Low Fire Results

The low fire (cone 04) I ran last week went very well. Compared to the last time I tried to fire some planters this firing was 1000x better! I actually threw these planters and vases a few months ago, so it feels nice to finally finish them. I’m very happy with the planters and can’t wait to make more. Here is a link to my store if you’re interested in purchasing something 😉

This planter was a lot of work. I can hardly believe it didn’t fall apart on me some time during the process. I’m over the moon with how it turned out, my favorite from this firing by far!

I have to give a shout out to my wonderful husband. He helped we with the hemp rope knotting and macrame on the hanging planters. He’s pretty great with knots, and a creative himself. <3

I’m also in love with this vase. I worked a lot on the texture and the glaze flows in such an eye catching way <3

I see myself exploring more low fire work in the future. The results I achieved from these glazes are promising 🙂

If you’re looking for holiday gifts for your loved ones I still have a lot of new pieces for sale. I’m continuing my 30% off sale on my older work until after the new year also. This lovely is only $21.00 + s&h.

Happy Holidays to all those out there celebrating. Thanks for all the love and support <3

2nd Pit Firing 2017

Last weekend my husband and I dug out the fire pit, chopped a bunch of wood and ran our second pit firing this summer.  I’m more than pleased with the results and all the new pots are now up for sale here.

New Pots!

The atmosphere in the pit was a bit more subdued this time.

Pots in the pit before the fire

I think it fired a little cooler than our previous fire this summer.

The pit after the fire burned down

The pots that came out of this firing are over all very black and white, but I am really digging the subtle lines and gentle splashes of color amid the smokey greys.

One of my favorites <3

I experimented with some carved pots too.

Loving that splash of red <3

I could share so many pots from this firing. It’s hard to pick the highlights for this post. I’ll share just one more. This pot is the smallest one put in the flames, but it caught both my eye and my husband’s right away when we pulled it out.

That yellow <3

It feels nice to be sharing some success and not struggles this time 🙂 I’m hoping to fit another pit firing in before the weather gets too cold, but we’ll see what happens. I’m currently in a rush to get everything finished up before we head up for the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival. I’m working on some shot glasses among other things, and  I will be running  a glaze firing soon.

I will for sure be up at the Wooded Island Sports Grill with a lot of pottery to sell on August 17th, 18th and 19th from 4:00pm-8:00pm. Thanks and take care <3

 

First Pit Firing of 2017

It’s summer time, and to me that means it’s time to pit fire! Last weekend we were able to finally fire the first of the pots I have been stock piling all winter. I’m really happy with the results we achieved. I learned a lot and ended up with some awesome pieces. I just finished putting all the pots up for sale and you can check them out here. Just like the firing we did last year my favorite piece is a collaboration between my husband and I. I created the pot and he wrapped copper wire around it to create an eye catching design.

My favorite piece from our first pit firing 2017.

Pit firing is a very old method of finishing pottery. Probably the oldest method. and there are different variations of the technique that different potters use today. I’m still refining the process for myself, but I enjoy this kind of firing immensely and I’m seeing good results.

After I create the pots I bisque fire them to cone 018 (around 1320°F-1350°F) in my electric kiln. This is actually a pretty low temperature which keeps the surface of the pots more porous, but still hardens and drys the clay out in preparation for the pit.

After the pots come out of the bisque it’s time to prepare the pit. We fire in my father in law’s fire pit. We dig it out extra deep, somewhere between 2 and 3 feet. Then we make sure the bottom of the pit is free of any rocks and is as dry as possible. I started a small fire to dry out the bottom this time because we dug the pit out the day before we fired the pots.

Next I covered the bottom of the pit in a thick layer of saw dust. I mixed  1 part copper carbonate to 2 parts salt in with the saw dust. I’ve heard of this mixture being called “magic dust”. It helps add color to the pots. A lot of the reds and pinks are created because of it.

After I got the bottom of the pit prepared I placed the pots in with other colorants scattered around and under them. A few of the things I’ve used for colorants are coffee grounds, iron nails, dried grass clippings, cobalt carbonate and  steel wool. When the pit gets really hot, these colorants create the reds, pinks, oranges, browns, yellows, blues and other interesting effects on the pots surfaces. The way the pots are placed in the pit has an effect on them as well so I put some on their sides and some sit more upright. It’s fun to play around with 🙂 

On top of the pots I put a good layer of news paper and other bits of junk mail. This helps protect the pots and get the fire burning.

After the paper layer it’s time for the wood. I’m so thankful that my hubby not only enjoys splitting wood, but is also really good at it. I would have a very hard time doing this kind of firing with out him. 

He made a lot of small pieces of wood for me out of much larger pieces 🙂 I stacked the wood carefully and as even as I could on top of the paper layer in the pit. 

