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

Time to make more oval casseroles!!! So I started by throwing the side walls on the wheel. I let them sit-up so that they’re not squishy & sticky.

Once they get to a good “wet” leatherhardness, I carefully wire them off the bats, and curve them into the oval shapes I like. Then I go around and stamp the patterns… one stamp at a time!!! Then I wrapped them up and let them stiffen up even more.

When I came back the next day, I made some nice slabs of clay and attached them to the thrown oval sides. A lot of scoring & slipping, a little paddling to make a tight connection, and a lot of good smoothing & blending to make it appear as though it was all one piece.

I also added handles and then set them aside… trying to keep them out of my way. It’s getting more than a little crowded in my studio these days!. “Real estate” and shelving are getting very important.

Once I had them all constructed & handled, I did a little bit of slip decorating before I set them off to dry. I’m always concerned with warping as these larger, handbuilt pieces start to dry. So I’ve placed them on elevated plastic grids with a sheet of paper on between. My thought is that the paper will help draw the moisture out, and the elevated grid will allow air circulation around all sides of the pots.

Once these are dry, they’re going to go into the bisque kiln.
Okay, who am I fooling… I need these to be dry FAST so they can get into Wednesday night’s kiln loading. Let’s hope they dry quick… and flat… and crack-free!!!


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