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

So remember that stray ornament that jumped off the shelf and into the firebox during my last soda firing?! Well, I had just taken it a set it on a table in my studio. Kinda forgot about it. But since then, the crusty residue has disintegrated and fallen off into a powder. And now we can see more of the ornament… and just how much of it was “eaten-away” by the excessive soda mixture & flames hitting it in the fire box. The walls are now super-thin… and actually see-through in a couple places!!!

Categories: ornaments, soda-fired

So for the most part my soda kiln was beautiful… no glops from the ceiling, no kiln wash flakes in the bowls, no unhappy accidents. Except… for this one ornament that decided to make a “swan dive” all the way down into the firebox sometime during the firing. Then after a sitting right in the flame for so long, the ornaments is now overly-blasted with soda and the hanging ring has practically dissolved into nothing!!!

Here it is… and a normal ornament that didn’t jump for comparison. They both started out with the same hanging ring. Amazing what a too much flame & too much soda can do to the clay?!!! Kinda makes it look like a shadow…

Categories: ornaments

Some say diversion, some say productive…
either way, tonight found myself adding some inlaid tenmoku glaze
to my latest batch of wheelthrown & stamped ornaments for no apparent reason.

Did I need to do them tonight?… NO.
Did I enjoy the random tangent… of course!
It’s never too early to make Christmas ornaments, right?

Categories: kiln firing, ornaments, process, studio

As I was leaving the studio today, I left this festive “bowl-full-of-fun” in the kiln room just In case someone has room in their bisque kiln. I’m guessing these might there for quite awhile… luckily, dust will burn right off!!!

Categories: ornaments, production

When I first started making this batch of ornaments, I thought I was getting a headstart. Now I fear with everything getting cancelled… that I might be right on schedule for the next art fairs that “might be” running!??? This is just plain WEIRD!!!

Categories: ornaments, process, production, studio, tools

Trimming & finishing some stuff today. Trying to get a bunch of stuff done in the studio. So much easier with my Bison Trimming Tools & Giffin Grip!!

Categories: ornaments

Its never too soon to start making more Christmas ornaments, right? Even if today is supposed to warm up into the fifties?!!! Which means I’m throwing this morning… before I head out this afternoon for a “warm” lakefront bike ride!!!

Categories: artists, classes, ornaments

So excited that Christine’s latest batch of ornaments came out of the kiln beautifully just in time for Christmas! She made her first ornaments in my class last session and soda-fired them in my kiln. But now this batch she played even more with underglazes with a clear glaze in a high-fire kiln. Very festive & very fun!!!

Categories: ornaments, soda-fired, stamped

There’s always room for one more ornament… so remember that your tree would look better with a handmade, wheelthrown & soda-fired ornament on it… or two, or three… And not-quite-coincidentally, I’m hosting my last HOLIDAY HOME SHOW this Saturday from 10:00am-6:00pm. My friend Amy Taylor will be joining me with all of her beautiful jewelry too!

Categories: ornaments

After dinner, I helped my Dad put up his Christmas tree…and ran across some of the crafty ornaments I made when I was a bit younger. The vintage family ornament collection!!! Yes… I did a LOT of macrame back in the day!!!

And yes, nothing says Christmas like six different kinds of pasta, glue, white paint and a thumbtack!!!