Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Firing an Empty Kiln vs. Firing a Full Kiln / Kiln Tune-UP


My electric kiln is 10 years old and the thermocouples had never been replaced.  Last year I started making thermocouple adjustments to account for drift. So, when my elements wore-out I figured it was time for a little tune-up.


Cone results PRIOR to tune-up.
Kind of wack-a-do.

John and I replaced the elements, thermocouples, relays and 2 power terminals that had crumbled.   I ran an ^04 slow bisque to burn-in the elements.  Then I ran an empty ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire to confirm that the kiln was firing in the ballpark of my target temp.  

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test-fire 
of EMPTY kiln after tune-up.  

The Empty test-fire was a little warm, but still in the ballpark of ^5.5. 

Next, I fired a ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire loaded with pottery.

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test fire 
of FULLY LOADED kiln after tune-up.

The load fired on the hot side of ^5.5.  I'm going to make thermocouple adjustments to slightly cool all 3 sections.  Next glaze fire should be perfecto.

If you have ever asked the question.. Does an empty kiln fire hotter or cooler than a fully loaded kiln?   According to my testing, the results were very similar.

I probably should have titled this post "Tales of a Witness Cone Nerd".

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Magic Water Rocks My World

Magic water is my favorite joining agent for clay attachments.

  
great for handle attachments

"Magic Water" 1 quart recipe 
- 1 quart distilled water
- 2 + 1/4 tsp liquid sodium silicate
- 3/8 (1/4 + 1/8) tsp soda ash
Mix all ingredients in a quart size jar (I use an old Ovaltine container).  Then shake it up!
For my work, magic water and slow drying are the perfect combo for successful attachments.  I use primarily porcelain and smooth stoneware clay.



©cindygilliland2016.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

watercolor doodles and pottery design

My first blog post of the year.  It's been a slow start, but I'm sputtering along.

Along with my 4 sisters, I have been assisting with the care of my 93 year old Momma.  Caring for an elderly parent is difficult.  Dementia is setting in rapidly and it utterly breaks my heart to see her drifting away mentally and physically.

As always I have 3 of my Grand-sugars a couple days a week.  I plan to get them involved more in studio activities.  

Even though my time in the studio has been limited, I have gained a renewed appreciation for working with clay.  I savor every day that I get to be in the studio making pottery.

When I'm not in the studio, I still have thoughts of pottery swirling around in my head.   Sketchbooks are an awesome way for me to preserve those design ideas.
I like to use watercolor with my sketchbook doodles as a way to try-on color with design. I enjoy the unexpected effects of watercolor.  
5 sisters mug
by DirtKicker Pottery

Watercolor pencils are great because they're tidy to use and they travel well. 


I am still making pottery.  Very heartfelt pottery.   The process is just taking a while longer these days.

Love and peace to all in this new year.

All photos, content and designs are owned by and ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2016.