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

Sarah Chapman is back!!!
She’s had a rough go of it over the past few months. A lot of personal things to deal with, the passing of her mother, as well as moving her studio space to a new location. But now she’s slowly getting settled in again and back to making stuff. Including her July entry in the Holiday Ornament Challenge. She may have missed June, but she back with July’s entry… on the very last day of July!!! Just under the wire!

For July’s ornament, Sarah’s been playing with a new technique in her studio. Experimenting with a knot design embossed in copper sheet using the hydraulic press and finished with a black cotton cord.

Meanwhile, I was having a little trouble getting my mind wrapped around the July ornament. So I literally wrapped them around! I went with twisted spirals with stamped textures. They’re assorted styles, sizes & patterns. Each one fo them different form the next. My plan is to fire them in the soda kiln for some earthy-naturally-random flashing marks.

After stamping all of them, and letting them dry up a bit to make them more manageable, I added some colored flashing slip details. Hopefully that little dab of color in each stamp will give them each a festive little pop of color!

And you know I can’t make just ONE of anything… so I made a few…

A few days later… I made even more. So much fun to stamp & twist. The more the merrier!!!


July 31st, 2013

Will you have any of your ornaments in Evanston this week-end?

Kim Torkko

August 1st, 2013

Won’t the ornament squish down while firing?

August 1st, 2013

KIM – It will definitely survive the bisque firing. And then my fingers will be crossed during the cone 10 soda firing. I’m hoping that the internal structure, and the dynamics of a curved spiral will help hold its shape?! I’m not much into physics… I’m more of a wait & hope kind of guy!!! I’m sure there will be pictures to follow whenever they’re finally fired… regardless of how they turn out!!! Thanks for asking. GARY

August 1st, 2013

SUSAN – Generally, my assortment of Christmas ornaments don’t make their art fair debut until “Art In The Barn” at the end of September in Barrington, Illinois. I do know for a fact, that these latest “spiral” ornaments will NOT be available this weekend. They haven’t even been bisqued yet… and then I’m trying to schedule my next soda kiln for early September. There will be a LOT of them in Barrington if you can wait that long?!!! GARY


April 8th, 2018

Gary, I am very interested in making these with my 5th grade class and was thinking of turning them into mobiles as their last project before school is out. I can’t figure out though, what we could wrap them around, and if they are wrapped around something- it has to be pulled out without distorting the coil, or something that can be found in mass for a whole class and burnt out in the firing. Would love to hear your suggestions. Thank you!

April 8th, 2018

Sounds like a great project for your kids!
I’d LOVE to see photos when you’re all done!

When I make mine, I just wrap them around dowel rods or paintbrush handles. So I make the coil, flatten them, stamp them and then carefully wrap it around the dowel. I let them sit out for about 20 minutes so the clay can stiffen up and then I carefully slide them off the end of the dowel before the clay gets too dry and starts to shrink. They go into the kiln without any post or rod inside to burn out… just the clay!!! Hope that helps?! Let me know if you have any more questions. GARY

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