Monday, June 15, 2015

Concrete Wedging Block

Out with the plaster - In with the concrete.

Last year we poured a big concrete patio.  John built a smooth form and we poured a concrete wedging block.  

I finally retired the old plaster block.  It was very worn, plus it wouldn't let go of the red clay contamination.

This new concrete wedging block Rocks!  I love it.  No red clay allowed.

Thanks to my Sweetheart (John) for making it for me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

reglazing a fired piece of pottery

When I opened the kiln and saw lemon yellow instead of  warm ochre, I was surprised and annoyed.  Apparently I grabbed the wrong yogurt container which holds the glaze for my starry night stars.  To make matters worse, I used my newly carved sunflower bisque stamps on several pieces and glazed them all in this lemon yellow.  

I went online for reglaze help.  I found an old clayart post on reglazing.  I incorporated and altered a variety of suggested techniques.  

Instead of sanding to rough the surface, I put my dremel tool to work to remove as much glaze as possible, without grinding away the flower detail. 

Someone on clayart suggested using honey to help the new glaze stick.  I'm not sure if it helped, but for some reason I loved the thought of using honey on my pottery.. lol. 

For my reglaze I used a low water glaze application, as suggested in the clayart post.  (i stirred my glaze really good, put about half ounce into a small dish and let it thicken in the summer air)
The results of this reglaze is cooling in the kiln right now!  My past experience with refiring has resulted in bloating and warping, but that was with b-mix clay.  So I'm thinking positive and I'll know tomorrow morning how this reglaze worked out.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rainy Day Mug

Rainy Day Mug

I'm having so much fun making this Rainy Day pottery series.   While glazing this mug I was humming an old Belinda Carlisle song  "Summer Rain".

I seem to be much more inspired during the Summer months.  I get up really early in the morning and just putter around the studio while I drink my coffee.  By the time my coffee cup is empty, I have a kazillion new ideas.   My pottery seems to be going in so many cool directions and I'm enjoying it all.
Take a listen and maybe bring back some great memories.

Pottery Designs ©Copyright Cindy Gilliland 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

kiln monitor

Our power company is switching us over to "Smart Meters" which will affect the way they bill us for electricity. From what I understand daytime use will be much more expensive than nighttime use. That sucks for me because I have a horrible time sleeping when the kiln is firing. I'll wake up and imagine the floor fell out of the kiln, then I have to get up and run out to the studio to make sure all is well.

Even though this monitor won't show me if white hot pots are rolling around the garage floor, it will show me the temp, and that should help me sleep a little better.. I hope.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

bringing a little nature into the picture

Rainy Day Mug

At the start of my pottery journey I lived to throw.  Throwing was my favorite part of the process.   Then I fell in love with surface treatments..  then glazing.   I guess taking photos isn't really part of the making process, but it is part of the selling process.   So it's important to find inspiration and joy in my photo shoots.

I originally started with bringing fresh flowers into my photos.  Flowers always lift my mood, so every making cycle had to include a vase or two.  Then last year we went to Sand Harbor Beach at Lake Tahoe a lot.  One visit I found a piece of drift wood that I really wanted use in making a sign for my pottery studio.   That piece was so rustic and wonderful I decided to set a mug on and snap a few shots.  Sure enough.. I loved the results.  I'm not sure if other people love it, but who cares, i love it.
Country Style Rice Bowls

Taking pottery shots outside in natural light is my favorite, but the lighting has to be perfect and lugging pots outside is a pain.   Also too much messing around with the camera settings.  So I decided to bring some beautiful rocks into my photo cube.   My pottery got to hike and hang out on some cool Lake Tahoe rocks.  I love the results.   Again, not for everyone, but it works for me.   

Rustic Garden Mug

Earlier this week I did entertain the idea of getting a white background, but the idea just couldn't go anywhere creative for me, so i went another direction.

The above pottery and other cool pots can be purchase at my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop! 

All designs herein are ©Copyright Cindy Gilliland

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

being inspired, but making it your own

Starry Night Vase   

I am often inspired by other artists (hence VanGogh's Starry Night).   I ask myself how can I take "my feelings" of VanGogh's painting and put them into making a vase or mug or platter?    If you can reach into your feelings, you can be inspired by anything.  Nature, heart break, music, love..  anything.   Learning to tap into your own creativity will result in a piece that is inspired, but also unique to you.  The coolest part is that the piece will emit your feelings.   

An Artist cannot duplicate another artist and be truly satisfied, because the work will have no personality, the true feelings will not radiate.. the piece is empty.   I have many customers who tell me that when they hold a piece of my pottery, they can feel the joy and love.   

I think anyone can learn to make an empty pot, but an artist can make an empty pot feel full.  

My Starry Night Series Pottery is available for purchase in my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop.

©Copyright Cindy Gilliland 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Charm Necklaces ~ Ceramic Pendant Necklaces

 Charm Necklace with Purple Heart Pendant

I have been wearing one of my charm necklaces and I sure get the comments.   It's cute and casual.  I made the pendants very light weight.  It's so comfortable too.  The beautiful little Swarovski Crystal charm really adds an element of sparkle and magic to the piece.    
Charm Necklace with Teal Flower Pendant
I really lucked out on the Swarovski Crystals.   Lucky, but sad, because my long time local bead store is going out of business and their entire inventory was on clearance.  So I got a good buy on the crystals.
Charm Necklace with Country Heart Pendant
I really enjoyed putting these adorable necklaces together.   I hope they will be a hit on Etsy so I can hurry and make some more :)   
Charm Necklace with Rustic Patina Heart Pendant
These lovely Charm Necklaces are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop!
©Copyright Cindy Gilliland