Friday, October 2, 2009


This might sound either gross or very trendy, but... I had a horrible chest cold this week possibly from the weather going from a steamy 98° to a very cool 68° overnight. I drank an old Asian lady health tonic — kimchi juice. It pushed all the bad stuff right out of me and I actually do feel better. In this age of verbena kombucha, dill pickle shots, and bacon-tinis this might yet catch on as a novelty cocktail... the Episcopalian Bloody Mary.

"So where does one get kimchi juice?" one might ask. I made my own kimchi. At $4 per half-pint container at the Korean food market I found I could conceivably go broke buying my favorite condiment. Kimchi is a spicy pickled banchan (side dish) that is quintessential to every Korean table.

I thought about to how my Korean neighbors from Guam (the Kim family) used to make it. It went something like this. On Sunday mornings after church Mrs. Kim would...

cut Napa cabbage into quarters, salt heavily, throw it on the tin roof; remove when the juice stop flowing, hose the salted cabbage out, allow to air dry on the grass; yell at the neighbor for letting his rooster run freely, smoke a cigarette while hanging laundry, watch "The Secret Storm."; next, a mysterious mixing process involving garlic, dried chili, fish sauce, a large clay jar... place a flat rock into jar to weigh cabbage down, tap out air bubbles, store jar in a cool place, allow at least two weeks to ferment; yell at boonie dog for dragging garbage can into the street... repeat.

Not very practical in an urban setting — I researched a few recipes, and with a little experimenting I came up with a solution for my tiny Brooklyn kitchen.

Salt is an essential ingredient in this Asian pickling and fermenting process. It conditions the cabbage, allowing it to absorb the pickling spices. Instead of the traditional salt process, I found that brining is more practical and less smelly. The spices on the other hand are very pungent. Korean chili is not as spicy as the South American variety. It's mildly sweet and fragrant much like Hungarian paprika. Nuk mon is a fermented fish sauce used to flavor and act as a catalyst to fermentation. It's very potent, you can buy smaller bottles in most Asian food markets.

You'll need:
- a large non-reactive pot (enough to hold 2 1/2 gallons of stuff)
- a very large mixing bowl
- a deep non-reactive storage containers with an air-tight lids (Glad 48 oz containers, Tupperware, mason jars... etc.)

- brine (1 1/2 cups sea salt to 2 gallons of water)
- 1 large head of Napa cabbage
- 1/2 medium size white onion cut into thin strips
- 8 small scallion greens cut into 1 1/2" long strips

Picking Spices:
- 2 packed cups Korean chili (dried and powdered)
- 2 tbs sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1/4 cup pulverized ginger
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbs nuk mon (fish sauce)

Step 1: Mix brine in a large non-reactive pot. Cut cabbage into 2" x 2" squares, and place in brine. It should brine for about 6 to 8 hours in a cool place (the fridge). The brine should cover the cabbage completely — weigh it down with a heavy plate.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix spices and add water to make a thick chili paste, adjust sugar or salt to taste. Drain the cabbage — be sure to reserve the brine. Mix cabbage, onions, and scallions into the chili paste. Use your hands and be sure to coat everything evenly. Warning: If you must use the bathroom, do so before this step.

Step 3: Transfer everything into deep air-tight containers, seal cover well, and let rest for 2 days at room temperature — this activates fermentation. Day three, add enough of the reserved brine to cover cabbage, mix well, tamp the bottom of the container to remove air bubbles, replace cover, and store in the refrigerator. It should be ready in 1 to 2 weeks. Note: When kimichi is served at the table most of the liquid should be drained.

"Young" kimchi has a spicy, mildly sweet flavor, and a crisp texture. As it ages it become more spicy and sour, which makes it more suitable for tenderizing tough meat or making soup stocks. Aside from baechu, (Napa Cabbage), I also pickled turnip, daikon radish, string beans and Brussel sprouts. The last two need to be blanched for 5 minutes, salted for an hour, and pressed in a towel, otherwise they will be too leathery.

You don't have to be Korean to make a decent batch of kimchi... but could it hurt?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Evening Jewelry Making Classes, Fall 2009

Fall 2009 Jewelry Making Classes

LILOVEVE jewelry studio specializes in custom designed & bespoke jewelry for special occasions and everyday. This fall, LILOVEVE offers evening and weekend jewelry making classes that expand and hone your creative instincts. Learn to work with precious metals using techniques such as lost wax, silver soldering, clasps & lockets, or just polish your basic silver smithing. Create your own wedding bands and unique rings and pendants for a special occasion. These evening classes also make the perfect gift for busy people. LILOVEVE is located in Bushwick Brooklyn near the G and L trains.

Register for classes and for more information contact us:
Tel: (718) 388-2190

457 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Handmade Findings
August 22nd & 23rd (Saturday & Sunday)
11:00 am to 5:30 pm
Instructor: Katrina LaPenne
Fee: $200 materials included

Work with sterling silver and the torch to create your own handmade findings for your jewelry designs. Learn how to solder your jump rings, and posts onto earrings, create your own French earring wires, make headpins, S hooks and toggle clasps that match your design style. Beginners welcome.


