handmade economy, shopping locally and shopping at small businesses, Maiden South, and the weekend!

Maiden South  | Oysters & Pearls

Photo Credits: Anna Jo Bristol
Styling: Jessica Grace Allen

Shop this post:
You’ll be able to purchase items from these makers, along with many more, at Maiden South this Fall!

snack bowl (Julie Guyot)
candle (The Refinery)
bag (Anhaica Bag Works)
orange necklace (Knot and Bow Designs)
gold cuff (Christina Jervey Jewelry)
linen top (Thimble and Acorn)
knife (Heartwood Forge)
serving tray (Natalie – Maiden South)
cheese (Sweet Grass Dairy)

You may also like:
Southern Makers: The Refinery
Southern Makers: Heartwood Forge
Southern Makers: Anhaica Bag Works
Southern Makers: Julie Guyot
Southern Makers: Knot and Bow Designs
Southern Makers Series
Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Making Class

Now go check out our website!

www.maidensouth.com

And thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and supporting these artisans.  Y’all are the very, very best!

Until Next Time

Aimee Broussard and The Traveling Apron Cookbook

Last week I received a very special delivery from my sweet blog friend, Aimee Broussard.

Special Delivery from Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

Inside I found the long awaited Traveling Apron Cookbook!

The Traveling Apron Cookbook by Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

Signed Copy of the Traveling Apron Cookbook from Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

And with a few flips of the page, I discovered…

Marian's Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie in the Traveling Apron Cookbook by Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie by Marian Peacock in the Traveling Apron Cookbook by Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

Marian Peacock | Oysters & Pearls

Marian's Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie in the Traveling Apron Cookbook by Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

It’s pretty hard to believe that I’m seeing my name and my sweet Grannie’s recipe in a real, hardback cookbook!  I’m so very grateful to be included in this book, and I know my Grannie would be so very proud.  I’ll share the recipe when it’s a bit more seasonal, but if you’d like to get your hands on it sooner, head on over and purchase the entire book!  It’s chock full of delicious, delightful recipes from Traveling Apron recipients all over the country, and plenty of  recipes from Aimee herself (including her award-winning Pecan Praline King Cake Cookies!).

I’ve even got one more recipe in there, this time from the in-laws that some Bainbridge folks just might be interested in…

Wheat's Italian Grandmother's Lasagna in the Traveling Apron Cookbook | Oysters &  Pearls

Aimee: thank you so much for including me in the Traveling Apron and now this cookbook.  It means so much to me to share her with everyone else, both through this blog and now your book.  Congrats, and happy cooking!

XO!

The Traveling Apron Cookbook by Aimee Broussard | Oysters & Pearls

Purchase The Traveling Apron Cookbook HereUntil Next Time

Southern Maker: LGDunston – Gyotaku

GYOTAKU

Gyotaku is the Japanese art of fish printing.  Gyo in Japanese means “fish” and taku means “rubbing.”  Originally used by fisherman to record their catches using black ink, gyotaku has become an art form all its own.

Lauren of LGDunston Poses with her Trout, Emerald Shoals Excursions | Oysters & Pearls

LGDUNSTON

Lauren’s husband Tucker owns and runs Emerald Shoals Excursions, a professional in-shore charter fishing business out of Carrabelle, Florida.  Faced with a glut of caught fish, the two sought out ways to avoid wasting their precious bounty.  A family friend, Fred Fisher, also creates beautiful gyotaku fish prints and was Lauren’s first introduction to the art form.  Formally trained in art, printing, and book binding at Bradley University, Lauren was immediately intrigued and set about teaching herself the art of gyotaku.

Paints for a Shrimp Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

After a great deal of trial and error, and even some trials and tribulations, Lauren has gotten her technique down.  Her first “exhibit” was at Tamara’s Cafe in Apalachicola where she worked at the time.  Her boss allowed her to hang some of her prints for sale in the building.  After a tropical storm, though, she learned the hard way that she should place her prints on the interior walls, as tropical storm-force winds force rain through centuries-old brick walls.  She changed her backing and framing process to suit the Florida elements and took it in stride.  These days, Lauren is confident in her fish printing abilities and her ability to roll with the punches, too.  With a life (or two or three) dependent on the sea, that’s not just an admirable quality, it’s a necessary personality trait.

