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

We’re getting down to the last few days of March…
and you know that the plan for metalsmith Sarah Chapman & me is to create a new holiday ornament each month this year! And here they are for March… just under the wire.

Sarah as been working feverishly to get her ornaments done in time! She’s bee busy in her studio making other pieces, including a special commission piece for a commercial photo shoot! Yeah Sarah! So I was excited when she finally showed me her finished feather ornaments!… complete with textures & patinas. Two of my favorites!

From Sarah: “The theme for March’s ornament is a feather. These are copper with embossed and roller printed textures, hanging from loopy brass wires. I’ve been a little obsessed (researching, drawing, standing in front of people’s houses trying to figure out what kind of bird is making that sound) with birds for a while now and these are among the first pieces to emerge in this theme. I had to keep myself from referring to a particular bird’s feather and just go with featheriness.”

When I started my ornaments for March, I decided to go with a snowflake theme. So I build myself a couple snowflake stamps that I could use. Once they were bisqued, they were ready for pressing into the clay. I cut them out, puffed them up a bit and made them into ornaments.

Once I had several of them done in stoneware, I realized that maybe I should have done them in porcelain?! So I made another batch. I think it will be fun to have both versions to play with for different finishing effects.

Once they’re all bisqued, I will need to decide how I’m going to finish them. At first I was thinking of glazing them in clears, whites and blues. But now I’m considering rubbing some underglazes into the textures first… maybe leaving them unglazed?! Or underglazed to accent the textures, and then clear glazed over? Luckily, I have a lot of them now to play with!!!

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