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

Just sharing a little TEXTURE TUESDAY flashback… back to last week when Pam posted this for her Texture Tuesday post! And flashing back even further to wonderful memories of her amazing Northwoods cabin, the beautiful lake, the tranquility, serenity and the fun of leaving behind a handmade ceramic leaf for her to find!!!

Categories: clay, process, studio

Another day of reclaiming my clay scraps & trimmings! They’ve been soaking & slaking down for awhile now, and finally to the right consistency to lay out on my oversized plaster bat. So for the next few days it will be drying out a bit… and then the real fun begins.

LOTS OF WEDGING to come!!!

Categories: classes, clay

So apparently I touched my face… err, my mask… a bit more than normal in class this morning?! I think it might have been when I had to pop it off for a second when I showed them how to blow into a bottle to “inflate” and enlarge it a bit.

And did anybody notice how I said “mask” and “normal” in the same sentence and it didn’t seem weird?

Okay, THAT’s weird!!!

Categories: clay, porcelain, process

Gotta keep things moving along… pulling out another large batch of porcelain reclaim clay in the studio tonight. I let the clay pieces, trimmings & chunks dry completely before breaking them down. And then it’s all been soaking & slaking down for quite awhile. Enough of the water has evaporated that I could pull it all out of my reclaim bin and set it up on a large plaster bat. It will sit there for a few days while the excess water seeps into the plaster bat and the clay stiffens up… and then the real wedging begins!

Categories: classes, clay, lillstreet, summer camp, terra cotta

Last week was our first week back at Summer Camp!!! Lillstreet Art Center is finally re-opened for classes & camps… and it was so fun & exciting to have “people” back in the building. The energy. The creativity. The smiling faces… or well, at least I assume they were smiling behind their masks?! Anyway… summer camp was AMAZING as always. I had a wonderful time with a wonderful group of kids!!!!

Categories: clay, handbuilding, television

Okay, so YES… I do watch far too much Reality TV!!!

But, is anyone else watching “ALONE” on the History Channel? It’s kind of like a real-life “Survivor” where ten contestants need to survive the arctic wilderness for a hundred days… hunting, gathering, building a shelter & self-filming the whole time. On last week’s episode, one of them dug up some clay and was making her own pinch pot dinnerware!!! Very cool… very resourceful. I would have of course pressed twig & leaf impressions into them too!!! Cuz’ more is more!!!

Categories: clay, process, studio

So I spent part of the night “processing” my clay… taking bags of kinda-wet reclaim, kinda-dry stoneware, and some random scraps of clay left over in a few bags sitting around my studio. It’s always nice to work them all together to make a “new” clay that is all evenly blended… and to get rid of a bunch of random clay bags lying around my studio!

Instead of wedging them all together, I like to alternate thinly sliced layers of each clay. Then I take the stack and cut it in half vertically… stacking one half on top of the other half. A little slam on the table, and then I repeat the slicing, stacking & slamming. Time after time. Eventually the clay layers thin out enough that the clay appears to be blended.

You can see that every time you slice and stack, the layers are getting thinner & thinner…

Sure, it still needs a little bit of wedging… but this is so much easier than wedging all of the clays together from the start!

Categories: clay, process, studio

So my reclaimed clay has been sitting out on my plaster bat for about a week in my studio. Tonight I finally decided it was time to tackle the large pile, cut it up, layer it, slice it, layer it more, pound it into cubes and then bag it up. The “real” wedging will happen when I get around to actually using the clay to make something!

Categories: clay, porcelain, process, studio

You know I LOVE TIE-DYEbut this is a little crazy!!!

It’s not actually tie-dye, it’s just another bag of my reclaimed porcelain clay! It’s been sitting around in my studio for quite awhile. And the sides that were facing outwards to the light grew this wonderfully green “algae” of sorts. Luckily, it’s just a bit of wedging before it’s all good to go again! And since we already have face masks… no worries!

Categories: clay, process, studio

While we’re all secluded and anxiously awaiting to “reclaim” our normal lives… I thought it was time to turn out another large batch of reclaim clay! A big pile of wonderfully gooey stoneware reclaimed clay ready to set-up on my plaster bat until it solidifies enough to start wedging up again!!! Gotta love FREE CLAY!!!