New Barrel Fired Work and Thoughts on Burnishing

Results from our first barrel firing of 2019.

We had wonderful results from the first barrel firing of the year! All new work is up for sale on the shop here. This is one half of the work I have prepared for barrel firing currently and I’m itching to get the second half fired as soon as I can (that will probably be in a few weeks though because May is a busy month).

This time around I put in the extra effort to do a very old technique called burnishing on these pieces and I really couldn’t be happier with the results. To burnish a piece of pottery I wait until the work is completely dry, at what is called the bone dry stage, and then wipe on a little water and rub the pot with a polished stone to smooth the surface. I go over the whole pot, bit by bit, three times with this process. The end result is a shiny, soft to the touch, surface that shows the coloring from the atmospheric firing beautifully. Here is a link to a video on my facebook page that shows the process.

The pot in the foreground is before burnishing with the polished stone, the pot in the background is after.
More pieces I burnished, the tallest piece to the back right in the picture is yet to be burnished and has a more rough texture than the rest.

While burnishing is a time consuming process that requires patience, I feel it is very much worth it. I will continue my work with burnishing in the future.

After burnishing I bisque fire the work to cone 018 in my electric kiln and then the pieces are ready to be barrel fired. This time around the weather was dark and a little rainy so I didn’t get any photos of the actual firing, hopefully next time. In case you’re interested, here is a post I wrote last year that talks about the barrel firing process, and here is a post I wrote a few years back about the process of pit firing, which is pretty much the same as barrel firing.

We have been adjusting the way we layer things in the barrel and the different colorants we add. We’ve also learned that getting the fire as hot as we can has a very positive effect. After getting such lovely results this time I think we’ve got things figured out. I am very proud to say these pieces are my work, and if you know me you might know how rarely I give myself props. I am certainly my hardest critic, but having my name on these pieces makes me feel good πŸ™‚ The following are pictures of my favorites this time around.

https://kaycistanley.com/product/barrel-fired-pot-13/
https://kaycistanley.com/product/barrel-fired-pot-10/

As always, I want to give a huge thanks to my husband for all the work he puts in to helping me with my pottery. I wouldn’t be able to make these barrel firings happen without him. Thanks to everyone else that shows me love and support as well. <3 take care all <3

New Stuff!

I have new work up for sale here! I recently finished up a few sets of tumblers, some piggy banks, garlic keepers, and more πŸ™‚ Go check it out! Here are a few of my favs <3 Much love <3

First New Work of 2019

I made more piggy banks!

7 new piggy banks made it through the firing process for me this time. I have sold 4 of them already, but these 3 are up for grabs still πŸ™‚

They are up for sale here if you’re interested. There are new mugs for sale too! I’m really digging this handle style.

It has been nice getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. I’m excited to see my work improving as well. I always end up keeping a few pieces for myself after a firing. Usually the ones that don’t turn out the best, but are still nice and usable. It gives me a chance to test out how they feel and quality check a bit. Also a nice little treat for myself, not going to lie πŸ™‚

I’m currently drinking some berry cinnamon tea from this lovey mug.

I’m happy to say it’s a very nice weight and the handle is quite comfortable to hold. All my new mugs for sale are similar to this one. I might be bias, but I’d recommend them πŸ˜‰

I’m planning a big trip to my local pottery store soon to replenish my supplies. After that I’m sure to be making more piggy banks, mugs, and more. If you’d like to follow what I’m up to I post pretty regularly on my instagram and facebook pages. Thanks, and much love to you all <3

Beer, Wine, and Pigs

As soon as I got home from the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival, in late August, my garden was ready to harvest. A lot of my focus over the last few months has been harvesting and tending to our, very large, garden. I have been busy canning lots of tomatoes, as well as pumpkin, pickles, salsa and relish with the fruits and veggies from our garden. On top of that, my parents brought me bunches of pears from their tree. I was lucky enough to be able to preserve the pears in syrup, make jam, and a delicious crisp πŸ™‚

Now that all the hustle of harvest season has past, I’ve been able to start focusing on my work again. My latest glaze firing went well and I have lots of wine cups, a few mugs (wonderful for beer), and 6 little piggy banks to show for it.

