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.

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..

 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 30 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. The last 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".  

Some potters thrive on the challenge of custom orders. Glad they do, because someones gotta do it and it's not me. 

It is a little difficult to say no, when the request comes from a return customer.  I explain as nicely as possible and hopefully they understand.  

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wheel Thrown Mugs by DirtKicker Pottery

Honey Bee and Echinacea Mug
by ©DirtKicker Pottery

.. and the cycle begins again.

I 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.  

See my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop for Romantic and adorable Mugs.

Throwing a DirtKicker Pottery mug

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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Kiln Opening at DirtKicker Pottery - Firing the old Kiln

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 Old L&L E28T3 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.  

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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pottery studio tip - Forbes Wax Resist

I finally ordered a quart of Forbes wax to test it out.

Best wax resist ever!   It doesn't clump up during application.  It dries super fast.  After it dries it's shiny smooth and not at all sticky.  Brushes wash out with soap and water.

I add a little food coloring to wax resist to help me see the application area.

Forbes is wonderful to use when creating mishima decorations.  It makes surface clean up a breeze.

Sold by Highwater Clays, which is an East Coast company.  If you're West Coast, shipping is going to exceed the cost of the wax, but I still think it's worth the cost.

I love this product and highly recommend it.


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

Saturday, March 7, 2015

patience and mindful creativity

When January 2015 came around I felt a self imposed pressure to present something new for the year.  A new direction, something totally different.  I played around making pieces that I've never made before.  I even considered testing out some new clays. 

Rustic Rose Mug - 2010
DirtKicker Pottery

Rustic Rose Mug - 2014
DirtKicker Pottery

I tried, but nothing new appealed to me.  Probably because I have already found a style and direction in my work that I really enjoy.

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to turn off the voice of ego and turn on the voice of good work.  If we are patient and pay attention, we will see creative change happen naturally.

Aurora Borealis Mug - 2010
DirtKicker Pottery

Aurora Borealis Mug - 2011
DirtKicker Pottery

Aurora Borealis Mug - 2013
DirtKicker Pottery 

Aurora Borealis Mug - 2014/15
DirtKicker Pottery

It's fun to look back and still appreciate what I made 5 years ago.  It's also inspiring to know that year to year it will continue to morph into something new.

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

Friday, February 6, 2015

Loving the Pour-Over Coffee Makers

I love coffee, I always have.  I remember being a tiny girl and my Daddy giving me "just one sip" from his coffee cup.
Pour over drip coffee maker 
by DirtKicker Pottery

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

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

Keep an eye on my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy Shop for One of a kind pour-over drip coffee makers and adorable coffee mugs.

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