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

Thrown tonight… trimming, stamping & finishing tomorrow if all goes as planned.

Categories: production

Okay, maybe I’m already addicted?
But now I’m working on a couple new spoon shapes.
Bigger? Longer? Narrower? Wider? Smaller?

Categories: glaze, process, production

It seems like I go through this every session…
I’ve got a lot of class demo pots to glaze. And I keep putting it off.
So tonight I pulled them all off my Teacher Shelf and planned on glazing them all.
I had the best intentions… really I did…

I dusted them all off and waxed all the bottoms. I started “planning” on what colors & glazes I was going to use. Then I started chatting with my friend (and brilliant painter/sculptor) Martin and soon enough… voila’… motivation gone!

So once again, much like every session, I packed up my bowls, layered them with newspaper and back they went onto my Teacher’s Shelf. Maybe I’ll try it again tomorrow night?!

I hate glazing.

Categories: process, production

Tumblers trimmed and accented with colored slip… drying overnight. These will go into my next soda kiln, so those “subtle” colors will change a lot when they flash in the soda firing atmosphere. Or at least that’s my hope…

Categories: pottery, production

I’ve been toying with some new pieces in my studio. We’ve talked a lot about spoons around the studio over the past year since NCECA Milwaukee. I must admit that it’s been a lot of talk… and not much spoon-making. Until now.

Here’s my first batch of spoons – still needing some refinement and firing!
So far… I’m kinda digging spoon!!!

Categories: production, stamped

It was a productive day in the studio today. A large batch of tumblers thrown & stamped. Some in soda clay, some with B-Clay. All waiting to be trimmed & painted with accents of colored slip.

Categories: bowls, production

During today’s Open House at Lillstreet Art Center,
I stayed focused and threw a dozen small bowls in my studio.

Then it was time to separate them into three sets of four…
and make some design “alterations” to make each set different from the others.

The first set received a split rim with indentations both in & out to form a lotus effect.

And then a little stamped embellishment….

The second set got a hypnotizing spiral through white slip.

And then detailed with a single stamp around the rim.

The third set got a split rim, pinched together and fluted out.

Then a stamped accent at each pinch point and a small stamp tap inside.

So now the three sets are covered & wrapped in plastic overnight.
I’m hoping to get them trimmed and done tomorrow.


Categories: mugs, process, production

Today I finished up my latest batch of mugs with some colored slip accents. The slip will change colors and do some fun “flashing” effects in the soda kiln. Or at least that’s the plan… you never know for sure until it comes out of the kiln!!!

Categories: mugs, production

Today was all about finishing some mugs.
First I trimmed them all. And then wrapped them up while I made the handles.

I start with little chunks of clay gently thrown against the table to make “carrot” shapes. For some reason, I’m not sure why, I stand them up as I’m making them?! Like little soldiers waiting to go into service. Or in this case, kinda like a little Stonehenge of Handles?!!!

Then I pull each handles individually the traditional way. After I get them to the right thickness & width, I loop them over on themselves and stand them up again. This way, the curve is already set as they stiffen up a bit.

When the handles get to the right stiffness, I start attaching them to the cylinders. The tricky part with doing this many is trying to keep the handles from drying too fast and all at the same time. So I keep them under wraps and give them an occasional spray of water. Then it’s some scoring, slipping & attaching of the handles.

One after another… score… slip… attach… repeat.

Now that they are all “handled,” I’ve got them under plastic wrap for the night. That way the moisture levels can balance out a bit. Tomorrow I will do some final detailing, smoothing and add some colored slip accents before I set them out to dry.

Categories: mugs, production, stamped

Tonight I did a lot of stamping on a lot of cylinders that will become my latest batch of mugs. This batch was made with soda clay… destined for my next soda kiln firing.

So for now they’re all wrapped up for the night. Tomorrow I’ll do a lot of trimming… and hopefully add handles too!