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

Today was all about finishing some mugs.
First I trimmed them all. And then wrapped them up while I made the handles.

I start with little chunks of clay gently thrown against the table to make “carrot” shapes. For some reason, I’m not sure why, I stand them up as I’m making them?! Like little soldiers waiting to go into service. Or in this case, kinda like a little Stonehenge of Handles?!!!

Then I pull each handles individually the traditional way. After I get them to the right thickness & width, I loop them over on themselves and stand them up again. This way, the curve is already set as they stiffen up a bit.

When the handles get to the right stiffness, I start attaching them to the cylinders. The tricky part with doing this many is trying to keep the handles from drying too fast and all at the same time. So I keep them under wraps and give them an occasional spray of water. Then it’s some scoring, slipping & attaching of the handles.

One after another… score… slip… attach… repeat.

Now that they are all “handled,” I’ve got them under plastic wrap for the night. That way the moisture levels can balance out a bit. Tomorrow I will do some final detailing, smoothing and add some colored slip accents before I set them out to dry.

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