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

Here’s a little sneaky-peek of some of my new Christmas Trees as I start unloading another glaze kiln! Just a couple more days until this weekend’s HOLIDAY HOME SHOW!!! Tons of pottery everywhere… and a lot of trees too!!!

Categories: glaze, kiln firing

Glazing & loading… time to add another shelf and LOT more trees!
This is just the glaze first kiln… I think I might try to squeeze in two more glaze kilns
before next weekend! Dare to dream…

Categories: kiln firing

Two kilns… twice the pottery… glazed & fired to cone six just in time for this weekend’s art fair in Glenview! Cooling now… cant wait to open it up to see some new treasures inside!

Categories: art fair, kiln firing, pottery, production, soda-fired

Well, here’s the “Big Reveal” of my soda kiln firing from this past weekend. It’s always a labor of love… not just making all of the work, but also all of the loading, bricking the door, firing, putting in the soda mixture, unbricking the door, unloading the pots, packing it all up, scraping the kiln shelves, kiln washing the shelves, mopping the floor, and so many other “not-so-glamorous” tasks that are all part of the process. Most people think we “just make pots.” Well, there’s a LOT more to it than that!!!

But I’m pleased… my firing came out GREAT.
Nice bright colors… not too much gray “dolphin-skin” build-up! I need to prep & price everything now… getting it ready for ART IN THE GARDEN this weekend… as well as ART IN THE BARN two weeks later!!! Can’t wait to send them off to their new “forever homes.”

Categories: kiln firing

And then, after a full day of firing the soda kiln & checking in on it throughout the day… when the final cone 10 goes down it’s time to turn it off. It’s always a weird feeling… as the noise you’ve heard all day long suddenly STOPS!!! The flames stop. The noise stops. Quiet. Done. And you just hope that everything went well… and the pots look great… although you know there’s nothing more you can really do at this point. So the silent & simmering soda kiln is a little eerie at the end. Fingers crossed as you head home for the night…

Categories: kiln firing, soda-fired

I fired the soda kiln on Saturday… and somehow the rest of the holiday weekend got away from me?!… too much playing outside I think… if that’s even possible? So I’m finally getting around to posting some pictures from my firing. It was a very smooth firing… if anything a little faster than I expected. When the final cones started dropping I was caught a little off-guard… and had a little bit of panic getting my soda mixture all ready. But all went well… and I put in the mixture every 15 minutes or so until it was done! You gotta love when the flames come shooting out like this towards the end of the firing!!!

Categories: kiln firing
Categories: kiln firing, pottery, process, production, soda-fired

It took awhile, but I finished loading the soda kiln last night. Lots of pots made it in… and quite a few pumpkins!!! Firing today & unloading Monday night… just in time for ART IN THE GARDEN next weekend! Fresh new soda-fired pots coming soon!!!

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

As usual, I added some masking tape “seat belts” to my studio rolling cart… so that all of my glazed & waded pots would make it safely down to the kiln room via the rickety freight elevator… with none of them jumpin’ off along the way!

Categories: kiln firing

Last night started with an empty soda kiln… full of possibilities! Not quite sure why the bottom floor shelves are standing vertically?… but it’s an easy fix before loading!