Tuesday, May 24, 2016

my Mom

Marjorie Lorraine
1923 -2016

My precious Momma is now resting in God's care.  She was the Mother of 12 children.   She lived 93 years.  She died at home with her children all around her.

My sisters and I cared for Mom in her home.   On the days I spent with her, I would always bring my sketch pad.  I would sit next to Mom on the sofa and she would watch me design pottery.
One day we designed a mug together.
Mom's "Are You Ready?"
Mug Design

Mom loved to witness for God.  She would ask anyone and everyone "Are you ready?"  That would open the door for her to tell the world about Jesus and God's promise of eternal life.  
Our mug came out of the kiln 2 weeks before she left us.   She loved it. 

My heart is broken and I'll miss her forever.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Firing an Empty Kiln vs. Firing a Full Kiln / Kiln Tune-UP

My electric kiln is 10 years old and the thermocouples had never been replaced.  Last year I started making thermocouple adjustments to account for drift. So, when my elements wore-out I figured it was time for a little tune-up.

Cone results PRIOR to tune-up.
Kind of wack-a-do.

John and I replaced the elements, thermocouples, relays and 2 power terminals that had crumbled.   I ran an ^04 slow bisque to burn-in the elements.  Then I ran an empty ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire to confirm that the kiln was firing in the ballpark of my target temp.  

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test-fire 
of EMPTY kiln after tune-up.  

The Empty test-fire was a little warm, but still in the ballpark of ^5.5. 

Next, I fired a ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire loaded with pottery.

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test fire 
of FULLY LOADED kiln after tune-up.

The load fired on the hot side of ^5.5.  I'm going to make thermocouple adjustments to slightly cool all 3 sections.  Next glaze fire should be perfecto.

If you have ever asked the question.. Does an empty kiln fire hotter or cooler than a fully loaded kiln?   According to my testing, the results were very similar.

I probably should have titled this post "Tales of a Witness Cone Nerd".

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Magic Water Rocks My World

Magic water is my favorite joining agent for clay attachments.

great for handle attachments

"Magic Water" 1 quart recipe 
- 1 quart distilled water
- 2 + 1/4 tsp liquid sodium silicate
- 3/8 (1/4 + 1/8) tsp soda ash
Mix all ingredients in a quart size jar (I use an old Ovaltine container).  Then shake it up!
For my work, magic water and slow drying are the perfect combo for successful attachments.  I use primarily porcelain and smooth stoneware clay.

 All photos, content and designs herein are owned by and ©cindygilliland2016.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

watercolor doodles and pottery design

My first blog post of the year.  It's been a slow start, but I'm sputtering along.

Along with my 4 sisters, I have been assisting with the care of my 93 year old Momma.  Caring for an elderly parent is difficult.  Dementia is setting in rapidly and it utterly breaks my heart to see her drifting away mentally and physically.

As always I have 3 of my Grand-sugars a couple days a week.  I plan to get them involved more in studio activities.  

Even though my time in the studio has been limited, I have gained a renewed appreciation for working with clay.  I savor every day that I get to be in the studio making pottery.

When I'm not in the studio, I still have thoughts of pottery swirling around in my head.   Sketchbooks are an awesome way for me to preserve those design ideas.
I like to use watercolor with my sketchbook doodles as a way to try-on color with design. I enjoy the unexpected effects of watercolor.  
5 sisters mug
by DirtKicker Pottery

Watercolor pencils are great because they're tidy to use and they travel well. 

I am still making pottery.  Very heartfelt pottery.   The process is just taking a while longer these days.

Love and peace to all in this new year.

All photos, content and designs are owned by and ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2016.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hand-Held Citrus Juicers - Wheel Thrown Citrus Reamer

I've been using a wooden citrus reamer for many years, so of course the thought of making one from clay has been in the back of my mind. These cuties are what I came up with.   I love designing new things to make. 
Besides being extra cute, they work awesome.  The first twist loosens the seeds for removal.  Then squeeze the cirtus onto the reamer and twist away for lots of juice and pulp.  
Making the reamer involves both wheel throwing and attaching sections.  A bit time consuming, but the results are a convenient and adorable kitchen tool.
These juicers stand on the handle end and would look sweet in any kitchen.
Check out my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop for pottery that will catch your eye and capture your heart.

All photos, content and designs herein are owned by and copyright ©Cindy Gilliland 2015.

Friday, July 31, 2015


White Echinacea 
at DirtKicker Ranch

Such awesome inspiration God gives us
heart emoticon

Friday, July 3, 2015

Goodbye Blocks - Hello Shimpo Extension Legs

Legs for the Shimpo Whisper.  

I've been throwing standing for nearly 5 years now.  It was a change that saved my back.  Once I began standing at the wheel, my back pain was greatly reduced.
Shimpo designed these leg extensions right.  The legs look sleek, but they are totally sturdy and stable!  The height is adjustable too.
It's so much easier to keep my wheel area clean.

An early birthday gift to myself.  I give these Shimpo Extension Legs 5 Stars :)

This was my old set up.  Glad to be rid of the clunky garden blocks.

All photos, content and designs herein are owned by and copyright ©Cindy Gilliland 2015.