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

So I’ve got forty cylinders stamped, trimmed and under wraps.
Today is the day they become MUGS!!!

So I started by wedging up some clay from the same mix I made the cylinders from. And then I pulled some handles and flipped them up so they can start to stiffen up in a “looped-almost-handle-already” shape. Gotta wait a few…

And then, one by one… the forty cylinders became forty MUGS!!!
Talking each cylinder and determining handle attachment location, cutting out a part of “the loop” and then scoring & slipping & attaching the handle.¬† Pressing & attaching. Securing & smoothing. Trying to finish each mug so the handle looks seamless before going back under wraps for the night.

Score… slip… attach… smooth… repeat…
Score… slip… attach… smooth… repeat…
Score… slip… attach… smooth… repeat…

So now they’re all done… and quite honestly, this is my favorite part of the process. This freshly finished, leatherhard and now quite starting to dry yet stage. This “I’ve-done-as-much-as-I-can-do-for-now” stage. So I had to take a couple photos before wrapping them back up. I always wrap up my “freshly-handled-mugs” overnight…. my “theory” being that the handles & cylinders need to even-out a bit moisture-wise. And then tomorrow, I can unwrap them, check each one last time and then let then start drying slowly.

Categories: mugs, production

Trimmed. Wrapped. Waiting for handles!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamps

Tonight I stamped… and stamped… and stamped some more!
My cylinders were still a little squishier than I would like them to be, yet I persevered.
It was a synchronized rotation of unwrapping some, moving some, re-wrapping some, rotating, testing, touching and stamping mugs as they were dry enough to stamp. Sometimes I like them on a little softer side so I can manipulate & move the clay more. Tonight was one of those times… plus, I just wanted to get them done!

So, after a well-orchestrated evening of stamping, I got them all done.
Ten per ware board. One ware board at a time.

Finally, all four trays of mug cylinders have been stamped. So it’s 40 mugs under wraps for the night while they dry up a bit more to a drier leatherhard. Hopefully, I can trim them all tomorrow… and then add handles to them all this weekend?!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Well, I had a tower of clay to play with. So I decided to start with my “favorite”… MUGS!!!
I attached the tower, cut it into smaller pieces, wedged ‘em up… and started throwing!

A few balls of clay later… and my work table was filling up fast. Time to cover them up for the night. I need them to stiffen up a bit, but not too much, so that they are ready to stamp later. Maybe tomorrow???

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, process, production
Categories: kiln firing, process, production

Well, the soda kiln is packed tight & bricked up for the night.

Now it’s home for a quick “nap,” followed by a quick shower,
then it’s back to the studio in a couple hours to fire it up!!!

Categories: glaze, pottery, process, production, stamps

Night two of glazing was quite productive. Things were literally stacking up.

After I added the wadding these pieces went onto my rolling studio cart to make room on the table to glaze even more! Especially since I’m glazing to fill my own soda kiln AND share a cone 10 glaze kiln with two other studio members. Glazing for two different kilns at the same time is a little daunting.

Categories: glaze, process, production

When I finished glazing & wadding the mugs, I moved on to the new pieces. I did the same glaze inlay to help “pop” the stamps. These are the small size… tomorrow I’ll tackle the medium & large ones!

Categories: glaze, mugs, process, production

Let the glazing begin… looks like it’s going to be a long night.

Glaze inlaid into the stamps… and the top surface carefully wiped off to help accentuate the textures.

Next up… liner glazes!!!

Categories: pottery, process, production

Tonight finished building and slip detailing six more casseroles.
They’re done & drying to go into next Tuesday night’s bisque kiln.
My last before next weekend’s soda kiln firing. Just in time for the Holiday Home Show!
Love making the whimsically shaped casseroles… and only one of them is a true oval!