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

With “Art In The Barn” just a week away, I’m working extra hard to make plenty of new work. So while I’m firing a soda kiln full of new work, I decided to glaze & load another kiln. Why not do two kilns at the same time?!!! I’m stuck in the studio all day firing… why not tackle another project?! I had already cleaned my studio… so more is more. And the more I have in Barrington next weekend, the more I can sell right?

My past couple Cone 6 firings have had mixed results. More pinholing & shivering that I would like. I was hoping that Cone 6 would be an easy firing with quick, colorful results. Not so far… still trying to find the right solution. So this time, I’ve added pyrometric cones top & bottom to double-check that the kiln is reaching temperature evenly. I’ve also put on a much thinner “sprayed” layer of glaze on most of the pieces. And one dipped to see if that makes a difference. Fingers crossed that something turns out okay. And that we might find some “answers” along the way!

Kiln Layer #1 – spoon rests, tiles… and a serving bowl that I’m re-firing!

Kiln Layer #2 – two bowls, mugs and more tiles.

Kiln Layer #3 – two more bowls, spoon rests , mugs & tiles.

Kiln Layer #4 – bowls, tiles and more of my “Relic Rattles.”

Kiln Layer #5 – textured fortune cookies.. and two tiles that didn’t fit on the layer below!

Categories: glaze, process, production

It’s been a very productive day in the studio.
Just getting my glaze on!!!

So I’ve been glazing, cleaning, and wadding getting everything ready for loading.
Luckily, my studio rolling cart is pretty much the same size as the soda kiln. I know that when the cart is filled with glazed pots, I’m pretty much done.

Categories: glaze, mugs, process, production

My eyes are getting a little glazed over.
Tired and still working. Lots of painting. Lots of wiping.
My second bisque was finally cool enough to unload, so now I have even MORE pieces that need to be glazed & wadded. A lot of work to get done before I start loading tomorrow night. I’ve still got a long way to go!!!

Categories: production, stamps, textures

I’ve been working like crazy trying to get everything done in the studio for “Art In The Barn.”
Of course, I’m running a little late...

But I am trying a new form this time. I’ve made textured slab vases for a couple years. Each with a different pattern & color on each side. This time around I decided to try a round vase, with a bit more of a “constructed” feel. These are brand new. And I hope they all hold-up and work properly. And survive the firing.

Of course I should have tried just one prototype to check first.
But that’s just not how I work. So I dove right in and made a full batch.
Two sizes… and I’m hoping they survive.

Especially since they’re still wet and have been under plastic all day. I just added some colored slip accents, they’re sitting in front of a fan… and in just a few minutes will be going into a bisque kiln. Yikes! If they don’t get in, they won’t be out soon enough to glaze them and get them into my soda kiln. And if they don’t make it into my soda kiln… they don’t make it to “Art In The Barn.” And that would be bad… so, fingers crossed…

Categories: mugs, process, production

I’m surprised how fast the days are ticking by… and my kiln dates are rapidly approaching. Like tonight!!! So I had to come into the studio extra early this morning to add some colored slip accents to my mugs.

So now they’re all done and drying in my studio… and now I’m off to the “glitter gig.”
I sure hope they dry… they’re going into a bisque kiln tonight – dry or not dry?!!!

Categories: mugs, production

After trimming, I pulled a lot of handles and let them set-up a bit.
Then it’s a lot of score, slip, attach, repeat… voila’… another two dozen mugs!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production, studio

I started out today with a lot of stamped cylinders waiting to be trimmed. Both tumblers & mugs… kinda the same at this point, really. The mugs are in the front and will need handles attached. The tumblers are slightly taller and will not have handles. Big difference, huh?!

After “a bit” of trimming, the scraps were piling up.
Sure, some might think it’s just a dirty mess.
I see it as more clay to be reclaimed and used again!!!

Categories: process, production, stamps

Tonight I threw a quick batch of tumblers.
With the my studio fans blowing in all the right directions… they were also ready to stamp tonight. At this rate, I will be trimming and slip decorating tomorrow. Why can’t everything come together this quickly???

Categories: process, production, stamps, studio


A dozen wall pocket vases. Thrown, stamped & squished on one side.
Drying, then bisque firing. A round of glazing & re-firing. Then we’ll have plenty of vases for people to hang on the walls… or perfect for flowers or a cool pencil cup at your home office desk.

Categories: kiln firing, production

A lot of wedging. A lot of working. A lot or “work.”
I’m preparing for another soda kiln in about a week. So I’ve been trying to make a LOT of stuff… and now I’m trying to pack it all into the electric kiln. Layer by layer… a lot of work to be bisque fired.

Kiln Layer #1 – Ovals, mugs, tiles and a lot of kiln filler!

Kiln Layer #2 – more ovals, mugs, wall pocket vases, tiles and kiln filler.

Kiln Layer #3 – more mugs, more wall pocket vases, votive holders and tiles!

Kiln Layer #4 – I had a “smidge” of space, so I fired a layer of painted tiles for my studio neighbor Lisa! Along with a couple spoon rests and more of my tiles!

Kiln Layer #5 -  the rest of the spoon  rests and the last of the tiles!!!