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

Typically I feel that food always tastes better when served in handmade pottery… or at least “looks better” in pottery. But this time?… not so sure?! I’m glad it’s in one of my bowls, but personally not a fan of liver & onions! Thanks for trying though Kristy… hope YOU guys enjoyed it!!!

Categories: bowls, surface decoration, textures, tools

Carving through some white slip decoration… playing with my DiamondCore Tools again! Making fun leafy patterns through the widest band of white slip… to create a little color contrast when it’s glazed later.

Categories: bowls, food, friends

Looks like Kristy & Matt are enjoying a “fruity” morning al fresco in their beautiful backyard. Fresh fruits never looked so good as when they’re served in a handmade stamped & soda-fired ceramic bowl!

Categories: bowls, surface decoration, tools

Just doing a little carving tonight on this little bowl… that I kinda forgot about. It was one of the bowls from my “bowls on purpose” demo hidden under plastic. Too dry to stamp… so I decided to carve patterns into it. Good thing I have a collection of DiamondCore Tools that still carve clean lines even in almost-dry clay!

Categories: bowls, food, friends

Looks like my friend Jen has cooked up a yummy dish for dinner… a little couscous & tomato salad. Homemade food always tastes better in a handmade bowl. Thanks for sharing your meal with us… virtually.

Categories: animals, bowls, food, friends

Look like another berry bowl found a good home during last weekend’s GLENVIEW SUMMER ART FAIR. Looks beautiful when filled with blueberries & strawberries! I’m sure Allison loves her new berry bowl… but it looks like her cat is still a bit unsure?!

Categories: bowls, food

Looks like a yummy potato salad in a yummy blue bowl! Homemade food always tastes better in handmade pottery!!! Thanks for sharing Kristy!

Categories: bowls, classes, stamped, textures

After this week’s “bowls om purpose, not a cylinder gone bad” demo… I was left with fifteen bowls to finish up. Sure, I “coulda” left them the way they were. But, you know I co e from the school of MORE IS MORE!!! So here’s a few shots of what I’ve done with them since class!

So for now they’re all stamped & detailed… just waiting to be trimmed!

Categories: bowls, classes, wheelthrowing

This week in my Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing class, we discussed making bowls on purpose and NOT cylinders gone bad. We talked about how they need to start making the bowl curve inside their bowl right form the very start. And that they should be looking for a nicely rounded interior… and NOT a flat bottom, corners and a curved side like a cylinder gone bad!!!

After the first bowl demo, I sent my students back to their wheels so they could start throwing some nicely rounded bowls. And then I went back to my wheel to make “a few” more bowls…

And then we re-grouped and talked about how I believe the wheel does most of the work making a nice round bowl. But it’s up to each student to make that bowl their own… employing some quick tricks & techniques to make their bowls new & different… and a bit more “stylish” than the others!

So here are the “tricks” that I showed them all…

BOWL #1 – two fluted edges… gently asymmetrical.

BOWL #2 – if two fluted edges are nice, EIGHT might even better?!

BOWL #3 – a flared flange… approximately 1″ rim

BOWL #4 – if one inch is good, maybe three or four inches are even better?!

BOWL #5 – combined flared flange with four flouted edges

BOWL #6 – a split rim pinched back together in eight places

BOWL #7 – a split rim dented-in at four places

BOWL #8 – a split rim bowl dented-in at four places & dented-out at four places… kinda giving it a “lotus” shape?!

So after altering some rims, I decided to introduce colored slips as another possibility for decorating their bowls. I decided to use white slip for my demo purposes… but any choice of colored slips would have worked.

BOWL #9 – thick white slip with a spiral dragged through to reveal the color of the clay body.

BOWL #10 – thick white slip with some banded stripes dragged through.

BOWL #11 – thick white slip with some groovy finger squiggles.

BOWL #12back by popular demand… another one thick white slip with some groovy finger squiggles… a little closer together than the first one!

BOWL #13 – newspaper pieces cut out, applied with a bit of water, and then covered with white slip… and then gently pulled out to reveal the original clay body under the newspaper stencils.

BOWL #14 – thick slip with vertical “swipes” made with a rubber rib, and then a spiral dragged through the middle section.

BOWL #15 – thick white slip chattered with a plastic rib… rhythmic tapping of the rib through the slip while the wheel is spinning.

So for now, my new “not-so-basic” bowls are all decorated from my class demos… and under plastic for the night. I want to keep them wet because there “just might be” some more stamping & decorating to be done! Remember, MORE IS MORE!!!

Categories: bowls, food, friends

Looks like my pal Pam is having a healthy lunch at her desk today… a nice green salad in a nice green bowl! Thanks for sharing Pam!