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

Tonight I made handles for the first set of mugs I’ve been working on. This set is made of soda clay. I’m trying to make enough work to fill my next soda kiln. So I’ve still got a couple weeks to make more work. But it’s summer… and I want to play outside!!! Needless to say, I’m “trying” to stay productive… and finishing off another set of mugs.

I start by making “carrot” shaped wedges of clay. Slammed on the table to compress, and cut to the right size. I pick them up by the fat end to pull the handles the traditional way.

As each handle is pulled, I do a quick little flip-over to make the rounded shape of the handles. I set them up so they can stiffen up to a “usable wetness.” By setting them up with a curve already established, you don’t need to bend them as much later.

Then the attachment process begins… one mug at a time. Score, slip, attach, repeat. Again.. and again… Once they are all attached, I give them a quick spray of water and keep them wrapped up overnight. That way I feel the moisture levels balance out a bit so the handles are less likely to pop off later.

Next up?... some colored slip accents with flashing slips for the soda kiln.

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