Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Throwing some mugs

.. and the cycle begins again.

I do love the beginning of a new making cycle.  After reflecting on the good and bad from the last firing, I can now go forward to make even better pots and incorporate new ideas.

I love making mugs, so I always start a new cycle with my favorite form.  I must admit that I was hesitant to post these photos because my hands are looking pretty weathered these days.  Oh well, that's life :)

Throwing a DirtKicker Pottery mug

Pottery tool review -

Last month when John and I were in Los Angeles, I checked out the Aardvark Clay Supply Store.  It was one of those kid in a candy store experiences.   Shopping pottery tools in a brick and mortar store is rare for me.  To pick up a tool and feel it in my hand before deciding to buy it, is very nice.

They had everything!! I wanted to buy out the store, but I was good.  I only bought some latex resist and this ultra nice Xiem Rib.  

I knew when I held it in my hand that it would be perfect for smoothing and compressing slabs.  I tried it yesterday and it worked so great.  The rib is kind of thick and the edge is very subtle and smooth.  I love mudtools for throwing, but this Xiem tool is king for smoothing slabs.  They are priced very reasonable too.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rehydrating hard clay - Mother's Day Camping

Cute Honey Pots
by DirtKicker Pottery

My last 2 firing have been in my old kiln.  My old kiln really came through and fired some nice pieces.  It felt good to open the kiln and pull out beautifully fired pots.     

This weekend I started the process to rehydrate 150 lbs of rock hard clay.   I haven't used red clay in about 3 years and I'm really looking forward to throwing it again.    
Rehydrating rock hard clay

The rehydrating techinque I'm using is from a Janis Hughes video.   If you haven't seen Janis' youtube videos, you really should check them out.  She's a very talented potter with a fun sense of humor.    

Rehydrating hard clay

Add a cup or two of water into an air tight plastic bag containing the hard clay.  Then submerge the bag in a bucket of water up to the top of the clay.  Remove the air and tightly close the bag.  Allow the clay to ryhydrate in the bucket for a couple of weeks.  

We spent Mother's Day weekend camping. Our family enjoys camping, but it's still pretty darn cold in the Sierra Mountains.  My Daughter Bobbi and her 3 kiddo's tried to sleep in a tent, but in the middle of the night they got so cold they had to bunk in the camper with John and I. All and all it was a fun camping trip, except that we didn't catch any fish.   Next time!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Kiln Opening at DirtKicker Pottery

SNEAK PEEK ~ DirtKicker Pottery's Spring Kiln Opening.

DirtKicker Pottery 

Lots of mugs, honey pots, bakers, big bowls and more.  I'll begin listing new pieces in my Etsy Shop starting Monday, April 6 and will continue thoughout the month.   Keep an eye on my Etsy Shop so you don't miss out on your new favorite mug ;)  

This photo was taken looking into the kiln peep hole at about 1600°.  Can you see that cute little flower getting toasty?

L&L Kiln e28T3 

My favorite kiln "R2" all polished, vacuumed and jam packed with glazed Spring Pottery. This 11-year-old kiln fires beautifully.  This firing ran for 9+ hours to cone 5.5.  

The new L&L e28S with quad elements is up for sale.  Anyone in the Northern Nevada area who might be interested, please message me.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Loving the Pour-Over Coffee Makers

I love coffee, so when I saw Eva Champagne's pour over article in the 2/15 issue of PMI, I immediately thought back to the plastic pour-over I used in the early 90's.   It was ugly, but it made a decent cup of joe.  A handmade pottery pour over is a huge improvement in both appearence and function.

Pour over drip coffee maker 
by DirtKicker Pottery

There's just something about making coffee with handmade pottery.  It's very satisfying and cozy.

I made my pour overs kind of big, because I usually make generous size mugs.    

It worked great. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pottery Studio Tip - Modeling Stick / Ruler

This tool is next to my wheel every time I throw.  I use it to under-cut fresh pots and to check height and width.

Just take a simple wood modeling stick, measure out each inch and label with a Sharpie.   

Ruled modeling stick


Friday, January 30, 2015

Updated Website

My website got a total makeover.  It's light and cheerful.  John did a fantastic job.  He's such a sweetheart.

Thursday, January 15, 2015