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

Tonight in my Wheelthrowing class I surprised one of my students with some new clay jewelry!! Katie has been in my class for awhile, and has been playing with a lot of marbled clay this session. A few weeks back, she used the scraper to get a thin layer of marbled clay off her bat after removing the pot. She was going to just throw it in the reclaim, but I stopped her and told her she should make “something” out of it. It was such a cool slice of marbled clay. She didn’t feel like using it to make anything… but I did!!!

And Katie LOVED them… and immediately wore them in class!!!

Categories: classes, clay, wheelthrowing

With the “success” of our marbled clay experiments, last night one of my students continued wheelthrowing with colored clays. Katie used white porcelain, as well as blue & black porcelains she made with mason stains. We’re all LOVING how these pieces have been turning out. A fun novelty to be exploring during these crazy days! They’re looking great Katie!!!

Categories: classes, clay, soda-fired, vases, wheelthrowing

One special piece that came out of my soda kiln firing, was this vase that was a class demo from a couple weeks back. We’ve been playing with some colored clays & marbled wheelthrowing. This piece started with “white” B-clay, brown clay, and a “green” B-clay we made with mason stains. It was an experiment to see how it would turn out in the soda kiln with nothing but the soda atmosphere to “glaze” the exterior. Looks like a great success to me!!! I think we’re onto something…

Categories: classes, platters, stamped, stamps

After my sgraffito demo Thursday morning, I also did a quick stamping demo for them as well. One stamped impression at a time… one after another… all the way around!

Categories: classes, sgraffito, tools

In my Advanced Wheel class on Thursday, I did a little sgraffito demo for them on the demo platter I had thrown the week before. It’s a little different as I’m used to white clay with a dark slip… whereas this one is a dark clay with a light slip. I used a colored flashing slip, so “the plan” is that this will go into a soda kiln at some point… just to see what happens. I’m not sure the carving is done yet… but this is as far as I got during the class demo with my DiamondCore Carving Tools. I’ll do a bit more carving & cleaning up before I let it start drying.

Categories: classes, clay, color, vases

And here’s the vase I threw last night as part of my marbled clay class demo… now trimmed & skinned to reveal the marbling better. Enamored by the three color combo, the layers & ripples. We decided in class that maybe this one should be soda-fired with no glaze on the outside just to see how the soda effects alter or enhance the marbled surface! That’s the plan!

Categories: classes, stamps

As part of me “demo-on-demand” teaching philosophy… we also tackled a quick demo in stamp making tonight in class. I’ll try to get them bisqued quickly so my students can start using them next week in class!

Categories: classes, clay

After doing my “simple” demo version of marbled clay… one of my students Kelly decided to tackle it with a bit more precision. Cutting, layering, sticking together & making her own version of a Rubik’s Cube!!! I can’t wait to see what she makes with this amazing colored cube next week in class!

Categories: bowls, classes, clay

Tonight in my Intermediate Wheelthrowing class, we played with some marbled colored clays. We used a light B-clay, a brown clay, and a special “celadon” green clay I made by wedging some Mason stain into it earlier in the week.

A bit of layering, just a little bit of wedging and I got some nice marbled effects in my two demo pieces. When they dry to leather-hard, I’ll trim them and “shave off” the outer skin to reveal even more of the marbled effect.

Categories: artists, bowls, classes, porcelain, process

Last night in my wheel class, Katie one of my Advanced Beginners continued her exploration marbled clay. She started with standard colors like marbling ochre stoneware with lighter B-clay. She loved the finished results… and now has stepped up her game with stained porcelain!!! Looking great… even though there’s still a little bit of cleaning up to do!