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

After about four hours, I finally had the soda kiln all bricked-up for the night. Looking forward to a couple hours of sleep before coming back to light it! A lot of work inside… and a LOT of work getting it all packed up.

Categories: kiln firing, pottery

After about three hours, I had the soda kiln fully packed with pots from top to bottom & front to back late Friday evening… err, guess it was really Saturday morning! Lots of “Tetris” stacking & packing to load everything in with proper spacing. Can’t wait to see these pots again… after the soda firing!

Categories: kiln firing

About ninety minutes in Friday night… and I had the back stack loaded up. Just stacking pots, bricks & shelves from bottom to top. Trying to keep some good air space between for the soda fumes to fly around in… and yet getting some pots all the way up into the arch as well.

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, process, production

A great combination… an empty soda kiln & my studio cart FULL of glazed & wadded pots. Late Friday night I loaded the kiln with a LOT of pots to be soda-fired on Saturday. My rolling cart has to travel from my second floor studio down to the first floor kiln room… on a very rickety freight elevator. So I always add some “seat belt” straps of masking tape to help keep pots in their place on the trip down!

Categories: kiln firing, soda-fired

Earlier on Friday night, this is what the soda kiln looked like. Empty, yet filled with possibilities. I got a late start loading… knowing it was going to be a LONG night!

Categories: process, production, soda-fired

Backing it up just a little… someone asked what “wadding” is when they say all of the mugs I was glazing and said that I still “needed to add the wadding.” So here’s a quick shot of the bottom of the mugs… similar to every piece put in a soda kiln. The little balls of “wadding” are made of a special clay mixture with alumina hydrate mixed in which makes the clay resistant to the soda atmosphere. The goal is to keep the pots elevated off the kiln shelves so they don’t fuse during the firing while the soda atmosphere in the kiln is “glazing” all of the pots. After firing, these little balls of clay will fall right off.

Categories: photography, sunrise

Panoramic perfection from this morning’s bike ride.

Categories: photography, sunrise

Big morning sunrises require big morning photos!

Categories: bike, sunrise

It was a stunning sunrise this morning as the clouds were splashed with color. Ever-changing with saturated colors pedaling along the lakefront… before the grayness of the day moved in.

Categories: food, holiday

What better way to celebrate NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY than finding that someone left you a big bag of M&M’s on your table?!

And it looks like I’m not the only one celebrating today… with a bowl full of holiday yumminess to celebrate NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY !!! Thanks for sharing Rosene!