The pigs were almost all sold before they could even cool down.

The only one not sold is the little, drippy, yellow guy. It is for sale in the shop. Although, I’ve had interest shown in it and don’t expect to hold onto it for long.Β  Sold.

These two are my favorite pigs from this bunch. I’m really digging these new glazes.

I fired a bunch of wine cups this time around too. I have 5 pairs of cups, and 2 single cups for sale in the shop now.Β Β 

I’ve also been working on some new mugs. I wanted to play around with more of a beer mug look, and I’m pleased with this new handle style. I think these mugs would be great for a cold beer, or a warm coffee.

I’m looking forward to exploring these beer and wine vessels more, and making more piggy banks. I have plans for making garlic keepers, and whatever else sparks my creativity with the clay really. I have ideas floating around my head for some new paintings as well πŸ™‚ As always, thanks for all the love and support. <3

Candles, Just Like Mom used to Make ;)

There are now more candles up for sale in the shop! I’ve found that candle making is a great way to reuse pieces that come out of the kiln with imperfections. This time around I was able to outsource that job to my very creative mother. I’d like to give a big shout out to her for taking on the project. She used soy wax and essential oils to give new life to some pieces I had been holding on to around the shop. I believe this will be an ongoing collaboration between us going forward. <3

New Work Up for Sale

There are lots of new cups and some new decorative pieces up for sale on my store now! I have been photographing and cataloging all week πŸ™‚Β Previously I have had to use a flat rate shipping method which resulted in higher rates for shipping my work. I have now been able to switch to a plugin that more accurately calculates shipping rates based on your location and the contents of your cart, ultimately lowering shipping costs. So check it out! Thanks <3

12 oz. Cup Number 2

Barrel Fired Pot 4

Cheeseburger 2018

Today I’m exhausted, from a very great and very busy working vacation.

My brother and I hanging out at the Tiki Bar at Wooded Island Sports Grill

For the 3rd year in a row my hubby and I had a wonderful time selling my pottery, and enjoying time with family and friends at the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival. I had a big set up outside the Wooded Island Sports Grill.

I enjoyed getting my work out in public and hearing feedback from people. I sold all of the piggy banks I made and lots of other pottery. Everything new that I didn’t sell will be up for sale as soon as I can get it photographed and on the website. When I get back at the wheel I will be turning out more piggy banks πŸ™‚

Big thanks to The Wooded Island for having me out again, and I really appreciate everyone that picked up a piece of my work! It just means the world to me <3

Lots Going On

As the heading says, there is a lot going on here πŸ™‚ I’m preparing to take my work and go sell at the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival this Thursday-Saturday at the Wooded Island Sports Grill. Last year and the year before I set up there as well. I’m getting excited to share all the improvements I’ve made both in my work and my display.

Since the last time I posted I’ve been making, making, making!Β  It has been a lot of throwing, trimming, hand building, puling handles, decorative carving, and all that jazz. My lovely husband helped me set up my kiln and with that my studio is now fully functional πŸ˜€ Over the last few weeks I’ve done 3 bisque firings, 2 glaze firings, a barrel fire and a refire. It feels awesome to be putting my studio to work and finishing up pieces that have been in the process for months now.

My kiln set up

We’ve decided to move to barrel firing instead of pit firing here at the new house. It’s very similar in both method and result. Although, there has been a learning curve for us. In the first fire we didn’t get things quite hot enough to see much color on the pots. After that, we decided to refire some of the pieces. In the refire we had issues with some of the additives I put in the barrel sticking pots together and making a mess in general. The good news is we’ve learned a lot. We had lovely color results in the second firing too, and that bodes well for future firings.

The barrel on fire during our first try.

A look inside the barrel after our refire.

My favorite piece from the first firing.

Two lovely pieces that survived the refire.

While the barrel firing is a work in progress, I have had great luck glaze firing the electric kiln. Over the last two weeks I’ve glazed and fired 14 piggy banks and 45 cups/mugs. I am very pleased with my results, the piggies especially. They just catch my eye and make me smile πŸ™‚

Kiln loaded before being fired

After the firing

All the piggies together

Now that all my work is completely through the making process I’ve been busy taking inventory and pricing things.