Gold Alloying and Fabrication
Sept 19th to Nov 14th (Saturdays excluding Oct 31st)
3:00 to 6:00 pm

Instructors: Katrina LaPenne & Caroline Glemann
Fee: $400 (gold not included in material fee)

Start with 24 karat pure gold and learn the recipes for alloying to 22, 18 and 14 karat gold in shades of Rose, Green, Yellow, Peach, and Red. Learn to form the ingot of gold into wire and sheet, rings and bezels. Create a stunning piece of jewelry combining ancient techniques and modern design styles, and have a great time in the process. The allure of Gold and goldsmithing has captivated for centuries - explore for yourself.


Introduction to Silversmithing

Sept 15th to Oct 20th (Tuesday evenings)
6:00 to 9:00 pm
Instructor: Caroline Glemann
Fee: $400 (silver included in material fee)

Work with sterling silver to create, form, solder and fabricate rings and pendants with a stone setting in this fin, fast paced introductory course. Small class sizes, perfect for beginners or those looking to refresh their skills at the jewelry bench. We include an (optional) tour of the jewelry district and a wonderful list of trade resources.

Introduction to Silversmithing - Hinged Locket with Clasp
Sept 30th - Nov 4th (Wednesday evenings)
6:00 to 9:00 pm
Instructor: Shella Robinson
Fee: $400 (silver included in material fee)

Explore design while focusing on different areas of technique - including scoring and bending metal, creating single and multiple knuckle hinges, and locking clasp mechanisms. Lockets can hold treasures, memories, secrets, or anything you are inspired to create it for - truly a piece of wearable art.


Wax Carving

Sept 26th - Nov 7th (Saturdays, excluding Oct 31)
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Instructor: Sakurako Shimizu
Fee: $400

Learn the sculptural form of carving wax for jewelry design. Rich textural surfaces and fluid, curved shapes can be carved into wax, and then cast into a variety of metals to create a finished jewelry or small object. In this class we explore model making techniques as well as casting of organics and soft wax for creating impressions.


Introduction to Wax Carving

Oct 1st - Nov 5th (Thursday evenings)
6:00 to 9:00 pm
Instructor: Nelson Levine
Fee: $400

Create settings for your stones in your wax model - learn how to make bezel settings for cabuchon and faceted gemstones for a ring project. Spice up your designs and your skill sets with the introduction of techniques such as wax granulation, and creating mirror images (right and left sides). Learn about carving, smoothing, and creating varied textures and levels of wax using a Master Touch Welder for precision and intricate design work.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Jewelry Workshops and Classes

My friend Caroline Glemann is jewelry designer, her studio is called LILOVEVE. Caroline specializes in exquisite one-of-a-kind wedding & engagement sets, custom-designed jewelry, and original pieces for you to wear everyday. This summer LILOVEVE offers workshops and classes that help you explore the treasure you've always wanted to create — perfect for the beginner and a great way to refresh your interest in jewelry making! Studio classes are fully equipped with all the tools that you need... torches, grinders, dremels, silver tools, mandrels, and more.

457 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Our telephone:
Tel: (718) 374-4701



Hoops and Bangles: 2-day Workshop
June 20 & 21 (Sat & Sun)
From 11 AM to 2:00 PM
Workshop fee: $200
Working in sterling silver – form jump rings, twist wire, and get some expertise using the torch to make hoop earrings and bangle bracelets in a variety of styles.

Stone Setting: 2-day Workshop
July 11 & 12 (Sat & Sun)
From 11 AM to 5:30 PM
Workshop + materials fee: $245
Have you wondered how to set small (2 - 2.5 mm) faceted stones into your designs? In this "step-by-step" workshop we look at incorporating stone setting techniques into jewelry design, and learn Gypsy (flush) setting, as well as heavy bezel setting technique for larger stones.

Granulation Workshop: 3-day workshop
August 1, 2, & 3 (Sat, Sun & Sat)
From 11 AM to 5:30 PM
Workshop fee: $300
Granulation is the ancient technique of fusing small spheres of silver or gold onto a piece of jewelry to form a decorative element. In this class students will learn the basics of fusing fine silver, both wire and sheet, before going on to learn the technique of granulation.

Enamel Workshop: 2-day workshop
August 22 & 23 (Sat & Sun)
From 11 AM to 5:30 PM
Workshop fee: $200
Enamel is the art of fusing glass to metal. Experiment with bold colors, cool tones, delicate fine silver and gold foils, and decorative stencils. Working with copper stampings and fine silver wire, learn to sift colors, prepare metal surfaces, apply coats of enamel, and explore two methods of firing using both torch and kiln.



These 6 week courses are $400, with a 50% deposit to register. Space is limited, please call or e-mail to register for summer classes. E-mail: Tel: (718) 388-2190

Wax Carving I
July 30 - August 4
Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Instructor: Sakurako Shimizu
Learn about carving techniques, hollow forms, surface textures, ring making, the casting process, and explore the scupltural possibilities of wax for jewelry design.

Intro to Silversmithing
July 9 - August 13
Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00PM
Instructor: Caroline Glemann
Fun and fast paced course in the art of handcrafting jewelry. Learn basic fabrication skills including soldering, forming, bezel stone setting, and polishing techniques while creating a unique and beautiful work of wearable art.

Silver Locket — Intermediate level "Creating a Memory "
July 8 - August 12
Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Instructor: Sheila Robinson
Create a wearable piece that holds a special found object or memorabilia. Your locket could also hold something intangible such as a secret, an experience, an attribute or an emotion. Technical studies cover scoring, dapping, clasp and locking mechanisms, single and multiple knuckle hinges.