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

Okay, so one last batch tonight… might be a little “damp”… err, okay WET going into the bisque kiln!!! This time it’s a batch of wall pocket vases “racing” and hoping to make it into Saturday’s soda kiln. Nothing like pushing the calendar a bit… “somehow” it will all get done, right?!

Categories: process, production, stamped

Added some colored flashing slip to the two batches of lidded jars yesterday after ONE OF A KIND. If all goes as planned, these will be bisqued, glazed and make it into my soda kiln this weekend. And then all of these slip accents should change colors during the soda firing and show the flame flashing effects we all love!

Categories: production, stamped

Working on a batch of lidded jars…
trying to move them along quickly so I can get them in next weekend’s soda kiln.

Categories: bowls, classes, process, production

Lots of class demo bowls require LOTS of trimming. Luckily I love trimming… so it was kind of enjoyable to finish off this latest batch of eighteen class demo bowls. Now trimmed with a clean footring and drying… many of them upside-down as I think that might help avoid warping?! No real “proof”… but why not go with it anyway???

Categories: bowls, classes, lillstreet, production

This week in my Tuesday night Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing class, we tackled making bowls. Yep… making bowls on purpose instead of a cylinder gone bad. I started with my bowl demo… starting with a good interior curve right from the start! After we had covered all of the “basocs” of basic bowls… they went back to their whee;s to start throwing their own bowls. Meanwhile… I continued throwing more bowls. A total of EIGHTEEN “basic” bowls.

When I had made all of MY owls, we re-grouped at my wheel for a little “decorating” FUN!!! My goal for the secodn part of the demo is to encourage them to PLAY WITH THEIR CLAY!!! To do some decorating… to make thier bowls their own. The wheel pretty much makes them round… now they get to make them their own style!!! So I quickly took my 18 “matching” bowls and started doing some quick & simple “tricks” to make them all different & special!!!

Bowl One – Here’s the “basic” bowl.. the starting point for all the others!!!

Bowl Two – Two simple “flutes” to add some flair. One finger inside, one finger outside. pinch and twist.

Bowl Three – And if two flutes are cute, maybe eight would be better?!

Bowl Four – A simple one-inch flange bent out to “widen” the bowl.

Bowl Five – And if one-inch is nice, maybe three inches would be better?!

Bowl Six – And then a combined, bent-out flange and four fluted twists.

Bowl Seven – Using a metal dragon-scaling tool… a simple flower indented in the bottom.

Bowl Eight – A split-rim pinched together in eight places.

Bowl Nine – Another split rim – dented inwards at four places.

Bowl Ten – Another split rim this time dented inwards four times, and outwards four times!

Bowl Eleven – This was last session’s “challenge” bowl… a TRIPLE split rim and then fluted in eight places. My students from last session now refer to this one as the “churro” bowl!

And then I introduced my “beginner’s” to colored slip… and then benefits.

Bowl Twelve – a simple coat of thick white slip  applied and then a spiral dragged through it with the curved end of my wooden knife… which I’ve now been told is called “The Potter’s Thumb.”

We noticed that the thick white slip wasn’t showing up very well for my demo purposes…
so we switched to black!

Bowl Thirteen – A layer of black slip – and then banded rings with “The Potters Thumb.”

Bowl Fourteen – A layer of black slip, and then a chattered pattern made by rhythmic tapping of a rounded rib as the bowl is spinning.

Bowl Fifteen – A layer of black slip, followed by some thick white slip squirt-bottled onto the surface… ala Ryan Greenheck!

Bowl Sixteen – Then using the same squirt bottle, I piped on a white slip spiral.

Bowl Seventeen – Using a couple strips of wet newspaper, I outlined a triangle… layered in some thick white slip, draged my finer through it to make some texture lines and then peeled away the newspaper “stencils.”

Bowl Eighteen – Always up for a challenge… this is the one this session. Stacey was sitting-in on class and she saw this bowl on her Instagram feed. So I tried my best to “mimic” the style… flaring out the flanged rim, denting down the four accent areas, and then piping some thick white slip accents. Coincidentally, Stacey was also the one who challenged me to the triple rim “churro” bowl last session

So for now they’re all “under wraps” in my studio. I think there’s a”very good chance” that there might still be a bit of embellishing & stamping to be done on them… maybe, just maybe?!

 

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

Another batch of cylinders on their way to becoming MUGS!!!
Of course they needed to be stamped… soon to be trimmed and have their handles
attached. Until then… they’re just kinda pretty cylinders!!!

Cylinder #1 -

Cylinder #2 -

Cylinder #3 -

Cylinder #4 -

Cylinder #5 -

Cylinder #6 -

Cylinder #7 -

Cylinder #8 -

Cylinder #9 -

Cylinder #10 -

Cylinder #11 -

Cylinder #12 -

 

Categories: mugs, production, wheelthrowing

Back in the studio refilling inventory a bit… building enough work to fill another soda kiln in a couple weeks. Oh, and look at this…. making more MUGS!!! Go figure!

Categories: art fair, glaze, mugs, process, production

Cleaned & waxed… ready for a quick night of glazing.
Just one final glaze kiln before this weekend’s art fair in Naperville…
PRAIRIE VIEW ARTS
this Friday night & all day Saturday!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

Finishing up the latest batch of pitchers & mugs… stamped, trimmed and handled.
Now just finishing some colored slip accents… which will change color when soda-fired.

First another set of mugs ready to dry & bisque… before soda-firing!

And jugs… or in this case, medium pitchers… also painted with colored flashing slip accents, now drying and ready to bisque fire.

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Categories: classes, process, production

It was the last night of class, and we had already critiqued & judged the final project…. but I still had one more trick up my sleeves. With two of my studetns getting married this Spring, and wanting to make ceramic vases to share with all of their guests… I figured what better way than with a THROWDOWN assembly line?! So we all buckled down and started cranking out as many vases as we could during the remainder of class. Everyone had a great time working & chatting together. A perfect way to end our class!

And our lovely “hand model” Susan…

And here’s Jacob, the Groom-To-Be, putting some final touches on a cylinder by carving some patterns into it with our favorite DiamondCore Carving Tool.

And here’s Molly, the Bride-To-Be, who “apparently” didn’t get the memo that they were all making small vases out of extruded tubes?! What’s with that???

And here they are by the end of class… approximately half of what they’re hoping to get finished in the next month or so… as the wedding is later this Spring!!!

 

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