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

Another pile of goopey, mucky reclaim clay piled out onto my plaster bat.
Sure it’s kind of messy… but I must admit it is a bit fun too.
Gratifying when you see it all turn back into free clay…
and you know how I love FREE CLAY!!!

Categories: process, production, stamped

Remember that first bag of clay that made thirty cylinders a week ago?…
well, they’re all stamped, trimmed & dried.

And I figured if one bag of clay is good, two bags would be better!
So I made another thirty!!! This time thrown & stamped in one sitting…
and now trimming too!!! I’ve got “big plans” for these babies!!! More to come…

 

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Categories: process, production, stamped, stamps

Another Monday.
Another week.
Another stamped platter.

Categories: process, stamped, stamps, textures

Last night before teaching class, I had just enough time to stamp another platter…
actually the demo platter I threw for class last week.

I started stamping with one stamp pressed in one… by one… by one… all the way around!

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Categories: porcelain, process, textures

So I’ve had this porcelain platter under plastic for quite some time now…
pretty much back to the “Sgraffito Surprise Challenge” for my Throwdown Class.
I threw the platter shortly after that and added a layer of black slip. Unfortunately, once it was under plastic wrap, the urgency seemed to dissipate as well. Sure, I had to spray it a couple times… but it all seems good. So I trimmed it last night and started to decorate it with some sgraffito carving.

I started with a “template” leaf shape I cut out of a Post-it Note…
that’s the first thing I found! So I traced it into the black slip with a wire needle tool.

The first cut is always the toughest!
It’s tough to COMMIT… once you start, there’s no way to turn back!

And I love using me DiamondCore Tools – especially this V-tip Carving Tool – my fave!!!
Clean, crisp, lines that carve out SO smoothly. Like buttah!

Once I had carved out the first round of petals, I started freehanding some more curves.

And then I decided to do some “shading” with some straight lines in some of the sections.

I sort of love how the trimmings just lay there… twisting, turning, scattering.
So much fun to simply blow off to remove!

Then I switched to the DiamondCore square-tip carver to clean out a few sections to make them smooth & white.

After seeing them smooth, I decided I like the texture better. So I went back in after cleaning them with my DiamondCore V-tip tool to add some more texture lines in the white sections.

Almost there… lots of trimmings piling up!!! I love a good work in progress shot!

But then I thought that there were a couple too many fully black sections. And yet I knew I didn’t want to change them to white or “fray” as they would contrast with the sections next to them. So I decided to add a few white dots… what wetter way than a quick turn of a drill bit?!

And there it is… “done” for the evening and now back under plastic.
Of course, forcing yourself to stop sgraffito-ing is sometimes the hardest part.
So I “think” I’m done… but I may need to do a few more refinements when I get back in?!

And now

Categories: pottery, process, production, stamped, stamps, textures

Another platter. Another stamp. Stamp. Stamp. Repeat.
And repeat again… and again… one by one… from plain to fully stamped!

And done. For now.
Next up is drying slowly… bisque firing… glazing… and firing again! Quite the process!!!

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, process, production, teapot

My studio cart down in the kiln room ready for loading. The bands of masking tape are just “safety belts” so everything survives the trip down in the freight elevator. WHEW… made it. Including the teapots glazed & wadded… wouldn’t want to lose another one of them!!!

Categories: glaze, process, production

Another table full of bisqued pots for last night’s marathon glazing session. Either way you look at it… there’s a LOT of pots waiting to go into this weekend’s soda kiln. Happy to report… these are all glazed, wadded and ready to go. For tonight I load the kiln!