Friday, July 31, 2015


White Echinacea 
at DirtKicker Ranch

Such awesome inspiration God gives us
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Handmade Coffee Scoops and Kitchen Scoops - By DirtKicker Pottery

Making scoops is a fun way for me to relax and experiment with new decorating ideas.

My scoops are handmade from silky smooth porcelain clay.

I make them in 4 sizes
Small, Medium, Large and.......

This big scoop can be used similar to a ladle or serving spoon.  Perfect for serving thick soups or chili.

Honey Bee Scoop

I like to put a little hole in the handle so the scoops can be displayed when not in use.

Coffee Scoop
by DirtKicker Pottery
DirtKicker Pottery Scoops are adorable and full of personality.  Currently available for purchase in my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop.

All designs, photos and content are ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Concrete Wedging Block - Pottery Studio Kneading Table

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.

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

Friday, June 5, 2015

Microwave Egg Cooker by DirtKicker Pottery

Microwave Egg Cooker 

DirtKicker Pottery Egg Cookers are a cute and convenient way to make breakfast.  Total prep and cooking time is less than 5 minutes (4 minutes if you've already had a cup of coffee).  Many people are surprised to learn that microwave scrambled eggs are awesome!  They are fluffy and tasty.  
My husband John will demo in the photos below how he makes a fantastic Scrambled Egg Breakfast Sandwich..

Spray a tiny bit of non-stick in the bowl -  
Optional.  It makes clean-up very easy.

 1 large egg and 1 tbsp of milk

Mix it up.  At this point you could add goodies like diced bell pepper or turkey bacon.

Place in microwave with lid on and set for 30 seconds.  (no longer!)

After 30 seconds remove from microwave and give it a stir.  Then place back in the microwave for 25 more seconds.  Toward the end, the lid might lift a little and that's OK.  (If the eggs are not fully cooked increase cooking time by 5 seconds)

After the egg is cooked, season with lemon pepper or what ever you like.

Serve on a toasted wheat English muffin.  OR..

..add a pinch of shredded cheese, set the lid back on and the cheese will melt from the heat of the egg.    Yumm!  

Egg Cooker in Mint Green

Check out my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop for Egg Cookers and other fun handmade pottery.

All photos, content and designs are ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

fun with ladybugs

Yesterday My Grandkiddo's and I set free 1500 Ladybugs in our yard.  We had dozens of ladybugs crawling all over our hands and arms.   We put them on trees and flowers.   It was so much fun!!

Ladybug Garden Bowl
by DirtKicker Pottery

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

Saying "sorry no" to custom orders

It's been a couple of years since I said yes to a custom order.  That custom request helped me make a decision.

The order was for 10 large (24 ounce) custom glaze mugs.  When it came time for the customer to buy them, he declined because the mugs turned out to hold 2 ounces less than what he wanted. Even though I had previously disclosed that the capacity would be an approximate.   He wanted me to start over and make more, but I was done with him and done with requests. 

Stormy Mugs
by DirtKicker Pottery

I won't say that all of my custom orders were a bad experience, but most were overly time consuming due to the back and forth planning and confirming that I understood the customers vision.  Custom request orders were never a good fit with my work style, plus they stress me out really bad. 

When a special request comes in, I no longer hesitate,  I just say "So sorry, I don't make custom requests, but I appreciate your interest in my pottery".    

It is a little difficult to say no, when the request comes from a return customer.   I often feel guilty.    

Faith Mug
by DirtKicker Pottery

Once in a while I'll get a request for a special piece for someone who is very ill or someone who is going through an extremely difficult time.  Often those requests will grab my heart and I will immediately come up with an idea of what I want to make.  These customers had given me creative freedom which resulted in very heart felt pieces.

Some potters thrive on the challenge of a custom order.  Unfortunately, that's me.

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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Getting the rehydrated clay workable

After 10 days of the rehydrating process, I removed the red clay bags from the buckets of water.  The results were different for each bag. 

I like this rehydration process, but there is a bit of trial and error involved.  How much water you add really depends on how dry your clay is.  Also, if it's really hard clay you may need to leave it submerged for a full 2 weeks or longer. 

Hand-built Red Clay Mugs
by Cindy Gilliland

The Laguna Redstone Clay turned out very soft on the edges, but still firm in the center.  It was wedgable and I used the entire 50 lbs in just a couple days. Redstone is a nice clay.  It's great for throwing and handbuilding.  Attachments are effortless, no babysitting required. 

So, today I opened the 2 bags of Laguna Hawaiian Red Clay.  What a flipping mess.  One bag was way too soft and the other was very firm.  I decided to combine the soft and the firm in layers and homogenize it by wire wedging and hand wedging. 

This process just proved to me again why I wouldn't be making pottery if I didn't have a pug mill.  My neck is screaming at me.  Btw, I didn't use my pug mill because I didn't want to messy it up just to wedge 100 lbs of red clay.

Wire wedging soft and hard clay

I got lots of practice improving my spiral wedging skills.  I'm still not a pro.

50 lbs of wedged Hawaiian Red Clay - Whew!

I know, I'm a wimp.  But I'm a wimp with a bad neck.  Next week I plan to use this clay to throw large bowls and pie dishes.  
After this, I'm done with the red clay for a long while.  It's beautiful, but it stains everything.  It's a pain dealing with very red clay in a primarily white clay studio.

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