Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: bowls, classes, patterns, textures

I started this “beveled bowl” carving project as a demo for my class a couple weeks back. It has taken a “little longer” than expected… a little bit here, a little bit there… and I feel like I could keep “cleaning it up” forever. But tonight I finally called it “done.” Of course I had to keep telling myself “It’s just a demo, it’s just a demo…” I started by throwing a bowl with slightly thicker walls than usual. And let it stiffen up a soft leatherhard so I could trim a nice foot. Then I brought the bowl to class to start the demo. I used my Xacto knife to incise horizontal lines while the bowl was on the wheel. Then I moved it over to a banding wheel and incised vertical lines. Hopefully evenly spaced… I eye-balled it, so who knows… but it created sixteen sections. The incising is to establish “sections” that will be carved, as well as cut lines so the bevels “pop out” better later. Do NOT carve all the way through the bowl!!!

Then it’s time to start carving… I attack one square at a time. Beveling the section from top to bottom in one row, and then bottom to top in the adjacent rows. The effect is alternating bevel directions all the way around the bowl. Yes, this is going to take awhile… sixteen vertical sections and five horizontal bands. That makes 80 squares to carve!!!

One by one. All the way around. Trying to keep it clean and consistent. Of course you’ll need to go over each section a couple times. Some come out cleaner than others… some will be a struggle. I would also recommend not doing this trick with clay that has a loft of grog in it. The smoother the clay the cleaner the carving will be without revealing a lot of rough grog chunks.

Of course I could keep going.. keep carving… keep cleaning. The smoother the lines the better, but seriously, at some point I just had to call this one done. It’s JUST a class demo after all. A lot of work to show off a fun carving “trick.” Hopefully the glaze will cover up the parts that I “gave up” on!!! And maybe a little Dremel sanding before glazing if worse comes to worse… and my OCD kicks in before it gets glazed. I could work on this one forever…

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Categories: patterns, process, stamped

Another night of stamping while watching the Grammy’s.
Adding a little texture around the rim of an otherwise “normal” round platter.

Categories: classes, patterns, stamped, textures

Last Sunday, I subbed for my friend Catherine’s Soda Firing class. We chatted, toured my studio, discussed & solved “all of the problems in the clay world”… and then I told them it could be “Demo On Demand”… and I ended up stamping a large platter!!!

 

Categories: mugs, patterns, porcelain, process, production, stamped, stamps

So I spent the evening doing a bit of stamping. I had a few cylinders that were on the wetter-side of leatherhard… perfect for stamping! So here’s a quick tour of the cylinder before & after AND the stamps that did the magic!!! Some are stoneware reclaim, and others are porcelain. Now all stamped, patterned & textured!!!

Next up?….
A bit more drying under plastic, then trimming… and then HANDLES!!!

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Categories: creativity, inspiration, patterns, process

What a fun technique… pressing colors through patterns? Who’da thunk? I will definitely need to try this one. Might be a fun project to try with my students? Thank you Ceramic Arts Daily for sharing Meredith Host’s video excerpt from her DVD : “Form, Pattern and Underglaze: Wheel Throwing and Decoration.”

Click here to see the excerpt from Meredith Host’s video.

Categories: artists, patterns, rusty

One of my favorite pieces of rusty metal. This beautifully carved shovel creates such great shadows on my dining room wall. Beautiful artwork by New Orleans artist Denice Bizot.

For more rusty shovels and other beautiful things, click here for Denice’s website.

Categories: patterns, rusty

It’s “Wrought Iron Wednesday” … and you know how I love a good piece of rusty metal.

Categories: patterns, pottery, production, stamped

Here are the “glamour shots” of tonight’s freshly stamped platter.
For the mesmerizing video of this platter, click over to my pottery Facebook page.

Categories: patterns, soda-fired, stamped, textures
Categories: patterns, process