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

Another wonderful piece fresh from the kiln from our LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class!
Molly’s challenge-winning tulipiere looks even more amazing after glazing!!!

Categories: classes, wheelthrowing

I threw a challenge out to my students for this session… that they each make a flower pot in class that they finish, glaze, fill with plant… and bring to our final class for a fun “trading-stealing-exchanging” game! So last night I showed them how to throw one with an attached water dish!

Categories: bowls, classes, stamped, stamps

Last night in class, one of my students was making a masterpiece of her own… stamping a shallow bowl with one of her own handmade stamps and adding final touches with the side of a paintbrush to add a bit of texture around the outer rim. I feel like a “proud papa”!!!

Categories: bowls, classes, process, production

Lots of class demo bowls require LOTS of trimming. Luckily I love trimming… so it was kind of enjoyable to finish off this latest batch of eighteen class demo bowls. Now trimmed with a clean footring and drying… many of them upside-down as I think that might help avoid warping?! No real “proof”… but why not go with it anyway???

Categories: classes, lillstreet, sgraffito, vases

Two more “treasures” from our LILLSTREET THROWDOWN challenges class.
This time it’s Patti & Jon… with Patti’s ring tulipiere, and Jon’s “Rocky Raccoon” tray
from the Beatles S&P challenge! Both amazing!

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Categories: classes, food

And this week in my pottery class we went all medieval on it… with the special new GAME OF THRONES Oreo Cookies!!! Sure, they might be calling them “collector’s items”… but they taste just the same!!!

And what’s better than one pack of OREOs???… FIVE PACKS of OREOs!!!
Thanks Patti & Jon for the big bag of cookies!

 

Categories: bowls, classes, lillstreet, production

This week in my Tuesday night Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing class, we tackled making bowls. Yep… making bowls on purpose instead of a cylinder gone bad. I started with my bowl demo… starting with a good interior curve right from the start! After we had covered all of the “basocs” of basic bowls… they went back to their whee;s to start throwing their own bowls. Meanwhile… I continued throwing more bowls. A total of EIGHTEEN “basic” bowls.

When I had made all of MY owls, we re-grouped at my wheel for a little “decorating” FUN!!! My goal for the secodn part of the demo is to encourage them to PLAY WITH THEIR CLAY!!! To do some decorating… to make thier bowls their own. The wheel pretty much makes them round… now they get to make them their own style!!! So I quickly took my 18 “matching” bowls and started doing some quick & simple “tricks” to make them all different & special!!!

Bowl One – Here’s the “basic” bowl.. the starting point for all the others!!!

Bowl Two – Two simple “flutes” to add some flair. One finger inside, one finger outside. pinch and twist.

Bowl Three – And if two flutes are cute, maybe eight would be better?!

Bowl Four – A simple one-inch flange bent out to “widen” the bowl.

Bowl Five – And if one-inch is nice, maybe three inches would be better?!

Bowl Six – And then a combined, bent-out flange and four fluted twists.

Bowl Seven – Using a metal dragon-scaling tool… a simple flower indented in the bottom.

Bowl Eight – A split-rim pinched together in eight places.

Bowl Nine – Another split rim – dented inwards at four places.

Bowl Ten – Another split rim this time dented inwards four times, and outwards four times!

Bowl Eleven – This was last session’s “challenge” bowl… a TRIPLE split rim and then fluted in eight places. My students from last session now refer to this one as the “churro” bowl!

And then I introduced my “beginner’s” to colored slip… and then benefits.

Bowl Twelve – a simple coat of thick white slip  applied and then a spiral dragged through it with the curved end of my wooden knife… which I’ve now been told is called “The Potter’s Thumb.”

We noticed that the thick white slip wasn’t showing up very well for my demo purposes…
so we switched to black!

Bowl Thirteen – A layer of black slip – and then banded rings with “The Potters Thumb.”

Bowl Fourteen – A layer of black slip, and then a chattered pattern made by rhythmic tapping of a rounded rib as the bowl is spinning.

Bowl Fifteen – A layer of black slip, followed by some thick white slip squirt-bottled onto the surface… ala Ryan Greenheck!

Bowl Sixteen – Then using the same squirt bottle, I piped on a white slip spiral.

Bowl Seventeen – Using a couple strips of wet newspaper, I outlined a triangle… layered in some thick white slip, draged my finer through it to make some texture lines and then peeled away the newspaper “stencils.”

Bowl Eighteen – Always up for a challenge… this is the one this session. Stacey was sitting-in on class and she saw this bowl on her Instagram feed. So I tried my best to “mimic” the style… flaring out the flanged rim, denting down the four accent areas, and then piping some thick white slip accents. Coincidentally, Stacey was also the one who challenged me to the triple rim “churro” bowl last session

So for now they’re all “under wraps” in my studio. I think there’s a”very good chance” that there might still be a bit of embellishing & stamping to be done on them… maybe, just maybe?!

 

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Categories: classes, porcelain, vases

Another finished piece from the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN!!!
This time it’s Dave’s coil-built porcelain tulipiere glazed with a subtle celadon….
beautiful, and his first coil pot to boot!!!

Categories: classes, stamped, vases, wheelthrowing

Last night’s class demo… throwing taller.
Showing them ways to get the clay to move up the wall, off the bottom and how to get their pieces taller… like this 3lbs. of clay! So here’s my demo vase as I threw it… and then as I stamped it tonight. I definitely like the stamped one better!!!

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Categories: classes, stamps, tools

We’re in our third week of my Beginning Wheel class. They’re moving along nicely, but at some point they’re going to be ready to start decorating… and “quite possibly” do a little stamping. So last night in class we sat down to have them make some new stamps for themselves to use. Of course they  need to dry and be bisque fired first. But then they’ll get to play with texture & pattern. Two of my FAVORITE things!!!