Then we lit it on fire!

Once it’s on fire it’s best to not breathe in the smoke. We let the fire burn down and check the process every hour or so. It gets really exciting when you start to see the pots peaking through the ash. After the fire burnt down all the way I got my first glimpse of how things turned out.

We covered the pit with a metal cover that my husband fashioned to let things cool slowly and keep the dew off over night. The next day it was time to pull the pots out 😀 My husband and I always call these moments Christmas. Pulling the pots out of the pit, or out of a glaze fired kiln, is just the best! They were barely cool enough, but I just couldn’t wait.

I cleaned the ash off the outside and insides of the pots with a clean rag. Then I brought them home and polished them up with some furniture wax to create a nice finish and protect the pots from the moisture in the atmosphere. If you’re interested in how I finish the pots up and how to care for them over time please check out my pit fired pottery care guide.

I can not wait to do this process again. I have some very cool pots waiting in my studio to be pit fired and am expecting even cooler results next time around. I am planning at least one more pit firing this summer, but I would love to get 2 or 3 more in before the weather gets cold. I’m almost ready to do another mid-range glaze firing as well so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks. As always thanks so much for your interest and support <3

 

Studio and Shop are Up!

I think everything in life seems to take longer than I expect it to. Perhaps I should be used the the fact that I move at a turtle’s pace by now 😛 I think I will embrace the motto “slow and steady”.  In any case I have good news to share!

I have had my garage studio up and running for a little while now and things are getting into a rhythm.

I do not have the kiln moved in and set up yet, but I have been producing pottery. I am currently working on stockpiling decorative pots to be pit fired when the weather gets warm.

I have also started working on some large mugs, and pulling handles for the first time since college.

I have plans for more pots and mugs as well as working on different types of planters again. Ceramics had taken a strong hold on me and I have spent all of my creative time as of late focusing on that. I will surly be painting again in the future, but for the time being I have nothing in the works there.

The second bit of good news I have to share is that my online shop up and running now! I was able to make a light box and take nice photographs of the work I have for sale.

Getting the whole system up and running has been a bit of a task, but I believe it is working correctly. PLEASE message me, via the contact form on the sidebar,  and let me know if you have any problems trying to purchase something. I will gladly work to resolve any problems that might occur. You can shop directly from this website by clicking here or by clicking on the Shop button on the main menu. So, go check it out! Thanks for the support <3

Good Times at Cheeseburger 2016

Last week my husband and I packed up all my pottery and paintings to set up a little stand and attempt to sell my work at the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival. Caseville, Michigan is probably most famous for this 10 day Jimmy Buffett themed festival. Since my parents own a bar and grill in the area I thought it would be a good place to start putting myself out there. The Wooded Island Sports Grill was gracious enough to let me set up right outside their front door. It was an enlightening and exciting experience. Many people were interested in what I was selling and how I made it. It was great to get some feedback and even cooler to be able to sell my work to others. I truly hope those who bought from me are enjoying their pieces 🙂

Set up at the Wooded Island Sports Grill
My pottery set up, close up
Hubby and I selling 🙂

I do have to add that we didn’t spend the whole week working 😉 We had a really fun time hanging out at the grill and enjoying the festivities. Participating in Wednesday nights parade was definitely a highlight, even though it poured rain on us. It was good times and great company all week.

I ended up selling more than half of my inventory and I will be working on putting what I have left up on this website for sale as soon as I can. It’s time for me to get back into the studio and start creating some more work!

A New Start

Hello and welcome to my new website. I’m Kayci Stanley and I am an artist and craftsperson. I focus primary on oil painting and pottery.

I feel like I am at a new start for my career. I’m making ceramic work again after about 6 years of not being able to run my kiln. I am now learning my kiln and feeling out my style. I have a strong appreciation for well made pottery and I am pushing myself to improve all around. At this time I am most interested in clean vase forms and planters. I was able to do a pit firing earlier in the summer and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Atmospheric firing is something I will certainly be pursuing more of in the future. I’m looking forward to experimenting with mid range glaze firing in my electric kiln as well.

Pottery in the pit after the fire had burned down
Three of my favorite pots from my first pit firing
My electric kiln firing up some pottery

I feel that over the past few years I have been developing a real style with my painting and I am confident in the direction I am heading. I will be continuing to focus on abstract nature themed paintings. I would like to play around withe some nonrepresentational paintings that focus on intense color and brush strokes as well.

My latest work: Autumn Creeping In (2016) oil on canvas

I will have work for sale at the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival in my home town this week. This is the first time I’ve had enough work to sell like this and I’m very excited about it. I hope this is a real start to something. I’ll be using this website to post about my work and hope to have work for sale here soon as well. Please check back again in the future if you’re interested. Thanks <3