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

Tonight was week #9 of my beginning wheelthrowing class. Only one more week!
They have all of the basic skills and are busy working & making pots!

So tonight I thought it would be great to surprise them all with a wonderful surface
decoration demonstration by my friend & potter Amy Higgason. Amy has been in town
for the weekend, and after her Trunk Show on Friday, we thought it would be fun for her
to do a demo for my class. So Amy threw a few pots last Friday, trimmed ’em today
and set off carving them tonight! A special treat for my students.

Amy started her demo with a discussion of the tools she uses… a few simple tools
that make a wide range of textures & patterns. Some of them actual ceramic tools,
while others are found items like a broken TV antennae! She then started in on her
demonstration of how she decorates a simple bowl.
Yeah, well it started out simple anyway…

Suddenly, not so simple of a bowl any more!!!

Then she moved on to a small creamer pitcher. A quick trick of cutting a vase shape to make
the spout. A little wetting, sponging, finessing and shaping to create the spout. After the spout
is formed, she then set in to the carving & decorating of this piece.

Amy then showed my class how she makes her leaf-shaped handles out of a slab.

And then in Amy World, a pitcher can’t be just a pitcher… it needs a saucer to sit on too!
And not just any saucer, but an over-the-top, decoratively carved plate!!!

And then to close out the evening, I surprised Amy with a birthday cake
to help celebrate her big day. Nothing says birthday like a big chocolate cake!!!

So let me send out a quick Thank You again to Amy Higgason for sharing her talents
& creativity with us. I’m sure my students were inspired and will be incorporating some of
her techniques into their work. I know I enjoyed Amy’s time here this weekend,
and I hope she had some fun with us celebrating her big birthday!


March 7th, 2012

Awesome! I’ve seen her work glazed, so it really lovely to see “in action” – very talented! Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!


March 7th, 2012

I agree with Marian. Your students were lucky to see such a talented artist at work.

Amy Higgason

March 7th, 2012

I had such a fun time being in my old stomping grounds. I really enjoy teaching and it was nice to work that muscle again. I am sure I got as much out of it as any or your students. Thank you for sharing your studio, your students and your bad jokes (“Irene”) all weekend. it all made for a memorable trip and birthday. AND thanks for documenting this demo and the trunk show on your blog. I’d love a disc of all the photos in high res. It would be cool to have framed process shots for my upcoming show.


March 7th, 2012

Another eye-opening Amy Demo for me! Loved every minute. Searching out the proper tools right now as I am hoping they will turn me in to a carving wizard. Amazing to watch the layered carvings emerge. My mind is still spinning. Thanks to Gary for letting me “audit” and thanks for being such a generous artist.

March 7th, 2012

really great experience, even if it was only from your blog! thanks Amy and Gary!


March 10th, 2014

Love your stuff

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