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

As part of my demo last night, I also wiped away my large platter piece. It’s just clay… no colored slip. The color difference is because the unwaxed unprotected areas stay light, whereas the wet etching areas get dark. I was getting some good texture difference in areas… but didn’t quite finish. So I’ll be coming back to it after this weekend’s art fair. The more I wipe away, the greater the difference between layers will be… so as usual… MORE IS MORE!

Categories: classes, process, surface decoration

After the wax layer had cured & hardened, we wiped away the background with a wet sponge. If there was colored slip there, that got wiped away… anything that was “protected“ by the wax stayed in place. As they continued to wipe away with cold water, their images & patterns began to reveal themselves. And if you keep wiping more & more, you start to create two surface layers… the top one being your original layer, and the second layer a smidge lower. It’s that tactile contrast in depths that is really cool. We even used some Q-tips to get into it to create nice crisp edges. When finished, they will bisque & glaze as normal for a cool bowl either a groovy pattern… all done with Water Etching!

Categories: classes, surface decoration

In class last night, my SURFACE DECORATION class was focused on Water Etching as their technique of the week. I provided them with bone dry bowls to play with… some covered with colored slip. They started by painting their designs onto their bowls with wax resist. The areas that are not “protected” by the wax will be “etched” or wiped away later… after the wax has had time to cure.

Categories: classes, process

Last night in my studio before class… I did a little “pre-waxing” of my design to give it time to dry. The demo was going to be water etching with my SURFACE DECORATION class… and I had planned to do a little “cooking show switch-out” in mid-demo. So this was my platter before class… wax drying… and waiting for the actual water etching to begin!

Categories: bowls, classes

It’s seems like I made these bowls quite awhile ago… simple bowls with some colored slips on some of the exteriors. Tonight we finally get to tackle them… as I’m providing some “demo fun” for my SURFACE DECORATION class tonight.

Categories: classes, glaze, stamped

Last week with my SURFACE DECORATION class, we discussed a lot of glazing techniques & tried to rectify some bad habits. Then I challenged them to “play” a bit more with their glazing… and to try some new techniques on the stamped cylinders I provided for them. I was hoping that they would be more free with their glazing if it wasn’t on one of their own “precious” pots. They all took good step-by-step notes… so now we’re just anxiously waiting for them to get fired in the cone 10 glaze kiln. Fingers crossed for some fun glaze results!!!

Categories: classes, glaze

All letter-code labeled & waxed… a fun “surprise “ project for my SURFACE DECORATION class tonight. They have no idea what they’re in for!!! If you haven’t guessed already… it’s Glaze Night!!!

Categories: classes, lillstreet

Well, registration begins tomorrow morning for summer classes at Lillstreet Art Center. I will again be teaching my Intermediate Wheel class on Monday nights & my Beginning Wheel class on Tuesday night. Classes fill FAST!!!… so good luck if you’re looking for some summer fun playing in the mud with us!!!

Categories: classes, platters, textures

Last night in class, I did a couple demos of plates & platters. One of the plates was kinda plain… so I decided to add some thick white slip & chatter through it with a rubber rib.

Categories: classes, platters, sgraffito

My final class demo for my SURFACE DECORATION class last Thursday was a fun & colorful floral pattern. I used black, red & green slip… and let it dry to a stiffer leatherheard surface. And then started carving through the layers with my DiamondCore Tools. It was a fun platter to work on… my first time doing a multi-colored sgraffito piece. I’m pretty pleased with this new direction… although I feel it still needs some more detailing & clean-up. I might just need to make more of these…