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

So I trimmed this bowl when it was a little wetter than it should have been. But I was headed out of town for the Pottery Tour… so rushed it. As it was kinda soft, I left it out to dry upside down on a plastic bat. Apparently when it dried, the bottom between the footring “moved” upwards a bit as the bowl dried & shrank??? So now the bowl is bone dry… and the bottom center is higher than the footring… so it’s a “SPINNER”!!! ugh.

Really only one thing to do…

Categories: classes, process, production, tools

The plan was to work last night in my studio… but alas, I was “trapped” at the airport forever!!! Got home way too late. So I did a little early morning trimming… trying to move these cylinders along as quickly as possible. Surely helped out with my favorite DiamondCore Tools & Giffin Grip!!! Big plans for these later…

Categories: hybrid mugs, process, production, soda-fired

Still prepping, pricing & packing!!! Trying to get everything ready for the SCHAUMBURG PRAIRIE ARTS FESTIVAL this weekend. Working in the basement finishing up these hybrid mugs… and splitting them up so I’m sure I have enough for each of my next three shows over the next three weekends!!!

Categories: production, stamped, stamps

With a gray & gloomy start to the day… instead of biking, here’s some “sunrise stamping” to kick-off my morning. One handmade clay stamp… pressed in over & over & over again. Racing a deadline to get these done… seems I work best under pressure?! HA!!!

Categories: bowls, production, wheelthrowing

Cranking out a few more bowls before teaching class tonight. Gotta cover them with plastic so I can do more to them tomorrow. I have some big plans for these ones!!!

Categories: process, production, tools

Doing a little bit of trimming quickly before teaching tonight. Love when the ribbons come flying off cleanly & quickly… especially when working with my DiamondCore Tools & Giffin Grip. The perfect combo for some quick trimming fun!!!

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

Packed tight from top to bottom, as well as the three shelves deep. It’s a lot of pots & mini tiles trying to utilize as much surface space as possible… trying to get the most out of every soda kiln firing!

Categories: process, production

Backing it up a couple days… to Friday when I finally finished my glazing & wadding, and took my pots down to the kiln room to start loading the soda kiln. Since my studio is on the second floor of Lillstreet, and the soda kiln is on the first floor… my pots need to travel downstairs in the rickety freight elevator. So I’ve learned to use some masking tape as “seat belts” to keep everything place during the journey.

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

Sadly, not quite everything fit into the kiln last night as I loaded into the wee-hours of the morning. As usual, I went through the mental waves of “I don’t have enough… I have way too much… I’m a gonna need to glaze more… this is never gonna fit… what am I doing… I think I need chocolate… still a lot of pots… oh, I think it’s going to be close… can I squeeze just a few more in?”

Well, the answer was NO. So it looks like I have a few leftovers… a nice start on building work for my next soda kiln, right???

Categories: glaze, process, production

Wiping off the top surface… to reveal a now-filled-in stamped pattern. Remember, these are all going into the soda kiln… so I don’t really need to glaze the outside of the pots. I’ll do a liner glaze inside… but leave the exterior for the soda magic to do its tricks!!!