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

Last night was my favorite demo of the session!
Bowls on purpose. And then decorating them all to be one-of-a-kind pieces!

I try to do it every session showing my students how to “make a bowl on purpose” instead of making a “cylinder gone bad.” Once they learn how to make a “real” bowl, I have them all go back to practice while I throw a bunch of basic bowls quickly. I then call them all back to watch the decoration process. All fifteen bowls looked pretty much the same… plain & round. Hopefully my students picked up a few tricks last night. And if nothing else, I hope it gave them some encouragement to play with their clay – and to do something to it AFTER the wheel does all the work making it round.

Bowl #1 – Plain & simple with a slight spiral in the center.

Bowl #2 – A twice twisted & fluted rim.

Bowl #3 – And if two twists are good, eight might be even better!

Bowl #4 – A flared flange makes the bowl shorter & wider.

Bowl #5 – A wider flange for more presentation… less food.

Bowl #6 – Not every bowl needs to be round. Like this square one!

Bowl #7 – Using a simple dragonscale tool, I impressed this flower one petal at a time.

Bowl #8 – A decorative split rim with eight pinched sections.

Bowl #9 – Another split rim with ore pinches for a decorative, almost-braided look.

Bowl #10 – A split rim pinched together… bent inwards,, and bent outwards like a lotus flower.

After a simple explanation of colored slips

Bowl #11 – A simple spiral dragged through the slip to reveal the clay color below.

Bowl #12 – Banded rings with a squiggled section in the middle

Bowl #13 – Rhythmic chattering through the colored slip.

Bowl #14 – A “stencil” letter cut out from the newspaper. Slipped over, then pulled out.

Bowl #15 – A two-color ombre effect… but I couldn’t resist, and I “had to” drag a spiral through it.

So now all fifteen bowls are up in my studio…
Wrapped up overnight so I can keep working on them later. Sadly, all of my tables are full of drying pieces… so last night’s bowls are under plastic ON THE FLOOR!!!




April 23rd, 2014

love the center of bowl number 8

linda makinney

April 23rd, 2014

They all look beautiful! Can you give us the directions on how to use the dragon tool designs? Hint~Hint!

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