Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: pottery, process

One of the most frequent questions asked at every art fair, including this weekend…
“How long does it take to make this?”

And there’s never an easy answer. I try to explain that it is a “process” and that
I frequently have several pieces all going at the same time, at different stages
in the process. This season I’ve created a picture postcard to handout at the art fairs
to help illustrate the pottery process in just 12 easy steps! Here’s quick preview…

1. Wedging

2. Throwing

3. Stamping

4. Trimming

5. Attaching

6. Slip Decorating

7. Bisque Firing

8. Glazing

9. Kiln Loading

10. Firing.

11. Admiring

12. Marketing

As for marketing… no one’s going to do it for you if you don’t do it for yourself.
Luckily, I have many years of corporate retail advertising & marketing experience
prior to my pottery career. I think that experience definitely helps any artist
who is trying to make a go of it as a full-time, self-supporting artist.

For a more informative description of the complete “process,” be sure to check out
the “Pottery Process” page on this website – see the top right corner to find the tab!


June 1st, 2010

Great synopsis of the whole pottery process. I always get this question too and sometimes feel like I should bring a flipbook with me to explain it. Too bad it couldn’t be in real time.

June 1st, 2010

In “real time” no one would wait around long enough to get to the end. I think “people” believe it all magically happens in one sitting. Let alone two kiln firings and all the other steps in between. So, for this season’s art fairs, I actually printed up a postcard to hand out that has these same images to illustrate to some of my “uneducated” customers how many steps are involved… which I hope will also indirectly explain why my pots are NOT five dollars like at IKEA!!!

June 1st, 2010

GREAT POST! I had thought about doing this, too – and I may just now do it. Thanks for lighting the fire. It amazes me how ‘simple’ folks think it is to make a pot and get it to market. I get exhausted just thinking about all the processes!
THANKS – Elise

June 2nd, 2010

ELISE – I agree. It’s not as “simple” as most people think. And I hope that a little polite education done with “pretty pictures” might help all of our customers! Glad my process project might jump-start your own. Good luck.

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