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

So now the soda kiln is empty once more… although I do still have some cleaning to do! Ugh. Gotta scrape the shelves, re-kiln wash them, clean the fire box & tidy up the kiln room. Ahhh… the glamorous side of soda-firing!

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

A beautiful firing in the new Lillstreet soda kiln! So excited with the colors, the glazes & flashing effects throughout the kiln. No dry spots. No gray “dolphin skin”. No glops from the soda. Just a lot of pretty pots… many of which will be going to ART IN THE GARDEN this weekend! Now I just need to clean ’em, price ’em & pack ’em!

Categories: kiln firing

The first sneak peek… pretty pleased so far…

Categories: kiln firing

Several hours later… and YES, it was a very long day on Saturday… the kiln fired nicely and ended in a blaze of glory! Always fun to see the flames sneaking out of whatever gaps they can find in the bricks. With the new kiln & bricked door, it all seemed pretty tight as there weren’t as many flames shooting out as usual. Now I’m just hoping that everything inside turns out great?! We’ll all find out soon… as I will be unloading the kiln later tonight!!!

Categories: kiln firing

Always exciting to get the firing started. After weeks & weeks of making the work, days of glazing & hours of loading… it feels great to have everything in the kiln starting off a long day of firing! Okay, so I didn’t get it started quite as early as I had hoped… but oh well…

Categories: kiln firing, process

After a lengthy loading of the soda kiln… it felt good to finally have it all bricked up! It was late Friday night… looking forward to an early start firing on Saturday morning!

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, process, production, soda-fired, stamped

So Friday night I loaded the soda kiln… layer by layer… brick by brick… pot by pot. It always takes longer than I think it will. But it’s important to think it through while loading to allow some air space & flow through the kiln for good soda exposure… while at the same time getting in as many pots as possible! The more pots you squeeze in, the more pots you can divide the kiln costs over. Can’t wait to see how these turn out… as many of them will be going to ART IN THE GARDEN next weekend!

Categories: kiln firing

An empty kiln is always filled with so many possibilities. This will be my first firing in the NEW Lillstreet soda kiln. It was just rebuilt about a month ago, and has three or four firings under its belt. Nice to see the soda build-up already “glazing” the bricks inside! I hope the new kiln fires well for me!!!

Categories: kiln firing, production

Okay, so maybe we’ve re-learned that important lesson that I was pushing too far to the brink?… and maybe you CAN’T throw something on the wheel in the morning, finish it in the afternoon and then put it in the kiln that some evening. Looks like an 11-hour production time frame might just be a little too quick???

I mean, I did have more that survived than those that blew up. So maybe next time I need eleven and a half hours??? HA!!! Ya’ learn some, ya’ lose some!!!

Categories: kiln firing

Always a good sign… four simple letters… and one step closer to next weekend’s soda kiln firing! Hopefully everything survived the bisque firing and I’ll soon have a LOT of glazing & wadding to do!