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

Started glazing some mugs today… adding some tenmoku glaze into the stamped impressions. These mugs will be in my next soda kiln firing, so they don’t need a lot of glaze. The soda kiln atmosphere will take care of “glazing” the exterior!

Categories: architecture, color, glaze

I’ve always been intrigued by old-school glazed bricks… especially when they’ve survived in fairly good condition on old city buildings. These ones are particularly cool on a special ST. PATRICK’S DAY today!!!

Categories: flowers, glaze, vases

Here’s a great story… follow along…

So I made some plain vases for my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class for their Glazing Challenge. I had an extra one, so my friend & fellow teacher Chelsea glazed it during the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class. It came out beautiful. And then Chelsea gifted it to Clara for her birthday… and Clara is in my THROWDOWN class. So what started in THROWDOWN is now back for good with a THROWDOWN for good!

Happy Birthday Clara!!!

Categories: glaze, mugs

It’s never good when a ceramic orange slips off its stilts in the kiln… and rolls over to join with two green mugs! Whoops… so sorry that your amazing faux orange now has two permanent friends Tracy!!!

Categories: classes, glaze

Last night in my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, we looked at the glazed results from last week’s glazing challenge. It was the first time we’re ever done a Glazing Challenge for the THROWDOWN… and it was great to once again push them out of their comfort zone!

As a quick reminder, I gave them all plain bisqued cylinders and all they had to do was glaze them as best the could… considering their design, glaze application techniques & creativity.

It was so much fun to see all of the cylinder glazed & out of the cone 10 reduction kiln. It was tough to glaze them and “imagine” what they thought they would turn out after melting together tin the kiln!

WILL‘s cylinder – layered, sprayed, wax resist, ombre’.

CLARA‘s cylinder – underglaze pencil, sprayed & splattered glazes.

CLAIRE‘s cylinder – underglaze painted & dotted, then dipped.

TRACY‘s cylinder – dipped, overlapped, painted.

MELANIE‘s cylinder – dipped, dotted & dripped.

HELEN‘s cylinder – dipped, angle dipped, wood ash, bubbled, stain dripped.

CHELSEA‘s cylinder – dipped, banded & painted.
Chelsea isn’t actually in our class… but I had an extra cylinder to be glazed and she was in the other room teaching her class. So I offered her the chance to play along with my class… and she jumped right in without hesitation. Okay, she might have been a bit of a “ringer” as she taught a class last session all about creative glazing alternatives!!!

Categories: challenge, glaze, surface decoration

One of my favorite surprises during our Glaze Throwdown Challenge?… watching Clara pull out an underglaze pencil and do these wonderful doodles on the side of her cylinder! I can’t wait to see how they look after the glaze firing… hoping they don’t get bugged out!!!

Categories: challenge, glaze

For the second challenge during this week’s LILLSTREET THROWDOWN, we moved to the Glaze Room for the first-ever Glazing Throwdown! I wanted them all to start out with the same canvas”… so I pre-made & bisqued plain, smooth cylinders for them.

The challenge was do do the coolest glaze on these possible… and the real trick is we won’t see what they’ve done until AFTER they’ve been fired!!! We’re hoping for the best… as there were multiple dips, layers, underglazes, dots, sprayed glazes, underglaze pencils, bubbles, squeeze bottles, wax resists and a lot more going on here! We’ll all have to wait to see the results!

Categories: classes, creativity, glaze, vases

Last session, my friend & fellow teacher Chelsea was doing a class on different glazing techniques. And I “just happened” to have this large un-stamped & un-glazed vase on my teacher’s shelf… leftover from my Surface Decoration class almost a year ago! Good intentions for a good demo… but I never quite got around to it in class… don’t judge!

So I offered it up for Chelsea to play with as one of her class demos! Everyone knows that glazing is my least favorite step of the process… so if someone else volunteers, I’m all in! And she did an amazing job with several different glazes & techniques all playing well together! Thanks Chelsea… you can glaze more of my stuff any time!!!

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, pottery, stamped

Okay, so it’s been a hot minute… a couple weeks since… a couple holidays in between… but I’m finally getting around to showing off Christine’s beautiful pieces that came out of her VERY FIRST kiln firing!!!

Christine has been in my pottery classes for several sessions now… Beginning, Intermediate, Throwdown, Surface Decorations, etc. She’s always been on a quest to gather as much information as she can. She’s like a sponge in class trying to soak everything in. She’s been experimenting with everything she can get her hands on… lots of test tiles, underglazes, overglazes, hi-fire, low-fire. etc. She’s been getting a wide range of results – some beautiful, some not-so-much. So we’ve been discussing some other “options” for glazing of her work… particularly some of the stamped platters & bowls still unglazed from our Surface Decoration class almost a year ago!

One of the options we were discussing was Cone Six glazes. I’ve been doing some cone six firings myself with my work, and she’s liked the effects. So she expressed interest in trying that option… except Lillstreet doesn’t offer Cone Six firings to the students. So I worked with her independently as a friend & mentor instead of as her “teacher.” She glazed up her pieces with some commercial glazes she had purchased online… a group of “celadons” from Amaco. Loaded & fired… and now for the BIG REVEAL!!!…. sorry for the delay…

Here we go…
She started unloading the kiln… her first kiln ever! She had to learn how to load a kiln, stack the shelves, use the posts, etc. And now the excitement of her first kiln unloading!!! Shelf-by-shelf… revealing the treasures inside!

It was SO MUCH FOR ME to see the sheer joy & excitement on Christine’s face… or at least her forehead… every time she pulled out another piece! Large platters with a lot of handpainted underglaze details…

Or my favorite… surprise, surprise… this amazing stamped platter from our Surface Decoration class last Spring.

And a few more stamped beauties…

Followed by the bottom shelf with a lot of great colors! And especially intrigued by how the celadons from Amaco are making all of her textures & details really POP!!!

Plus, there were some wonderful “retro” mugs in her handpainted collection… so vibrant & fun when fired at Cone 6.

And some great “ombre” gradation mugs with sprayed glazes making the blend!

And again… my favorite stamped platter!!! Well done Christine!
I can’t wait to see where the success of this latest “test” by Christine takes her down her pottery path… as I’ll see her again in my class in the next session!

Categories: glaze, platters, stamped

Looks like I might need to start baking some holiday cookies to cover this pretty stamped platter?! Unless someone out there would like to do it for me???