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

While Tuesday may have been the sweetest evening for many… I spent the night with my
beginning wheelthrowing students. Who let me just say are moving along quite nicely!!!
We’re now more than halfway through the session and tonight we tackled ovals.
Some of my returning students have enjoyed making ovals, so they asked for them again!
And I am always more than willing to make more ovals!!!

So here’s the first oval demo. Yes, it’s basically just a straight-sided cylinder with no bottom.
Then, once it stiffens up a bit, I remove it from the bat, move it onto a ware board and
shape it into the final oval shape. And this is where we start the photos…

Then, it’s time to pick the “perfect” stamp from my toolboxes of hundreds!

Carefully pressing one stamp at a time, all the way around the cylinder.

Then I felt that the rim was a little bit heavy and “chunky” looking. I felt that it needed
a little splash of fun too. So I pulled out a square-ended chopstick and started
“denting” the rim.

Then, from the inside of the rim pressing outwards, I used a round dowel rod to add
some curve divots to counter-act the sharp edges of the dents on the outer edge.

And here it is… the “now-stamped-and-decorated”  cylinder walls. Next up, it’s time
to add the bottom to the cylinder so it appears seamless as though it has always been
part of the pot. Then, handles will be added and the drying can commence!

Then here’s the second oval in the works!
It started as a bottomless cylinder just like the first one. This time I used more clay
for this demo – so the cylinder is a bit larger and taller, plus we added some voluminous
curve to the walls. Next, I slice it off the bat and move it onto a ware board while
stretching it into the oval shape!

Again, it’s time to choose a stamp trying to picture the how the final texture will turn out.

Then it’s systematically stamped one-by-one all the way around the pot.

And here it is… the oval cylinder with finished stamping. Both inside and out!
Yes, I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive and can’t help myself from using the smaller stamps
to add tiny little textures and details even inside the oval dish!!!

This one is now in the same place as the first.
Ready for the bottom to be attached, then handles!
Still working on them both… step by step. Unfortunately, my students don’t always
get to see the steps every step of the way. We discuss the steps… and I hope they get it.
If not, they know they can check here for photos & details.

Also on Tuesday, one of my students said she had missed the plate demo… of course
I was more than willing to do the demo again. She appreciated it… and made her first plate!
Here’s my demo platter… and the stamping that followed!

Again, it’s just one stamp pressed in over & over & over again… all the way around!

When the stamping was complete, I felt it need a little bit more… so I fluted the rim
with gentle curves all the way around to accentuate the stamped design.

Here’s the second oval demo… a little larger, with a little curve to the sides.



February 17th, 2012

These are gorgeous. I feeling like making some stamps now! I love your work.

February 17th, 2012

Thanks so much Kelly! And of course, I agree… you should make some stamps right now!!!

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