Thursday, May 7, 2020

Lowering my Pottery Wheel

10 years ago I raised my pottery wheel for the health of my back.  Standing while throwing was awesome until my feet started having problems.

Years of standing in place for hours at a time took a toll on my high arched feet.  

Today my hero husband John cut 7" off the leg extensions on my Shimpo Whisper Wheel.   I'm no longer standing at the wheel, but I'm not sitting low either.

The height of the wheel is now 29".  My adjustable tall chair allows my legs to be just slightly bent and feet flat on the floor.   I'm being mindful to keep my back straight and not slouch over the wheel when throwing.
This new set-up feels healthier.   I honestly don't believe there is a perfect ergonomic throwing position for any potter.  Throwing standing, sitting or leaning will take a toll on your body over the years.  I guess it's the price we pay for doing what we love.    

Just a bit of advice.   If you're standing at the wheel and your feet are hurting, don't delay changing your setup.   Feet problems are no fun.

Cindy Gilliland, DirtKicker Pottery

Mother's Day is just a couple days away.   My baby girl sent me 50 hot pink roses in the mail today. They are just too beautiful not to share.

Love to all!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

It's Complicated

It's Complicated Mug
DirtKicker Pottery

2019 has been kind of a crazy and awesome year for sure.   

This year I've made a lot of hand-built pots and experimented with new decorating techniques.  I love to paint with watercolor and now I'm bringing that to my pottery.
Watercolor Daisy Mug
DirtKicker Pottery

There have been compatibility issues with slip, stains and underglaze on my mid-fire porcelain.   Little by little I worked out the problems and learned a bit more about glaze chemistry. 

Watch my Etsy Shop for new inspirational and romantic theme pottery.

Watercolor Coneflower Mug
DirtKicker Pottery

Love to all,

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Making Glaze Transfers with Newsprint, Underglaze and Slip

Mono-printing on clay or colored slip transfer, however you refer to it, I've been spending a lot of time experimenting.   I made a Youtube video.  Just a warning.. I say "um" a lot.   Hope you enjoy.
mono-printing on clay

One of the things I love about pottery is that there is always something to learn.   New techniques are inspiring and can bring freshness to the making  process. My latest inspiration has been mono printing on clay.  I adore the big reveal. Peeling back the news print revealing the reversed design image.  It’s pretty cool.  I had a lot of fun figuring it all out.

I pulled the finished pieces from the kiln this morning.  The underglaze colors changed quite a bit.  The bright colors were darker and the pinks faded and tinged toward brown.  They weren’t terrible, but it's well known that most underglaze and mason stains do best at low fire temps.  This technique is most often used with low-fire brown or red clay.   Regardless, I'm rock'n it with my mid-fire porcelain blend.

I hope all of you bloggers and blog readers are happy and well.  Love to all. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Making slip for slip trailing on pottery

I've always loved adding slip trail details to my pottery.  I love the texture on the finished pots.    This is how I make my slip.  

* Clay (I use the same clay body, that I use for making pots)
* A mixing cup or bowl
* Distilled water
* Immersion blender

I shred moist clay 
(helps with dust control

let it dry out completely

Put about 1 cup of distilled water in a mixing cup, then slowly add dry shredded clay until the clay stops absorbing water and a layer of dry clay accumulate above the water line.  Let the clay and water sit for 20 minutes.

Mix with the immersion blender until nice soft peaks happen.  

Store in a wide mouth air-tight container.

squeeze the air out of the slip trail bottle and submerge opening into slip to fill.

Now you're ready to rock the slip trailing.

Some of my recent slip trail work.

Hope you all are doing well!   

Love to all,

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Love Coffee and Pottery?

I've been trying several different techniques for making Pour-over coffee makers.   I'm kind of obsessed with them at the moment.

I made a little YouTube video showing one of the ways to throw a pour-over.  Click the link and check it out!

LINK to YouTube Pour-Over video

This style I trim the drip catcher

This style, I trim and then throw a drip catcher

© cindy gilliland 2018

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Getting it done!

DirtKicker Pottery

So last year I really set myself up for a long term glaze nightmare.

It started last May when my Mom passed away.  I was sad for a long time and I spoiled myself in the studio.  For 8 months I worked only my favorite part of the making process.  I threw on the wheel, hand-built and illustrated on pots.  I didn't glaze or glaze fire and I didn't sell pots.      

So you can imagine what 8 months of making left me with.  Tons of  detail glazing, taking photos, measuring and listing new pottery for sale.   For me, that's the tedious work part of the process.

I don't mind spending a few days glazing, but I do mind spending a few months glazing.

A lot is lost when there is a long stretch between firings.  Ideas are forgotten and inspiration is cloudy.  Also, technique gets rusty and results are not as good as they should be.

Procrastinating the glaze work is not something new for me.  It's been a problem always.

SO FROM NOW ON.. I will not allow my making process to go beyond the number of pieces that it takes to fill "one" glaze kiln.     A promise I'm making to my future self.

I can do this!

My Spring-Summer pottery is finally starting to make it's way out of the glaze kiln.  Now it's time to get it sold and make room for what comes next!

DirtKicker Pottery
Nature Girl Mug

Friday, January 6, 2017

It's been a while and now it's going to be a while longer

Bisque under wraps

Let me just say, 2016 was a very tough year and I'm glad it's over and done.   Even though the year had too many difficulties, none can compare with the loss of my darling Mother in May.   

Last month we had a dishwasher leak destroy our kitchen.  A lot of water damage happened in our home.  Lucky for us we had my pottery studio which we turned into a temporary living space.  So again, pottery making time is minimal. Dealing with insurance and no kitchen has been frustrating.    The blessing is that my 51 year old kitchen is finally getting a total remodel.  

My last glaze firing was in April 2016.   I've been making pottery, I just haven't been glazing.    I have probably 3 or 4 kiln loads of bisque.  All one of kind adorable pieces waiting for me to mask and detail glaze.

Not sure when I'll be able to get back to work in the studio. Praying that the kitchen repairs and remodel go fast.

Sledding Day with Grandkiddos

Always forward with a positive spirit!   I will look for the blessings in each day and face the challenges with faith. 

Love to all and Happy New Year!