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

So flasks seem to be all the rage these days?!
So many potters are tackling this trendy topic.
o I decided I needed to jump into the pond… afterall, all the cool kids are doin’ it.

I started by throwing bottomless cylinders… trying to keep them pretty thin so the flasks won’t weigh too much. When the stickiness had dried off of them, I stamped them and then squished them into tight ovals. I always find it interesting to see how so many cylinders that take up so much table space can be “squished” down onto one board in such a short amount of time.

I then made slab tops that domed over the tops.
Score & slip… score & slip… scratch & attach… repeat… repeat… repeat…
And then I attached some thrown spouts to finish them off.

When they were all assembled, I added some colored flashing slips to the tops and small details in the stamped textures. These “colors” will be a LOT more apparent & colorful after the soda firing.

After bisque and soda firing…. we now have finished flasks with some rubber stoppers to close them up. So for now they’re price, packed and ready for their BIG debit tomorrow at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival.





Categories: process, production, terra cotta

Quick production… fast turn-around… trimming and trying to get them done quick!!!
These flower pots need to get in a kiln quick so they’re ready to go to the
Schaumburg Prairie Arts Festival this coming weekend!!!


Categories: process, production, terra cotta

Just trying to squeeze in one last batch of work. Terra cotta flower pots that I “hope” will be done in time for the Schaumburg Prairie Arts Festival next weekend. Plenty of time… ha!!!

Categories: process, production, stamped

Finishing up some flower pots for some quick-drying & bisque firing. Stoneware with ochre and some colored flashing slips for my soda firing next weekend… and drip trays to boot.

Hoping to have them all ready for the Schaumburg Prairie Arts Festival in two weeks!

Categories: production, stamped

Just a few spoon rests rushing to get into the next kiln! Only a couple dozen!!!

And now drying after adding a few little accents of colored flashing slips!

Categories: kiln firing, production

Working in the studio trying to build enough new work to fill the soad kiln! It just seems so weird to me that my Summer Art Fair schedule is barreling towards me. And as always, I’m rushing to the finish line. Sure, I had months of cold winter months that I “could have” been working in the studio more. But somehow, I didn’t… and now I’m paying the price and cranking it out!!!

Kiln Layer #1 – a nestled tight layer of wall pocket vases.

Kiln Layer #2 – more wall pocket vases, mugs and a few mini vases.

Kiln Layer #3 – soap dispensers, mugs, ikebana vases and some mini vases.

Kiln Layer #4 – Flower pots, flasks, spoon rests, stars and ikebana vases.

And you know how I like to fill the kiln to the top… stacked high… flush to the top!
I figure as long as the kiln lid closes, I’m good. Right?!


Categories: pottery, production, stamped

With Spring in the air, and art fairs around the corner, it might be the perfect time to crank out some quick flower pots?! Should be ready for my first art fair in three weeks! Mark your calendars… Schaumburg in three weeks!

Categories: clay, mugs, process, production, studio

Like a bull in a china shop… quite literally. One false move and I just took out one of the new mugs. Note to self: dried greenware is VERY fragile! A great reminder. Luckily, that “set” had five… so now we’re down to four matching mugs!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Another batch of cylinders are trimmed and ready to become mugs! Yep, the “quadrant-ed” ones!!! So I start by cutting small blocks of clay, and then begin my slamming them down and rotating until I get this compressed “carrot” shape. One for each mug…. and usually one extra “just in case” something happens along the way!

Then I pull my handles the traditional way. Holding the “carrot” in my left hand and pulling it long with a bit of water and friction. Eventually you’ll get a strap of clay – a portion of which will become the handle. I like to flip mine over into a loop so they can set-up close to the shape they will become.

After a good amount of scoring & slipping, handles are attached and we now have MUGS!!!
I like to keep my mugs covered with plastic overnight so the moisture levels between cylinder & handle can balance out a bit. No need to rush them to drying after all of the work you’ve put into them already… what’s one more night if it helps keep your handles from cracking off?

So now they’re all “assembled”… and waiting for some colored flashing slip accents!


Categories: production, stamped

Stamped, squished, slip-painted and ready to start drying!
Soon to be soap dispensers after a good soda-firing!

And if you want to see them spin… just ‘cuz they can…
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