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New kid on the wheel

South Surrey's Nicole Mulligan shares her experience with the Semiahmoo Potters Club, and an appetizer recipe

For the Peninsula’s Nicole Mulligan, the phone call she received about a year ago was like winning the lotto jackpot.

It came from a member of the Semiahmoo Potters Club, telling her there was a spot available for her if she wanted it, after being on a wait list for more than a year.

“It was like I won the lottery when they phoned me and told me I could get into their club,” Mulligan recalled.

Joining the club was an important step for the novice potter, whose interest in the craft was first piqued when her husband bought her a rather spontaneous gift of a pottery wheel and kiln two years ago.

Before that time, Mulligan said it never really occurred to her to pursue pottery, but in retrospect admitted that a business her mother owned in White Rock many years ago – Sam’s Ceramics – probably had a significant influence on her.

“I’ve always had an artistic interest that came from my mom.”

The art of pottery, she points out, is a difficult one to learn and can take many years to be perfected.

“It’s a really hard thing to do, and there’s a lot of different things to learn,” she said, noting the different equipment, steps and chemicals involved in the process. “It’s such a big learning curve in this particular craft.”

Since joining the Semiahmoo Potters last year, Mulligan – a lifelong Peninsula resident – said she has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. She attributes her improvement  to the club members never hesitating to share tips and tricks with one another.

“It’s so great to have a connection with people who share the same interest and are so willing to share their information,” she said.

Although she’s modest about discussing her own work, Mulligan was thrilled to sell a few of her pieces at the club’s spring sale earlier this year, something she said was unexpected and exciting.

“The first piece I ever sold, the person wanted to meet me and shake my hand and say ‘thank you,’” she said. “That was pretty special to me, seeing as how I was so nervous about it.

The Semiahmoo Potters are gearing up for their annual Christmas sale this weekend at Ocean Park Community Centre, where members will be selling a variety of work, including holiday ornaments and non-Christmas pieces.

The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec 4 at the hall, 1577 128 St.

Just in time for holiday hosting season, Mulligan has chosen to share a recipe for walnut-crusted blue cheese grapes, an appetizer that she said always garners rave reviews with its unique combination of flavours.

“I love to cook and I’m always trying to find unique and different things to make.”

Blue Cheese Grapes

Ingredients

2 cups toasted walnuts

8 oz Stilton blue cheese

1/4 cup water

40 green grapes, washed

Instructions

Put walnuts into a food processor and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl. Put blue cheese into processor, add water and puree until a smooth paste forms. Pour into a second bowl. One by one, dip the grapes into the blue cheese, rolling them until well-coated and then dredge in the walnut crumbs until completely coated.

Refrigerate until firm.

 

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