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

It was a big night of glazing last night. A lot of bisqued pots needing to be glazed for this weekend’s soda kiln firing. I start by adding some tenmoku glaze accents as inlays in the stamped patterns. When it dries, I carefully wipe off the top surface to keep the glaze only in the stamped recesses. Lots of glazing… lots of wiping. And that’s just for starters!

Categories: classes, glaze

Last night I taught another beginning wheelthrowing class as a sub for Jayson. He had requested two things… stamping and bubble glazing demos for his students. DONE! Sure, the stamping is the easy one… but the bubbles are more FUN FOR EVERYONE!!!

So we started with a base coat of a single glaze. For my bowl, I went with a shiny white glaze for a good clean bottom layer. Thinking it would be a good clean canvas for the colored bubbles on top.

Once that base layer was dry, I cleaned off the bottom and prepared the bubbles. So we took a small disposable plastic cup, and filled it with maybe a 1/4″ of glaze. I let the student choose, so my bubbles were a shiny purple colored glaze. We added a few drops of DAWN dishwashing liquid and a straw. Stir it up and start to blow some bubbles… like you’re six again! Just don’t inhale!!!

As the bubbles start to accumulate and fill the cup, get ready to “spill” them onto your pre-glazed piece. As the cup overflows with bubbles, just let them gather on the sies of you rpot. We were using a banding wheel so we could easily rotate the pot to get the bubbles all over. A slower steady blowing into the straw seems to get larger bubbles. Forceful fast blowing seems to create smaller bubbly foam.

Once you’ve covered your pot with bubbles, just sit back and watch the magic happen. The bubbles start to pop all by themselves leaving thsi really great pattern of glaze “residue” behind. Leave it as it is… or add more bubbles if you want?!

We decided to go one step further… cause “more is more”, right?... and we added a second layer of bubbles in a different color. So my second layer is a flat blue glaze. If you look closely, you can see the “purple” bubbles made the white pattern, and the “blue” bubbles made the darker beige color. Who knows how this is going to turn out after firing?… but I bet it’s going to be pretty darn groovy!!!

After my demo, some of the students had their bisque ready to go… let the bubbling begin!!!

One guy even decided to double-down… errr, triple-down?.. and go for bubble glazing three mugs all at one time! Crazy, right?…. I LOVE IT!!!

SO he covered all three with bubbly foaming glaze… and you can see how the pattern stats to show up as the bubbles pop by themselves.

A very random, spider-webby, splattery kind of glaze effect. I hope I get a chance to see these when they come out of the kiln…. so guarantee since this wasn’t my class or my students?! But we’ll see… I’ll keep an eye out for them!

Categories: glaze, pottery, stamped

Don’t you love it when the sunlight streaming in through a frozen window hits that plate just perfectly?!

Categories: glaze, holiday, organization, pottery, stamped

Still wrapping up some presents… and don’t you love when the box fits perfectly?!!!
Good thing I had pizza for dinner last night.

Oh, and by the way, if this gift turns out to be yours,
please act surprised when you open it!!!

Categories: glaze

Okay, so NOT every plate is perfect.
I knew that this one had a small hairline crack after bisque.
In my “usual” spot when I trim a bit too thin right along the foot ring.

But the crack looked small so I decided to give it a try…
loaded it up with glaze in hopes that it might fill itself in?! HA!!!
This trick almost never works!!!

I knew that, but thought I would share it for all of my students
who ask if they can get away with it… and the answer is still no. Sorry.

Categories: color, glaze, pottery, stamped

Here are some of the beauties that were in Monday night’s cone six glaze kiln.
Just replenishing the shelves a bit for Saturday’s Second Holiday Home Show!
Plenty of plates & platters just in time for the holidays for sharing with your family & friends!

Okay, so this also shows that I might “need to” expand my cone six color palette.
Anyone have a good cone 6 glaze recipe to share?
Hopefully a nicely saturated color glaze that pools & breaks in all the right places!!! Thanks.

Oh yeah, and the one with the big crack from my bad trimming…
and the one that I accidentally dropped a kiln post on top of.
Yep, it was stuck to the bottom of a shelf as I lifted it out… and it popped off… CRACK!!!



Categories: glaze, pottery, stamped

I unloaded my final kiln for the holidays last night! Quite a few beautiful plates & platters just in time for this Saturday’s Second Holiday Home Show. Need a quick gift or two?… c’mon by this Saturday from 10:00am-6:00pm.

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, production, stamped

A little late-night glazing last night…
just one last kiln firing for this Saturday’s Holiday Home Show!
Mostly plates & platters coming out in fun cone six colors just in time for the big party!
This Saturday 12/16 at my place from 10:00am-6:00pm! C’mon by!!!



Categories: glaze, mugs, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

The holidays are quickly approaching and it’s time for another online sale!
A quick chance to grab up one of sixteen mugs!!!
The perfect gift for anyone on your holiday shopping list… even if that someone is YOU!!!

So the plan is much like the last online sale…
I’m posting photos of all sixteen mugs here on my blog. Both sides of each mug for comparison. Some are the same on both sides, while others have some dramatic flashing effects from the soda-kiln firing!

Then this Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00am CST, I will post the “official” Photo Album on my Facebook pottery page. Once posted on Facebook, it’s gonna be a first come, first served race to the end. The first person to post a “MINE” Comment on a photo in the Facebook Photo Album with “claim” their prize. The online sale will continue until midnight Friday, December 15th.

Feel free to post comments here on the mugs, but keep in mind that ONLY the first person to Comment on Facebook will get the mug! Use this blog posting as your “window shopping” opportunity before the store opens!

Each mug is priced at $50 which includes shipping & handling (within the contiguous US please.) And remember, that all mugs are handmade and one-of-a-kind. As well as food-safe, dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe… just not gravity-safe!

Click here to go to my pottery Facebook page. Be sure to click LIKE so you’re ready for the big sale this Wednesday!

Mug 1 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 2 – soda-fired porcelain

Mug 3 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 4 – cone 6 glazed stoneware

Mug 5 – soda-fired porcelain

Mug 6 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 7 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 8 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 9 – soda-fired porcelain

Mug 10 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 11 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 12 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 13 – cone 6 glazed stoneware

Mug 14 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 15 – soda-fired stoneware

Mug 16 – soda-fired stoneware







Categories: bowls, glaze, stamped

A simple bowl, spiral bottom, repetitive stamping… and a pine cone for the fun of it!