What’s great about this Seller of the Week by Rooms Solutions is how unique the designs of the ceramics are. To quote Kira’s tagline, Kira Call Ceramics are hand built to brighten up your day.
They’re bright and superb functional decorations.
In this article, you’ll find out the process Kira goes through to create her products and what motivates her to keep creating and progressing.
These products will work wonderfully in homes with a lot of color, especially eclectic interior styles.
First Name: Kira
Location: Afton, WY
Style: Whimsical, colorful, practical, moody, wabi-sabi
Shop: Etsy Store
What made you first get into ceramics and pottery?
I first got into ceramics because I was going to Utah State University studying art and planning to go into painting and drawing, and I decided to take a pottery class on a whim.
I found out that it was actually required for art majors, but I got hooked and after one semester I had made up my mind.
I wanted to pursue pottery for the rest of my university studies.
What really drew me in was that it was an art form that can also be functional – I love the idea of creating a mug that can be anything I want it to be, and then drinking my coffee out of it.
I also loved the science behind it – the mineral composition of clay and glaze and how they are transformed by fire.
How would you describe your process for creating your pottery?
I start by making my clay and my glazes from scratch, then make things using hand building techniques like pinch pottery, or on the pottery wheel, and when they are dry I apply colored underglazes using the spray method to get that ombre look.
I also do a lot of detailed hand painting for my designs, which I also use the same colored underglazes to do.
After the pieces are dry and decorated, I put them in my kiln for the first firing to get them prepared for glaze application.
The first firing strengthens the clay and makes it so that it won’t break down with moisture, and it also makes the clay more porous and absorbent for the glaze to stick to.
Then I dunk the pieces in glaze – usually just a clear glaze because I’ve already applied the colored underglazes.
Then they go back in the kiln for the second firing at a higher temperature that melts the glaze. When they come out of the glaze firing, I paint 22k gold luster overglaze to create the gold details, but they need to be fired for a 3rd time to melt the gold to the surface at a lower temperature than the first firing.
For some of my pieces, I apply mother-of-pearl luster after they come out of the gold firing and the mother-of-pearl needs to go through the kiln as well.
I use a small electric kiln to fire all of my work (currently) and it holds an average of 35 pieces at a time.
What motivates you to keep making your products?
I stay motivated by the excitement that other people seem to like what I am doing, and that I am making a living doing it.
It feels so awesome and like such an accomplishment just to be able to make pottery full time.
It really is a lifestyle – I can’t imagine doing anything else, and I love being able to visualize something in my mind and then quite literally set the idea in stone!
I also end up making things for myself sometimes, and sometimes the silly things I wanted to make for myself end up being a great idea that spur new design innovations.
That’s how my “starry gold moon yunomi cup” came about.
I had wanted to make a custom stemless wine cup for myself with the night sky and a crescent moon and a gazillion tiny dot stars all around the top, and when I shared a photo of the finished piece, people went crazy.
I just thought it was a cute idea for a wine glass for myself 🙂
Do you ever get stuck or blocked creatively? How do you get past this?
Sometimes I feel a little stuck when I am trying to brainstorm new designs or trying to figure out how to make an idea work in reality.
Usually I draw a sketch on paper of exactly what I want it to look like, and if I’m not quite sure while I’m drawing it on the paper, I let the idea simmer in my mind some more.
I have a lot of design ideas that just never reached fruition because I got a little busy and the ideas seemed intimidating and needed more of my focus.
I have a couple of designs on the burners right now that I am working towards putting out there, but it might still be a few months before I feel confident sharing the results.
Good design ideas take time.
If an idea isn’t as good, I end up realizing it while it is somewhere between my mind and the drawing and the creating phase.
Sometimes I will start making something in my studio and intend to decorate it a certain way in a new design and then decide it wasn’t a good idea.
I think the worst thing is to let yourself get overwhelmed with the pressure of having to make a new design right away.
What is beautiful pottery to you?
That’s kind of a tough question… I have so many pottery styles that I love, even if they aren’t designs that I make or would make.
Lately I really love stoneware pottery with white speckled buttermilk glaze. I’m a total sucker for that style.
I also really love Melissa Maya’s style and it’s on my wishlist to get one of her bird mugs.
I also love things that are minimalist or that feature a thick beautiful juicy celadon glaze.
I think the biggest thing that catches my eye when I am looking at pottery made by other people is if they have a good confident sense of form, and then they play with the lines a little bit; and I always appreciate a well-made handle on a mug.
Rooms Solutions want to say a huge thank you to Kira.
We love these pieces so much!
We’re sure you did too, so let us know in the comments which cup you loved best.
If you’d love to see more of Kira’s work then definitely visit her Etsy Store.