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

Drippin’ & drainin’ for berries.
Just in time for this weekend’s art fair… and some yummy Spring Berries coming soon!

Categories: bowls, tools

Layered with black slip, and then carved through with a v-tip carving tool
by DiamondCore Tools. Another quick sgraffito bowl in the studio.

Categories: bowls, lillstreet

Tonight is EMPTY BOWLS at Lillstreet Art Center.
We’re once again doing our best to help the local needy with this great charity fundraiser. Many of the Lillstreet studio members, teachers & students have made & donated HUNDREDS of bowls!!! Come tonight from 5:00-8:00pm and you can purchase a bowl and they’ll fill it with homemade soup and bread from First Slice Pie Cafe! Yummy food for a great cause and you get to keep the bowl… when it’s empty again!!!

Categories: bowls, classes, lillstreet, production

So last night in my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN challenge class, I surprised my students with another quick-fire throwing challenge. I had them wedge up a large, ten-pound ball of clay much to the griping & moaning of my students. A bigger ball of clay than many of them have ever wedged! I had them all set up a wheel with splash pan, water, tools, etc… all the basics they would need to throw some pots.

The I pulled a small, little mass-produced green bowl from IKEA. And I explained since that is very much a “mass-produced” bowl.. we’re going to mass produce replicas! So the challenge was to throw as many matching little bowls to that sample one off-the-hump as possible in thirty minutes. I did a very quick demo of how to throw off-the-hump for those who had never tackled it before. And then they were off!!! 30 minutes!!! GO!!!

Once they got into the rhythm, and accustomed to the depth, width & technique…
the little bowls just started piling up everywhere! So fun to watch them multiplying.

At the end of the thirty minutes, many of them had come close to finishing the full ten pounds of clay. We brought all of the bowls to the table for a little self-critique, judging and squishing. They were each given points for the number of bowls that were “deemed” matching, or at least close enough. The winner of the challenge was “Tay-Tay Clay-Wedger” with 29 mini bowls!!! Amazing.

Categories: bowls, color

Adding some colored flashing slips to help accent my berry bowls prior to bisque firing. If all goes as planned, these slip colors will become more vibrant and show some flashing effects after soda-firing.

Categories: bowls, process, production, tools

Berry bowls here we come!!!
And who doesn’t want to play with power tools in the studio? The quicker & cleaner way to drill holes in bowls is with an actual power drill. Go figure!

So I start by marking where the holes will go with my MKM Decorating Disks. They help even space out the holes so you know where to drill. Then you just let it rip!!!

The clay will fly up and leave behind some burrs which are easy to brush off after they dry a bit. A couple minutes and a stiff paintbrush… and maybe a bit of smoothing.

With a little brushing & smoothing, your berry bowls will be done in no time! So much faster & easier than cutting them out by hand. So much so… that this power drill tip was actually featured in Ceramics Monthly!!! Click here to see the article!

 

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Categories: bowls, process, production, stamped

Time to do a bit of refinement on the bottoms of these bowls…
trimming a clean foortring setting the stage for some holes soon to come!

Categories: bowls, stamped, stamps, textures

Time to do a bit of detailing on the latest batch of bowls. They’ve set-up a bit and are now a “wet-leatherhard” stage. Not quite dry enough for trimming, but stiff enough to hold it’s shape during the stamping process. Gauging the right wetness is kind of mportant when you’re going in to for a full day of stamping!!!

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And for now these bowls are stamped and back under plastic for the night.
But then coming soon… power tools to make them berry bowls!!!

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Categories: bowls, production

Throwing some bowls… with the plan of turning them into berry bowls somewhere along the way! Spring is coming… and then so are fresh fruits. The timing will be perfect!

Categories: bowls, classes, production

If you recall the bowl demo from last week… you may remember one of the bowl & rim alterations when we did a split rim, pinched it together and then pulled it out to an oval. Just a refresher… there was an audible gasp when I pulled the edges out making it UN-round!!! Heaven forbid that I make a round bowl UN-round on purpose!!!

But the plan was to make it into a basket…. which I think makes it make a lot more sense!
Maybe my students will re-gasp when they see the basket version of the UN-round bowl?!