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Quiet Storm Trading Company
Quiet Storm Trading Company, aka, Lawrence J. Diggs ("The Vinegar Man"), has been studying and consulting on vinegar for over 20 years. He is the founder and curator of the International Vinegar Museum in Roslyn, South Dakota.
In addition to helping people make, use and enjoy vinegar for culinary purposes, he creates art from vinegar paper (microbial cellulose made by the vinegar producing bacteria) and uses vinegar to change the texture and color of ceramics.
Lawrence's style of ceramics is called Su-Yako. It is a word he coined from the Japanese words su (vinegar) and yako (generally meaning something baked but in this context translates to ceramics). He invented the style after hearing why ceramics done in the raku style cannot be finished with a clear glaze. The scientific explanation made him theorize that acetic acid and some other components in vinegar could be used in a special process to create a traditional Japanese raku effect that could be finished with a clear glaze. After extensive experimentation he developed a process that takes months of processing to embed the colors into the clay body. One of the unique characteristics of the process is that the colors do not merely sit on the surface but, like traditional raku, become part of the clay body. Also, noteworthy is his distinctive framing style.
His experiments have pointed him to a whole new set of possibilities that will require much more experimentation and study to develop. He is selling his art in order to raise money to buy a proper kiln and other equipment to continue the study and development of this unique "South Dakota" art form.