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

Started this morning with a quick kiln loading. I kind of surprised myself by having enough work to fill the kiln. I’ve been trying to make a lot of work quick… guess it’s been working?! As I have a full soda kiln firing scheduled for next Saturday. So all of these pieces will need to be glazed & wadded before then!!!

Bisque kiln layer #1 – Mugs, mugs and more mugs!!!

Bisque kiln layer #2 – More mugs, votives and ikebana discs…
with some ornaments tossed in too!

Bisque kiln layer #3 – Tumblers, plates and a large stamped bowl.

Bisque kiln layer #4 – Dessert plates and ornaments.

Bisque kiln layer #5 – More dessert plates and more ornaments.
DOn’t panic… the cracked shards aren’t mine. No harm. No foul. They are my studio neighbor Karen’s piece that she uses for glaze testing. I had a little extra space… and you know how I LOVE a well-packed kiln!!!

Packed tight all the way to the top. The lid of the kiln
will lower down to within a 1/4″ of the bows!!!

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Categories: production, textures, tiles

Putting tiles in their place. Assembling another ClayQuilt of textured tiles.
Gotta love straight lines and epoxy!!!

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Categories: process, production, stamped, vases

Making another batch of stamped discs that will be soda-fired and become ikebana vases. I have them drying “fast” on elevated plastic grids so they can get air circulation on both sides for less warpage.

Here’s why… When clay dries it shrinks. If the air dries one side faster than the other it can curl up on the “shrinking” side. Air flow on both sides encourages more even drying… so less warping. In theory anyways. Don’t quote me on that… unless it works for you too, and the by all means! Quote away!!!

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Categories: mugs, production, stamped

Just a few more mugs headed off to my next bisque kiln.
Couple days away… plenty of time to dry. And maybe even make some more???

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Categories: production

After a beautiful Fall day on my bike, I had to “force myself” to go into the studio to get some work done. Luckily this evening was productive, including a couple sets of stamped dessert plates. Sure, I guess they could be salad plates too… but really, who doesn’t want dessert???

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Categories: pottery, process, production

So it’s been exactly two weeks since I became an IRONMAN.
Things have gotten back to normal… less training, more pottery…
but I still can’t bring myself to cutting off my official IRONMAN wristband!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Just adding some colored flashing slip accents to this most recent batch of mugs. I like to color the top section of the mug, as well as a small dab of color in each stamp. The flashing slip will become more colorful after soda-firing. Or at least that’s the plan…

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

It was a long & productive night… but I can handle it. And now all forty cylinders have become MUGS!!! They’re now under wraps over night. For tomorrow I’ll paint them with some colored flashing slip accents.

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Categories: mugs, process, production

A lot of stamped cylinders require a LOT of pulled handles
if they’re going to become mugs!!! Which they are… tonight!!!

Of course they all started out as little, carrot-shaped nuggets before pulling the clay into strap handles. I like to bend them over and tap the ends together so they stand up on their own. That way they already have the curve established as they start to stiffen up.

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Categories: mugs, process, production

Trimmed & signed… 10, 20, 30, 40… next up HANDLES!!!