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

Door bricked. Peeps pulled. Kiln cooling. Unloading tonight.

Categories: kiln firing

It was a rather “late” night of loading the soda kiln last night. Started late, finished even later. But, I got a lot of work squeezed in. So it’s a sequence of posts & shelves to build up from the bottom filling with pots & pieces along the way. The back stack is just one shelf wide, whereas the front stack is two shelves. Eventually, you run out of room (and shelves) in the kiln. Brick up the door, candle for a bit, then turn it off and go home for a very quick “nap” before coming back to fire it off all day long!

Back stack…

Front stack…

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, process, production, studio

I have a great rolling cart in my studio that my Dad built for me years ago. Turns out that when I fill the cart with glazed work, it pretty much equals a full soda kiln. So when I’m done glazing, I need to take it downstairs on the rickety freight elevator to the kiln room. I like to add bands of masking tape to the outer edges to keep the pots safe on the shelves during transit… kinda like a masking tape “seat belt”!!!

Categories: kiln firing

An empty soda kiln with a beautiful layer of soda build-up
making a stunning “patina” on the brick interior.
Soon to be filled with pots. Layered with shelves. Ready to soda-fire tomorrow.


Categories: glaze, kiln firing, mugs, production, stamped

A quick glimpse at some of the mugs that came out of my most recent cone 6 glaze kiln LATE Friday night… just in time to make their way to ART IN THE BARN. Some might have still been a bit warm?!

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

Always a good sign. Just one last kiln done and cooling for this weekend’s
ART IN THE BARN. Not so bad… my third kiln this week!!!



Categories: bowls, glaze, holiday, kiln firing, mugs

With ART IN THE BARN getting closer & closer…
and so many “Ghouls” still to make… I decided to squeeze in one more kiln firing just because I can. So I threw together some quick replenishment pieces that will get a quick cone six glaze firing early next week… just under the wire. Sure, it’s not my best packed kiln. But it does have a lot of mugs & bowls for ART IN THE BARN. As well as a little holiday surprise on the top layer!

Bisque Kiln Layer #1my favorite thing to make... mugs, mugs and more mugs!!!

Bisque Kiln Layer #2 – some stacked bowls and small trays for salt & pepper shaker sets.

Bisque Kiln Layer #3 - more bowls, more trays, and some ikebana vase tops.

Bisque Kiln Layer #4 – which in this case turned out to be a low-fire GLAZE kiln layer!!!
The green glaze is actually a low-fire clear glaze. After firing, these little pumpkins will show their true colors… warts and all.





Categories: kiln firing

Always a good sign…


Categories: kiln firing

All too soon my deadlines are creeping up on me… and I’ve got to get my act together if I’m going to have everything ready for ART IN THE GARDEN. So I’ve fast-dried a few things and they’re going in for a bisque firing. Layer by layer… a LOT more to be glazing!!!

Layer #1 – bowls, platters, mugs and more.

Layer #2 – mugs, mugs, more mugs… and some fun filler stuff.

Layer #3 – soap dispensers, mugs, fortune cookies and some collaboration pieces!

Layer #4 – more collaboration pieces… and some collaboration trays to go with them!

Layer #4-1/2 – pretty much the same… just more trays and some clay “rubble.”

And you know I love a well-packed kiln…
especially when it all piles in and comes so close to the top.
It kills me to leave empty space in a kiln… NOT this time!!!

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Unloaded my soda kiln last night. Lots of bright colors…
not all browns & grays much to the chagrin of my soda students.
See, a soda firing CAN be colorful!

Now to pack it all up for this weekend’s art fair in Schaumburg!