Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: mugs, patterns, production, stamped, textures, tools

“Hybrid mugs” assembled, trimmed & handled… and the MKM Pottery Tools that did most of the hard work. Sure, I might have had a tiny-something to do with it too?! But having good tools always makes it more fun!!!

Categories: patterns, textures, tools

Getting ready to tackle another batch of “hybrid mugs” with some of my favorite MKM Pottery Tools. Great hand rollers for making textured slabs before I turn them into fun mugs!

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

Lots of stamping… lots of patterns… lots of textures! Always fun using my own handmade clay stamps to create the surfaces on my mugs. All pressed in one by one… by one… by one…

Categories: bowls, glaze, patterns, surface decoration

Just one of my “not-so-basic” class demo bowls… after a banded layer of white slip, then carved through with leaf patterns. A quick layer of an amber celadon glaze tops it off. And I’m kinda diggin’ the sparkly gold flecks in the pooled areas.

Categories: patterns, stamped, surface decoration, textures

A lot of stamping yesterday… followed by a LOT of colored flashing slip accents painted in all the right places today!!! You know I work best under deadline… rush, rush… it’s all coming together!!!

Categories: handbuilding, mugs, patterns, textures, wheelthrowing

Pretty excited about this first batch of “hybrid” mugs… half wheelthrown, half handbuilt… using my new MKM Pottery Tools for some great patterns & textures. I’m pretty sure the soda kiln is going to LOVE making all of these textures really pop!!!

Categories: bowls, patterns, surface decoration, tools

I took one of my class demo bowls that was covered with white slip & a few banded details… and started carving into it. Love my DiamondCore Tools for clean & crisp carving lines. Going right through the leatherhard white slip & digging into the darker clay body for a nice contrast. The details & pattern will look great after glazing… as the color difference & grooved carving lines work well with the glaze!

Categories: classes, glaze, patterns, textures

Last night in class, one of my Beginner’s has started doing these wonderful carvings into her pots… and wondering how to best glaze them to show-off the textures & patterns. We decided to paint black underglaze into the design, gently wipe off the top layer leaving it only in the grooves… then spraying a thin translucent glaze over the entire pot. Can’t wait to see how Kristen’s carved masterpieces turn out!!! She’s so excited…. and well, she should be!!!

Categories: bowls, classes, color, patterns, process, textures

This week in my SURFACE DECORATIONS class, we tackled a couple different techniques for a fun tie-dyed effect… you all know I’m a kinda big fan of tie-dye!!!

So we started with a “squiggly” version… where I took a large plat platter, painted a layer of thick slip on top, and then dribbled some blobs of colored underglazes on top of it. Not really sure how this will work… but I’m always ready to try something new… it’s just clay, right?!

And then I took a plastic rib with a scalloped edge… a cake decorating tool… and started to squiggle through the layers of slip & underglazes to blend, blur & texture the plate. In hindsight, I kinda wish the plastic rib were either softer or thinner… as it was a bit tough to get some good squiggle up by the curve of the rim.

So here it is so far… I’m going to let it dry slowly and trim the bottom when it gets leatherhard. Still contemplating if it might “need” a bit of stamped texture somewhere?! And if so… where???

After bisque firing, I’m assumiong I’ll probably just sue some clear glaze to make the colors “pop” and give it all some shine. The downside might be… that I’m not fully confident that the colors of the underglazes will actually “survive” the high-fire cone 10 temperatures. But we’ll find out soon enough…

Not quite traditional “tie-dye”…. but pretty fun & groovy nonetheless!

Categories: bowls, classes, patterns, textures, tools

This week in my SURFACE DECORATIONS class, we did a bit of carving for texture & pattern! I started with two bowls with slightly thicker walls, trimmed at leatherhard, and then we sat down to carve. Using my sharp DiamondCore Tools gives me nice crisp lines, grooves & incisions… and I’m always willing to let my students give them a try too… a mix of carving tools & trimming tools for an assortment of lines!!!