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

The trouble with throwing twenty-four cylinders and stamping them for mugs,
is that at some point you need to make twenty-four handles to put on them.
Tonight was that night. Two dozen handles. Two dozen attachments. Two dozen mugs!

So I started with some wedged B-Clay to match the B-Clay cylinders.
I cut them into small chunks, then threw them down towards my wedging table
at an angle to create a slight carrot-shaped wedge of clay.

Then I started pulling the handles in the traditional way. Kinda like milking a cow!
I typically pull them into a nice strap shape, then add a little concave curve to the front
side of them. When I get them to the right width & thickness, the do a quick flip-over
and stick it to itself. That way I create a nice “pre-established-mug-handle-curved-shape”
to let them set-up in the right form. Waiting a few minutes until the are a bit stiffer and
no longer wet, shiny or squishy!

I then start attaching the handles to the mugs by cutting out the portion I need of each strap.
A little scoring & slipping on each to attach them to the mugs. After several mugs, with a few
Olympic moments on my TV, I finally got to the end of all twenty-four.

Then it’s just a quick misting of water and wrapped up for the night. I always like to let them
“even-out” their moisture levels between cylinders & handles before I open them up and let
them dry. So tomorrow night, I plan on painting some of them with a bit of decorative colored
slip and then they’re off to the drying rack.




January 18th, 2015

nice ideas…


August 27th, 2015

Lovely. Honestly I hoped you had some quick-non-pulling way to make these handles. But it was reassuring to see that you just have to do things the right way. There are no shortcuts. That is what I love about working with clay, if I am being truthful. It requires patience and you work WITH it, instead of doing to it. Thanks for reminding me.

August 28th, 2015

Well said.
And thanks for reminding ME.

March 15th, 2017

Stick them to themselves! Why did I never think of that?

I’m definitely trying that next time 🙂

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