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

After missing their last class while I was in Germany, it was so fun to see what they had come up with during my absence. When I had last left them… they had been challenged to throw a new mug shape, a wide bowl, a platter and handbuild a tall vase-cylinder…. under limited time challenge! They were then tasked to decorate a mug, bowl, platter and vase with a similar technique to make them all look like they’re part of the same set. But then we had The Polar Vortex and missed a class… and some of their pieces dried a bit more than they wanted… and we decided that they needed three or four pieces for the competition entries.

Taylor went with a geometric design with a triangular motif in green slip and some textural carvings. We were all laughing at how much fun it would be to bake a pie in the platter… and then serve it with just that one piece cut out to display the green carved triangle!

Jon went with the simplicity of some deeply grooved and burnished B-clay…
and he knows I always LOVE a good spiral!!!

Molly went with two colors of slip and a bunch of fun splatters!

Claire utilized the motion & movement of a swoosh of slip, and then accentuated it with some wonderful carving through the slip.

Dave went with porcelain clay and then did some dramatic black slip “squirting” & slip trailing… but it is the novelty of the drips going upwards that kinda won us all over!

Theresa went geometric with a repeating pattern on her pieces, with a contrasting slip center.

Tatiana used a combination of stamps & rollers to create her amazing textures & patterns. I can’t wait to see how she glazes these to accentuate the details.

Ryan worked with a off-centered ombre effect with colored slip and then carved a sweeping pattern through all of his pieces.

Susan did a combination of slip painting & slip trailing on her pieces.

And we discussed how a couple of them may have missed an opportunity by NOT decorating the interiors of their low bowls & platters. Unfortunately, the beautiful slip decorating is on the underside and not easily seen. I think a bit of the decoration on the inside would have helped… but maybe that’s just me!?

So then we got down to or TOP TWO WINNERS!!!

Donna is primarily a handbuilder, so I LOVE the fact that she’s doing so well even with her wheelthrown pieces!! Plus, she’s was one of the few who decorated all FOUR of her pieces. Donna went with a wonderful “woodgrain” carving pattern for her pieces…. complete with knots in the wood.

Jacob killed it once again with some whimsical carvings! He put a layer of black slip on his pieces and then carved through with his new favorite tool… the DiamondCore V-Tip Carving Tool.

Sadly… Patti couldn’t make it to class this week. But her pieces were put out for inclusion in our judging. Unfortunately, Patti only had two of her pieces completed. But they were STUNNING sgraffito work… all done with just ONE the tiniest of sgrafitto tools!

And then a day late, and a dollar short… the third and final piece of Patti’s set.
And another stunning sgraffito project. Too bad she missed the deadline!!!

So that’s it for our Fourth Week of the Lillstreet Throwdown class. I have a great group of students again this year… and they’re definitely off to an AMAZING start!!!




Leave a Comment