After the BP Oil Spill in 2010, things were difficult on the Gulf Coast.  Not an oil slick to be seen in Carrabelle, and nary a tourist, either.  The fishing industry (along with many others on our coast) withered, and Tucker and Lauren spent much of their time searching for oil for BP.  Thankfully, the fishing is still just fine and the people are beginning to realize it and return, which is good news for everyone here.

All the while, Lauren has been perfecting her gyotaku fish prints.  They’re a perfect ode to the ocean and its inhabitants, and you don’t have to be on the coast to enjoy them.

Gulf Shrimp, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

THE PRINTING PROCESS

Lauren was going to demonstrate the gyotaku process on a Flounder she caught, but due to the amount of time it would have taken, as well as the Flounder’s high level of eat-ability, Lauren demonstrated on a beautiful Gulf Shrimp instead.

THE PREP

Lauren washes each sea creature or fish with a mild dish soap.  After drying the creature as thoroughly as possible, she fills in spaces and gaps with cotton to absorb any remaining moisture.

Drying Off a Shrimp, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Lauren Dries Off A Shrimp for Printing, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Lauren Painstakingly Dries Each Fish That She Prints, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Once as dry as possible, Lauren begins to paint.  In what is the best use of a phone book I’ve ever seen, Lauren uses a palette knife to mix her paints with a slow-drying medium.  The slow-dry medium affords her double the precious time to work on each fish.

Best Use of a Phone Book Award Goes To LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

THE PAINT

After her fish is dry and her paint is mixed, Lauren begins the artistic part of the process and paints the creature.  This is where her artistic license, as well as bringing color and life and personality to each print, comes in.

Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls  Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Avoiding the eyes (she paints those directly on the canvas last), Lauren paints only one side of each fish.  When she encounters a critter with as many legs as a shrimp, she has to get creative. Hence, another use for a phone book cover.

Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls  Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Painting a Shrimp for a Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

THE PRINT 

Once painted, Lauren carefully places a square of cotton canvas over the painted creature, pressing firmly and carefully all around.  The slightest over-squeeze can create smudging or  “squishing” – i.e. water from some unknown crevice in the critter ruining her carefully applied paint.

Putting Canvas to Fish, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Once satisfied, Lauren slowly peels the canvas up to reveal her first print.

Print One of Gulf Shrimp, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

After some observation and a beer, which Lauren explains is a very important part of the process, she decides what she wants to do differently.  Lauren points out that this print had some unacceptable “squishage” around the body plate.

First Print of a Gulf Shrimp, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Lauren Examines Her First Shrimp Print, LGDunston Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Using rubbing alcohol and more cotton, Lauren cleans the shrimp off for another round of painting and printing.

Cleaning Off Shrimp for Second Printing, LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Shrimp, Post Printing,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

ROUND TWO

More drying.  More cotton stuffed behind the body plate.  This time Lauren applies the paint much more lightly.

Painting a Shrimp for a Second Print,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Painting a Shrimp for a Print,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Painting a Gulf Shrimp for a Gyotaku Print,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Painting a Gulf Shrimp,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

The antennae are doing a curly thing they weren’t doing before, but she likes it.  She arranges the shrimp on the table and cleans him and the table up for the second print.

Painted Gulf Shrimp,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Prepping for a Print,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Cleaning Up Before Printing,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Painted Shrimp,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & PearlsHappy with the arrangement, Lauren lays the canvas down over the shrimp again for Print # 2.

 LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Fish Printing,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Taking a Peek,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls Examining Her Work,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

I think it’s wonderful, but Lauren declares that it’s time for a beer and more thoughtful consideration on how she wants to proceed.  She cleans the shrimp off yet again and mulls over how she wants to go about her third round of printing.

Cleaning the Shrimp Off for the Next Printing,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

Comparing the First and Second Prints,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & PearlsWe all enjoy a beer, a few of this guy’s friends, and our freshly caught Trout for supper while Lauren thinks it over.  It’s dark now, and Lauren continues the printing process without us.  She says she does her best work at night after everyone else has gone to bed, anyway.

Fresh Shrimp and Heads, Fish, Grits, and Homegrown Veggies,  LGDunstion Gyotaku Fish Prints | Oysters & Pearls

THE FINISHED FISH PRINT

LGDunstion Gyotaku Shrimp Print for Oysters & Pearls Blog

I’m so grateful to have gotten to know Lauren and see her process firsthand. She is a self-taught, resourceful artist who is constantly refining her process and her work. Known for “playing with dead fish,” her work is so much more than that.
Thank you, Lauren for showing me how you do what you do, and for taking me along for the ride!

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Until Next Time