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

So the plates that I threw last week as part of my class demo were finally at the right
leatherhard stage for stamping. It’s always tricky… can’t be too dry, can’t be too wet.
Got to get them right when they’re wet enough for good impressions, but not too wet
as to be sticky or squishy. Tonight they were ready for stamping!

So here goes… The first plate is a large dinner plate. Thrown with about four pounds of clay.
When I’m ready to start, one of the toughest decisions is “which stamp”??? I have hundreds
to choose from. So the possibilities are endless. I try not to dwell on it… just grab a favorite!

So here’s the lucky stamp chosen to tackle the rim of this plate…

Then, that one stamp rhythmically pressed in over & over & over again…

And the rim suddenly has a whole new texture. So much more fun than the plain,
old smooth flange that the plate started with!

Now plate #2 is a bit larger. Thrown with about six pounds of clay. The rim is plain,
but the center “food area” has a dramatic, concentric circle design created on the wheel
as I was finishing the throwing demo.

So again, which stamp gets to come out to play?… this one apparently!!!

Around & around, this time developing a nice scalloped pattern around the edge.
This pattern is also quite conducive to a fluted edge. So I did…

And there it is… a scalloped pattern of stamps with another small detail stamp
at the points, as well as on the tips of the fluted edge “high points.”

So now, both plants are back under plastic drying some more. I’ve got to wait for them
to dry to the right stage for trimming. I always tell my students that throwing plates is easy.
It’s the drying & trimming that is difficult. So now I wait… for the difficult part!


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