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

After picking-up my new clay at Continental Clay…
I also took a little side trip to a friend’s pottery studio.
Lucky for me, she’s not a big fan of reclaiming her own clay?!
So I loaded several bags of dried porcelain scraps into my car
before heading home. WHOO-HOO!!!

Just break it up… add water… soak.. a little labor… FREE CLAY!!!

Categories: clay, process, studio

One of the “benefits” of being stuck in my studio all day yesterday while firing the soda kiln… is being able to get a lot of side odd projects done. Like turning out my latest batch of reclaimed clay… now sitting on a large plaster bat drying up until it’s good to wedge up and start over with some new “free” clay!!!

Categories: clay

As seen on a shelf at Lillstreet… looks like Chuck is conducting some sort of science experiment in his clay bags?! I know it’s just an organic slimy mold growing in the bag… which will be wedged in making the clay more “plastic”… and will be burnt out during the bisque firing. No worries… perhaps a little off-putting… but also a fun little pottery petri dish!

Categories: clay, lillstreet, process

So now that we’re in between class sessions at Lillstreet… looks like our clay monitors have some catching up to do! The class reclaim buckets are overflowing… in the best way possible! I love the precarious balance of that big pile.

You know my Summer Camp kids would never allow this to happen… as pressing the chunks through the metal grid lid is one of their favorite projects!

Categories: classes, clay, surface decoration

Just a few close-ups from my class demo where we introduced colored slips as a great opportunity for textures, patterns & surface decorating! Gooey spiral, chattering & squiggly fun!!!

Categories: challenge, classes, clay, handbuilding

The next “event” of The Pottery Olympics was to see who could roll the longest continuous coil using two pounds of clay. The rule was that if your coil breaks, you cannot squish is back together! You could keep rolling with what was left…as we were looking for the longest coil in 10 minutes!

After rolling, the team-mates were then challenged to make the tallest free-standing “tower” cylinder using the coil. And yes, we even’d out the playing field by making the tower builders all use the same length of coil. Turns out the big discussion was if the one in the center was indeed a “cylinder” or not?… your vote???

Categories: challenge, classes, clay

he first “event” of our Pottery Olympics last night was to have each team cut certain weights of clay off the big block. They had like nine different pieces to cut… but the twist was that they could NOT use a scale!!! They had to do it “logically”… or some tackled it “analytically”… but it was amazing how close they all got to the correct weights!

Which we did double-check with a scale before awarding points for first, second & third places!

Categories: clay, lillstreet, summer camp

Another one of the benefits of Lillstreet postponing the start of our Winter session by a week… the overflowing buckets of reclaim clay from last session should be taken care of! Fresh new reclaimed clay for everyone!!! Hopefully.

And let me just say…
This pile of overflowing clay would NEVER have happened if my Summer Campers were still around! They love pushing it through the grate… breaking it down into smaller pieces as intended! This pile-up would never have happened in my camp!!!

Categories: clay, process, studio

Goopey-gloppy fun! Another wonderful pile of reclaimed clay. Lots of scraps, trimmings & dried clay reconstituted into new clay!!! Now I just need to let it sit here on my plaster bat for a few days to help suck out the extra moisture… and then it’s just a LOT of wedging until it’s back to good re-usable FREE CLAY!

Categories: clay, process, production

Well, we’ve finally made it to the end of the month… and I can’t believe tomorrow is already October!!! How did THAT happen??? Anyway, the end of the month also means another CHAIN for the Monthly Chain Challenge! I started awhile back… with this little pile of extruded fun!!!