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

And sure, let’s not get crazy… there were a few stamped porcelain bowls in that kiln too!!! All ready for my HOLIDAY HOME SHOW this weekend!!! Just in the nick of time…

Categories: bowls, sgraffito

And it’s just not sgraffito platters… I made a few “companion” bowls to go with them too! Truth be told… “just” platters don’t fill a kiln very effectively, so a few smaller bowls helped fill in some of the spaces between the platters!

Categories: bowls, soda-fired, stamped

Sure, some of the bowls that came out last night were pretty darn sweet… if I do say so myself… the stamping, the glaze, the spiral. But sometimes it’s the back side of the bowl that is really STUNNING!!! Beautiful flashing marks on many of the bowls where you can practically see the flames blowing past & kissing the pots!

Categories: artists, bowls, classes

One of the project “challenges” for my wheelthrowing class this session was to make a placesetting with pieces that work well together design-wise. We had a lot of fun this session…. but only one of them succeeded in the challenge. Look at this beautiful set with a lot of underglazed ombre gradations & graphic design accents made with thin tape as a resist while the underglazes were being applied. Beautifully done Christine!

Categories: bowls, sgraffito, tools

While I’m “trapped” at the studio firing all day, I figure it’s a great chance to start some carving… with my favorite DiamondCore Tools!!! Making a last-minute batch of carved porcelain sgraffito bowls & platters. If my calendar is correct… they will make it out of the glaze kiln just in time for next week’s HOLIDAY HOME SHOW!!!

Categories: bowls, glaze

Some bowls with tenmoku glaze inlaid in the stamps from last night…
and then some of the same bowls now with liner glazes…
all loaded into the soda kiln last night.

Categories: bowls, stamped

While getting ready to load a bisque kiln, I inadvertently ran across the “suddenly stacked set” of now-called nesting bowls?! We’ll see if they still go together after my soda-firing???

Categories: bowls, classes, stamped, textures

After Tuesday’s class demo, I now find that I have a table full of not-so-basic bowls.
But you know my motto… MORE IS MORE.
So why not do a little more stamping & detailing?! So I did…

And for now they’re all stamped & detailed…
and going back under wraps so I can come back tomorrow to trim them all!

Categories: bowls, classes

Last Tuesday night I did my favorite demo for my wheelthrowing pottery class…
BOWLS ON PURPOSE… and not a cylinder gone bad!

I started by showing them all how to make a nicely rounded bowl from the git-go. Establishing the interior curve right from the start. Compressing the curve. Never letting an indented groove-ledge happen while pinching & lifting the clay. The using a plastic rib to flare it our and make a nice smooth curve. After that first demo, I “released” them all so they could get to working… making bowls! Meanwhile, I threw a full bag of clay to make nineteen bowls. I then called them all back to Part Two of the demo. This is when I encourage them to “play with their clay”… and tot try new techniques to alter & decorate their simple wheelthrown forms. To show them some quick tricks & techniques to give them some ideas of what they can do…and to show them that there are a million options… just try something! Have fun!!!

Bowl #1 – Here’s the basic bowl… simple spiral… the basis of all the bowls to come!

Bowl #2 – Tweaked – just two simple finger twists on opposite sides. Simple. Cute.

Bowl #3 – Fluted. If two tweaks are cute, maybe eight flutes are better?

Bowl #4 – Narrow Flange – Just an inch of the rim flared out to widen the bowl.

Bowl #5 – Wide Flange – If a narrow rim is good, maybe a wider flange is better?

Bowl #6 – Flared & Fluted. Combining the flared out flange and the fluted tweaks!

Bowl #7 – Stamped Bottom. A surprise in the bottom made with a metal dragon-scaling tool.


Bowl #8 – Cloverleaf – Dented in on fours sides to create a clover shape.

Bowl #9 – Pinched Split-Rim. First I split the rim using the pointed end of my wooden knife, and then pinched it back together in eight places.

Bowl #10 – Split-Rim Lotus. Another split-rim bowl… but then dented in & dented out.

Bowl #11 – Crazy Churro – We started with a triple split-rim… but then I dented it accidentally,,, so I dented it more, and altered the shape to “camouflage” my first mistake. It got a little crazy… but might lead to something else?

Bowl #12 – Squared – I dented four corners and then flattened the sides in.

Bowl #13 – Overlapped. I cut through the sides of the bowl, and then overlapped the edges to close it in a bit more.

After altering the shapes, I decided ti was time to introduce the option of suing colored slips as a decoration technique.

Bowl #14 – White Slip Spiral. I covered the entire interior with white slip, and then dragged through the slip as it was rotating on the wheel.

Bowl #15 – Banded. Another white slip covered bowl, this time banded with the rounded end of my wooden knife.. The Potter’s Thumb.

Bowl #16 – Chattered. A complete layer of thick white slip, chattered through with a green rubber rib. Rhythmic tapping of the rib through the slip as it was spinning in the wheel.

Bowl #17 – Ombre. A blended color slip mixing white and blue Mazzerine slips

Bowl #18 – Ombre Squiggle. Another ombre blend, but then sguiggled with the rounded end of my wooden knife.

Bowl #19 – Splattered. A full layer of blue Mazzerine slip, and then a quick splatter of white slip… I had intended to do more, but the squeeze bottle got clogged. And my students all thought this looked great. So we stopped with one good splatter!

After class, I brought all of the bowls back up to my studio. They’re now under plastic as their is
a very good chance” that there might just be some more stamping & detailing that happens to these bowls before they’re done! Allegedly…





Categories: bowls, production, stamped, studio, vases

Oh yeah, and there “may have been” a few serving bowls in the production mix today as well! Gotta make, make, make…