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

Last night I attached all of the handles to my mugs. Then the spent the night under plastic to help the moisture levels even out… and allow me a little more time to add some colored slip accents. Today, after a full day of Summer Camp, I stayed and worked in the studio to finish off all forty mugs. So here’s a basic mug fresh from the plastic… and waiting for a little pop of color!

I start out by choosing the colored flashing slip that I want. In this case, the light slip color will change to orange when & where the soda flames hit it in the soda kiln. First I attack the stamps, by adding a little patch of color on the raised portion of each & every stamp.

When the stamps are done, I then work on the top “smooth” portion of the mug… using the same “smooth orange” slip for color continuity on the mug.

So here it is… finished off with some colored slip accents.

And now they can be left out to the air to dry overnight. The production portion of the mugs are done. Keep in mind, there’s still a LOT of work ahead of them. They still need to be bisque fired, glazed and soda fired. They are by no means done… just done for the night!



July 25th, 2013

Just beautiful. I absolutely love your work. I first saw your work earlier this year at the Schaumburg Art Fair. In my next pottery class (I’m a beginner) we have to choose our favorite artist and incorporate their style into a piece of our own. I have chosen you. I love the stamping you do and can’t wait to see your work in future shows so I can purchase and own some of your beautiful creations.

July 26th, 2013

So what do you mean when you say, “colored flashing slip?” I haven’t worked with this as of yet, but it’s on “the list!”

July 28th, 2013

CHARLENE – Very exciting. I’m glad my work has made an “impression” on you. And that my stamps did too!!! Good luck.

July 28th, 2013

Colored flashing slip is wet-gooey clay, just like any other slip. Basically dry clay powder & colorant mixed with water. It’s like a “skin” of colored clay that you can paint on your piece. It should be put onto your piece any time between freshly-thrown and wetter leatherhard. If you wait too long it might flake off as it dries. The “flashing” part of it is due to the soda fired atmosphere. I add different chemicals to the slip that react to the soda kiln environment and change colors where the flames hit the pot. Colored flashing slips are more reactive, and show more color differences than regular colored slips. Therefore, the same colored flashing slips don’t do much in a regular reduction kiln. They need the soda to make the colors pop. Does that make sense?

Leave a Comment