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

And for those of you who keep wondering or asking about how I soda-fire my ornaments… well, here you go! I make these little clay tripods, bisque fire them, dip the tips in kiln wash and then place each ornament upside down on the tripod. Sure, one or two of them might “jump off” during the firing… but it’s a small price to pay for a lot of beautiful ornaments that have nice soda flashing all around each ornament.

And then the next question?… YES, I throw the tripods away after each firing.
Maybe I could re-use them?… but my gut tells me no.
I know that pieces shrink during the final soda-firing. And I’m afraid that if I use an “already-shrunk” tripod with a “still-to-be-shrunk” ornament, the difference in shrinkage during firing might not work well… and there might be some “shifting” during the firing and ornaments might fall off. So I hedge my bets… and make new tripods for every ornament firing!

Categories: kiln firing, mugs, pottery, process, production

After a couple hours of “Pottery Tetris”… I finally got my soda kiln filled to the brim last night. Lots of pots & ornaments that will be coming out just in time for next weekend’s HOLIDAY HOME SHOW!!!

The Back Stack…

The Front Stack…

Categories: glaze, organization, process, production

My studio cart works especially well when I’m glazing & wadding for a soda kiln. When my cart is full… it pretty much equals a full kiln. So then I put these masking tape “seat belts” on the shelves so no pots can jump off during their ride down the rickety freight elevator to the kiln room.

Categories: glaze, ornaments, process, production

These ornaments have been wiped off so the glaze stays in each stamp… headed into my soda kiln when I load this evening. These will be fired upside down on little tripods… get a metal ring after firing… and then make their big debut at My Holiday Home Show next weekend!!!!

Categories: glaze, ornaments, process, production

Adding a bit of tenmoku glaze into the stamped impressions on my latest batch of holiday ornaments. I’ll wipe off the top surface to leave the glaze neatly inlaid in each stamp.

Categories: glaze, mugs, process, production

Let the glazing begin… lots of mugs getting some glaze inlaid in the stamps,
and a liner glaze inside. Prepping lots of pots for this weekend’s soda kiln firing!!!

Categories: art fair, process, production, stamped, stamps

Stamping up another batch of small cups & tea bowls.
Adding texture as my Holiday Home Show is just two weeks away!!!

MY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS : Saturday, November 23rd & Sunday, November 24th

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

Adding some colored flashing slip accents to this latest batch of mugs. They will go into my soda kiln next weekend where these muted slip colors will react in the soda atmosphere to create some brighter colors & magical effects… if all goes as planned.

Categories: ornaments, process, production

Working on another batch of Christmas ornaments.
Still need to add the cap & ring… and then some colored flashing slip accents!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Making handles. Making mugs. Making more, more, MORE!!
Gotta start my HOLIDAY HOME SHOW with over a hundred mugs… or more?!

Starting with little nuggets of wedged clay…
then slammed on the table to make this little carrot shapes.

Then I pull my handles the traditional way with a bit of water and a lot of friction. I like to flip them into loops like this before I let them set-up. I think it’s easier to set 90% of the curve now BEFORE they start to stiffen up.

Then I cut out a good portion of the handles and attach them to the mugs…
score, slip, attach, repeat.