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

With ART IN THE BARN getting closer & closer…
and so many “Ghouls” still to make… I decided to squeeze in one more kiln firing just because I can. So I threw together some quick replenishment pieces that will get a quick cone six glaze firing early next week… just under the wire. Sure, it’s not my best packed kiln. But it does have a lot of mugs & bowls for ART IN THE BARN. As well as a little holiday surprise on the top layer!

Bisque Kiln Layer #1my favorite thing to make... mugs, mugs and more mugs!!!

Bisque Kiln Layer #2 – some stacked bowls and small trays for salt & pepper shaker sets.

Bisque Kiln Layer #3 - more bowls, more trays, and some ikebana vase tops.

Bisque Kiln Layer #4 – which in this case turned out to be a low-fire GLAZE kiln layer!!!
The green glaze is actually a low-fire clear glaze. After firing, these little pumpkins will show their true colors… warts and all.

 

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Categories: bowls, friends, pottery

A quick peek into the pottery cupboard as dinnerware pieces are changing from summer colors to seasonal earthtones. So fun to see my pottery in people’s homes… in this case, my first ever “art fair friends” who have quite the collection both old & new! Thanks for sharing Gerry & Rosene. See you soon!

Categories: bowls, classes, glaze

Since we’re in-between class sessions, I thought this morning might be a good chance to glaze my past class demo pieces. My students know all-too-well how much I “love” glazing and how my pots tend to pile up! Too many glazes. Too many options. Too many ways for the glaze to “ruin” my pots after I’ve employed some of my “control issues” to get them to this point.

Categories: bowls, production, stamped

Tonight I did a little detailing… some stamping & fluting of the rims on my latest batch of bowls. Gotta re-stock the inventory for the next wave of art fairs!

Categories: bowls, classes

Tonight was the last class for Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheeltrowing class.¬† We ended with a great potluck and a fun “White Elephant” trading-exchanging-stealing game. Everyone brought in a bowl they had made, and then went home with someone else’s. I was excited to come home with this beauty by Kit… a charming stoneware bowl that she carved using my new Zebra Wood Carving Tools from CI Industries.

Categories: bowls, process, production, stamped, textures

Last night in the studio I did some “follow-up” detailing on the class demo bowls that I made last Tuesday. They’ve been under plastic waiting for some decoration. So I did some stamping, texturing, dotting and more! Each one a little more special than they were before!

And this one, I peeled off the “impromptu” loop handles that we added during the class demo. Remember the cut-outs that I scooped out of the splash pan and stuck on?! Well, I peeled them off so that I can add some better ones back in their place later…. tomorrow???

Categories: bowls, classes, wheelthrowing

This week in class was my favorite demo of the entire session!!!
Making bowls on purpose instead of a cylinder gone bad… and then altering & decorating.

My bowl demo has a three-part approach.
First, to show them how to make nice, smoothly rounded bowls instead of settling for a cylinder gone bad. So we have a nice curve in the interior instead of a flat bottom and corners like a cylinder.

Second, to introduce them to colored slips as another “tool” for surface decoration to make their pots more special & fun.

Third, to get them to play with their clay more. To realize that is not as “precious” as they think it is. To get over it. Pinch, flute, flare, squish, whatever. Do something fun with your pot to make it your own!!! Any one can make a plain round both. Make it special. Make it yours!

So we did the throwing demo… and then my students went back to their wheels to start practicing. While they were away, I threw the rest of the bowls… a full bag of clay to make 16 bowls! When I finished throwing them all, we reconvened to do some altering. All of the bowls started out pretty much the same… but after some quick changes, each one was different from the others!!!

Bowl #1 – two simple twisted flutes

Bowl #2 – and if two twisted flutes are good, eight might be better?!

Bowl #3 – a simple flared flange of a rim.

Bowl #4 – a much deeper flared flange… kinda like that bowl you get a very fancy expensive restaurant where the give you the big bowl with a teeny-tiny nugget of food in the bottom for a very high price!

Bowl #5 – then we combined fluted twists on the flared flange.

Bowl #6 – a simple split rim… pinched back together in four places.

Bowl #7 – another split rim, dented in in four places, and then dented outwards too!

Bowl #8 – a fun little “surprise” flower in the bottom of the bowl made with a metal dragonscaling tool.

Bowl #9 – For this one, my students were excited to have me try a new style. My plan was to cut the rim off in with decorative curves. I started with four curved incisions… and I tossed the cut-off parts into the splash pan. But then someone suggested I use the cut-off parts somehow. So I pulled them out, rolled them a bit and decided to add them on as handles. Unfortunately, the clay cut-outs were a bit gooey, and I didn’t score & slip them on… so I will be peeling them off and adding better handles later.

And then I introduced colored slip as a decorative accent…

Bowl #10 – a simple coating of thick white slip on the interior of the bowl. My plan for later is to do some decorative carving through the slip to reveal the darker clay in the design.

Bowl #11 - a simple layer of thick white slip and a rounded tool dragged through while the wheel was spinning to get this mesmerizing spiral effect.

Bowl #12 – another layer of thick white slip and some “finger painting” squiggles while the wheel was still spinning.

Bowl #13 – thick white slip with a spiral and some simple banding.

Bowl #14 – thick white slip with some chattering through the slip. Steady rhythmic tapping of a plastic rib through the slip to show the darker clay. Tapping, spinning and moving up all at the same time to get this great design.

Bowl #15 – a flared flange covered with thick white slip… and then some simple finger drags through it to create a patterned rim.

Bowl #16 – a layer of white slip, and then a layer of blue mazzerine slip over part of it for a groovy ombre effect.

So for now they’re wrapped up under plastic… soon to be stamped, carved, detailed and more!

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Categories: bowls, family, food, stamped

So fun to see my pottery in use… this time it’s my cousin Kim gathering sour cherries! They look amazing together. I told her that the only way they would look better is as a PIE!!! And better still… she already has a handmade ceramic pie dish to bake them in. Bring it on Kim… you bring the pie, I’ll bring the ice cream!!!

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Categories: bowls, classes, process

Just some quick photos from one of tonight’s bowl demos for my Simply Soda class.
I coated the bowl with wax before carving the leaf pattern… and let it dry for a few minutes.
Then I painted the exterior and filled-in the grooves with colored slip…

After it set-up for a few minutes, I wiped the excess off the wax layer.
Thus filling in only the carved grooves for a colorful slip inlay.

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Categories: bowls, process, production

So it’s been a quick trimming session. After Tuesday’s class demo with a LOT of bowls, I had a good amount to tackle. But I love trimming… so it was a “labor of love.” Fun and messy with trimmings flying left & right. And done. And drying…