I will also have some paintings for sale with me up at Cheeseburger. I was even able to frame most of them up. These little iris paintings are a few of my favorites <3

I think that’s all I have to share for now. I’ll update more when we’re in Caseville selling. As always thanks for the love and support. I’ve been getting lots of great feedback on social media and it means a lot to me. <3

Back in the Stuido

I’m making things again! The weather has been getting warmer, for the most part, and I have been able to start using my new studio. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s functional.

I have a space to paint, a nice view of the back yard from my wheel, and thanks to my hubby there are lots of shelves set up for me to fill. It’s starting to feel like my own space, and over time we’ll make it even better.

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed I’ve been painting again. It feels awesome to be back at it. It’s been at least 2 years since I was last painting regularly.Β  I’ve finished two new paintings in the last few weeks.

The first painting I made is titled Early Spring Impression.Β It’s oil on canvas, and as the title implies is done in an impressionistic style. I was feeling the grass popping up through the snow and the idea of spring approaching.

 

Early Spring Impression, oil on canvas

Early Spring Impression, oil on canvas (close up)

The second painting I made, and finished yesterday, is also inspired by the early spring. I went a different direction and tried my hand at a more abstract expressionist style for this one. This painting is titled Early Spring Expression. It is also an oil on canvas.

Early Spring Expression, oil on canvas

Early Spring Expression, oil on canvas (close up)

Early Spring Expression, oil on canvas (close up)

I am really feeling this style of work. This past summer my family and I visited the Art Institute Chicago. I was very taken by the abstract expressionist work there. I was specifically drawn to the painting City Landscape,Β by the artist Joan Mitchell.

Me, entranced by City Landscape at the Art Institute Chicago

I did some more research on Joan Mitchell and I am so enamored with her work. I’m sure I will be pulling inspiration from her and other abstract expressionist artist for my future work.

That’s what I’ve been up to back at the easel, now onto what I’ve been working on at the wheel (with some hand building). I have been caring around a bunch of corks for years now and I’ve finally decided to use them. They were the catalyst for my current ceramic project, piggy banks.

These banks have been a lot of fun. They’re playful, and honestly just make me smile every time I finish one. The aforementioned corks will be their noses. I’m starting with the smallest and working up in size. I’m also making about double what I need for the amount of corks I have. You never know how things are going to turn out through the process of making ceramics.

I’ve been enjoying hand building onto these thrown forms. It’s something I haven’t done in some time.

This project will probably be ongoing for a while since I have 18 corks I would like to have pigs for all together. I will be working on more functional pieces too, to break things up for me work wise. I have plans for spoon rests and small condiment bowls, but I’m sure there will be more mugs and cups soon as well.Β  I’m also looking forward to pit firing this summer again πŸ™‚

Thanks for checking in, and for all the love and support <3

Big Changes in 2018

This past month has been a blur. Near the end of 2017 my husband and I drove down to the Florida keys for a week to spend the holidays with my family. It was a beautiful vacation, just a wonderful time. Just a week before we took off on that adventure we received the keys to our new home! Between moving and painting and cleaning and somehow fitting in our family vacation, I’m lucky to know what day it is right now. Life has been very up in the air for us, but in an exciting way.

We could not be happier to be able to say goodbye to renting and finally settle down in our own home πŸ˜€ There is much to do here, but making it our own together is something we’ve always dreamed of doing. My hubby, Tony, just told me yesterday how excited he is to help me make my studio space functional. Everything we own is pretty much in boxes and spread all over the house. This is my new studio space at the moment.

I will be setting up in a large portion of our back porch area. It’s all windows on the outside and connects to the garage, where we will be setting up the kilns. It needs some work, but Tony has some great ideas about how to fix it up for me. This new studio will give me much more room to work and grow. I’m itching to get this project going. I miss working with clay. I’m not sure how long it will take, but once we set my studio up here I will not be moving it again for a very long time!

I will update when there is more progress to be shared. I have plans to pit fire in my own yard this summer and I have some new ideas for functional ware I’m eager to start creating. Now it is time to unpack though, peace and love.