Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: art fair, lillstreet, ornaments, soda-fired, stamped

Kickin’ off the Lillstreet Holiday Open House with plenty of wheelthrown stamped & soda-fired ornaments!

Categories: ornaments, soda-fired, stamped

Started out by making another batch of wheelthrown ornaments. I like to throw them off-the-hump… making the pointed “finial” to the top.

And then I do a bit of stamping… and trim off the bottom into a smoothly rounded dome. Then I add a “cap” with a ring to hang the ornament. A little bit of handbuilding on top of the wheelthrown ornament.

And then I added some colored flashing slip accents to some of the ornaments.
Bands of color going around and some dots of color in the center of some of the stamps.

After they’re bisque fired, I get them ready for the soda-kiln. I make these little tripods ahead of time, bisque fire them and dip the tips in kiln wash. When I’m loading the kiln, I carefully balance the ornament upside down on the tripod.

After the firing… if everything went well
the ornaments are now fired and still standing on the tripods!

As I unload the kiln, it’s always so much fun to find these little cuties coming out.

So for now they’re done… but when I get home I’ll be adding a metal ring through the top loop to hang the ornaments with, And in case you’re wondering… they are a LOT lighter than you would think!!! Yes, if you throw them thin, and trim then even thinner… you can make some pretty lightweight ornaments!

There will be LOTS of ornaments available this weekend!!!

My HOLIDAY HOME SHOW this weekend.
Saturday, November 17th & Sunday, November 18 from 10:00am-6:00pm both days!

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Categories: ornaments, process, production, tools

Doing a little trimming on the bottom of the ornament I threw as a “throwing-off-the-hump” demo for my class. So much easier with my Giffin Grip holding it tight, spinning it fast!

Categories: ornaments, stamped

Summer Camp has ended and soon enough it will be Christmas!!! Say it isn’t so!!!!…
But just in case, I’ll be ready with another batch of soon-to-be soda-fired
wheelthrown ornaments!

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Categories: ornaments, production, tools

Never too soon to make more Christmas ornaments, right???
Just trimming the bottoms of my latest batch… made SO much easier
with my favorite Giffin Grip & Bison Trimming Tool.
Spinnin’ & trimmin’ before adding the ring on the top to hang them from!

Categories: ornaments, soda-fired, stamped

Never too soon for Christmas ornaments, right? Well here’s what they look like fresh out of the soda kiln. Bright & shiny. Next I will add a bent wire ring on the top to hang them from. And since I love making them… I’m sure there’s another batch or three in my not-so-distant future!

Categories: ornaments, process, soda-fired

Some of you have asked how I fire my wheelthrown holiday ornaments. I posted a couple “before” photos… and these are the “after.” Still standing on their little tripods. With the tips dipped in kiln wash so they don’t soda-fuse to the ornaments during firing.

Categories: kiln firing, ornaments, process

Many people have asked how I fire my holiday ornaments. I tell them “upside-down.” Well, here’s the real secret revealed… I prop them up on a tripod I make out of clay, bisque and dip in kiln wash. A little balancing trick so I can get soda-fired effects around all sides of the ornament. Hope it was worth the wait!!!

Categories: glaze, ornaments

My first batch of holiday ornaments are ready to go into the soda kiln as well.

Categories: ornaments, production

So Winter is slowly coming to an end… but it’s still holiday festive in my studio
as I’m trying to finish up this latest batch of holiday ornaments.
I’ve added all of the handbuilt caps & rings to the trimmed tops of each ornament.

And then I painted them with some colored flashing slip accents. My hope is that these colors will “POP” a lot more in the soda kiln. There should be some oranges and mustard yellows in here somewhere when we’re done!

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