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

Closing in on some “kiln deadlines”…
and yet still throwing a little larger today. Taller vases & bigger bowls.

Categories: bowls, classes, process, production, stamped, stamps

Tonight I continued working some decorative “details” onto the bowls that I threw for my class Tuesday night. As a quick reminder, we started the class demo with a tutorial on how to make a nice bowl “on purpose” instead of a cylinder gone bad. I then threw fourteen more bowls and then had the students rejoin the demo for some quick altering & decorating tricks. What started out as 15 very basic round bowls quickly gets transformed into 15 unique bowls with just a few alterations.

So you know I sometimes have ‘trouble” deciding when something is done. You may have noticed that I have a slight tendency to continue embellishing well beyond the norm. With that said, I continued decorating tonight in my studio. The blog post prior to this will show you what the bowls looked like before this evening’s festivities!!! While this post shows you the bowls after stamping, as well as the stamp that did the “magic” impressions!

Bowl #1 -

Bowl #2 -

Bowl #3 -

Bowl #4 -

Bowl #5 -

Bowl #6 -

Bowl #7 -

Bowl #9 -

Bowl #10 -

Bowl #10 -

And now they’re “done”… at least for tonight. Under wraps…
hoping to trim them and do a bit of final detailing tomorrow night.

Categories: bowls, classes, production

Last night in class we did my favorite demo of the session.
I taught my students how to make a good bowl “on purpose” instead of a cylinder gone bad. And how to avoid making those “beginner mistakes” of corners, edges, divots, and ledges. After making the first bowl for my students, they all went back to their wheels to continue throwing, while I threw fourteen more basic bowls. We then reconvened for a demo on altering & decorating each of the bowls. My goal is always to show them a few tricks. To teach them some fun techniques. And to encourage them to play with their clay. That each piece is not so precious… and that they need to play, alter, twist & push it further.

If it gets messed up, who cares!?
Squish it up, wedge it and start over.
It’s just clay.

Bowl #1 – The basic bowl. All of my demo bowls started out looking just like this.
Plain. Round. Simple. And desperately needing something fun…

Bowl #2 – Rim fluted in four places.

Bowl #3And if four look good… eight might be better. Fluted rim in eight places.

Bowl #4 – Flange flared out.

Bowl #5 – Flange flared out and fluted.

Bowl #6 – Wide flange flared out… for one of those “fancy” tiny restaurant desserts!

Bowl #7 – Four indentations using the side of my wooden knife to “square” the bowl.

Bowl #8 – A stylized flower pressed in with a metal dragonscale tool.

Bowl #9 – Split rim, and then pinched together in eight places.

Bowl #10 – Split rim with an altered shape… kind of a lotus flower contour.

Bowl #11 – Mazzerine slip with a spiral dragged through using the round end of my wooden knife.

Bowl #12 – Mazzerine slip banded & squiggled with the round end of my wooden knife.

Bowl #13 – Thick white slip “squiggled” with my fingers while spinning on the wheel.

Bowl #14 – Thick white slip chattered with a rounded rib while spinning on the wheel.

Bowl #15 – A newspaper stencil letter, covered in slip and then peeled out.

So for now, they’re under wraps in my studio… most of them will get a little detailing.
Some will get stamped. Others will get stamped…
oh wait, did I say some of them will get stamped?! Surprise!!!

Categories: production, stamped, tiles

A quick batch of square textured tiles…
gotta dry them fast, keep them flat and try to get them into tonight’s bisque kiln.
Fingers crossed… and drying on plastic grid so they can get air exposure on both sides to minimize warping! And I’m hoping that I have “guessed” at my clay shrinkage rate correctly, as I’m shooting for 4-1/4″ squares when fired.

Categories: production, textures

I can’t help myself…
yet another batch of spoons ready for the bisque!!!

All this and I’m still not even sure how they’ll turn out?!
Some people would do a prototype test before diving head-first into full production mode.
I said “some” people…

Categories: mugs, porcelain, production, stamped

Like pinstripes on a new hot rod, I’ve been adding some colorful flashing slip accents to the latest batch of mugs & yunomis. The colors will “hopefully’ be more vibrant & exciting after the soda firing… if all goes as planned.

And for now they’re done. Mugs made with B-Clay. Yunomis made with porcelain.
Both headed towards the soda kiln… after a trip through the bisque kiln first.

Categories: mugs, production

Another batch… these ones are made with B-Clay for the soda kiln!

Categories: pottery, production, stamped

Tonight I stamped a few flower pots. Gotta make the water dishes tomorrow.
Sure, you could get one of those plain, old terra cotta pots from Home Depot… but why?!

Your plants would love SO MUCH BETTER in a little bit fancier flower pot.
I can guarantee it.

Flower Pot #1 -

Flower Pot #2 -

Flower Pot #3 -

Flower Pot #4 -

Flower Pot #5 -

Flower Pot #6 -

Flower Pot #7 -

Flower Pot #8 -

Flower Pot #9 -

Categories: mugs, production, stamped, stamps

Another night. Another batch.
Stamped and waiting to be trimmed & “handled.”

And some of the stamps that did the “magic”…

Categories: production, textures

Okay, sure I haven’t even fired the first batch yet…
but I’m kind of an “all-in” kinda guy. So without any real results,
I’ve already expanded my latest “spoon obsession” to include three more sizes!