Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: holiday, soda-fired, textures, tiles

Celebrating NATIONAL TILE DAY with a quick glimpse of the tiled wall I made for my condo! Sure, it may be one of little known holidays… but still a fun “reason” to show-off my tiled wall. Usually just those folks who come to my Holiday Home Show gets to see it. There are just short of three thousand handmade soda-fired tiles on the wall… 2,894 for the record… with textures, patterns and a few hidden surprises!

So here’s a quick game for you…
Can you fund my initials in the mix of tiles?
As you scroll down it will get easier, so don’t cheat!

Categories: pottery, soda-fired, stamped, vases

Looks like someone found the perfect napkin holder… employing one of my stamped & soda-fired oval vases with the perfect fit!

Categories: food, mugs, soda-fired, stamped

Following up with a little post-shovel “warm-me-up” cup of hot chocolate… complete with the requisite JUMBO MARSHMALLOW!!!

See?… I knew I liked shoveling for some strange reason!!!

Categories: mugs, soda-fired, stamped

Celebrating another MUGSHOT MONDAY with this stamped & soda-fired mug. One of my favorites… as I’m loving how the stamp covers a lot of the mug surface, and yet leaves a lot of the mug surface intact. Kinda like a stamped “fishnet” over the surface?!

Categories: food, holiday, platters, soda-fired, stamped

So, unbeknownst to many… today was a National Holiday!!!
And it would just be “rude” if I didn’t celebrate, right?!

I like holidays… especially when it’s NATIONAL PIZZA DAY!!!

Categories: soda-fired, textures, tiles

It might be freezing cold outside, but the bright winter sun is making things “striking” inside! Especially as the sun is highlighting textures & striking great shadows across some of my textured tiles! Thanks Ann for sharing your tiled trivets with us… now pass on some of that candy too!!!

Categories: friends, soda-fired

My friend & master metalsmith Sarah Chapman put out a challenge at the start of the New Year to make a “chain” every month of 2021. You know how much I love a good challenge… and no one ever said it had to be metal, right?!

And here’s the details from Sarah…

Categories: friends, mugs, soda-fired, textures

Looks like my pal Allison is starting her day of right…
with a bit of morning steam from her “wake-up call” in one of my mugs! Thanks for sharing your morning with us on Instagram @apmolloy !

Categories: food, friends, soda-fired, stamped

Looks like Kristy is settling in for a warm Winter’s night! Good things happen when two different Christmas gifts come together at the same time. A time she may or may not “remember” in the morning!!!

Categories: friends, platters, soda-fired, stamped

And now… finally...
Christmas “secrets projects” can be revealed!!!

So I got a request for a “special order” to make a set of four soda-fired dinner plates. They were to be for some very good friends of mine… actually, my VERY FIRST art fair friends ever!!! They wanted four dinner plates that were very “neutral” so that any of their other more colorful pottery pieces would still work along with them. When I took the order, I made sure to mention that I don’t make a lot of soda-fired plates as there’s a larger propensity for them to warp during the firing. I also explained the inherent randomness of soda-firing… which they are fully aware of as they have quite a collection of my work!

So I made their dinner plates… taking extra caution to compress them really well, make sure they’re not over-worked, and very careful not to pick them up in a way that might warp them. They had asked for four “matching” plates that each had a different stamp pattern. They looked great after the bisque firing, so I glazed them for my latest soda-firing. I even made sure to us a LOT of wadding under the plate… probably double what one would normally use!

Here they are glazed… with a tenmoku inlay into the stamped impressions. A thin spray of tenmoku in the center area which should turn an “neutral” amber color… and a very light spray of a green glaze for a bit of a subtle random accent.

And then it was time to soda-fire them. So I placed them towards the back of the kiln. Making sure that they were placed on NEW flat kiln shelves! I was confident that these plates were going to work out… as they’re a commission order for very special friends!!!

When I unloaded the kiln, I was very excited about the “neutral-ness” of the plates! They’re going to LOVE them… as Rosene’s favorite color is BEIGE!!! Which I keep advising her that BEIGE is indeed NOT a color!!!

And here they are… the four “matching” dinner plates each with a different stamp pattern! With very subtle accents… and yet very “neutral.”

Again, the GOAL was a set of dinner plates… very neutral…
each with a different stamped texture!

After they came out of the kiln, as I was stacking & packing up the pieces… only then did I notice that TWO of plates were perfectly flat… while the other two were not!!! Two of the plates were warped terribly!!!

Ugh…. WARPED!!!

As these were a SET OF FOUR… two warped and two flat were not going to work for me!! I was going to need to make some replacements VERY QUICKLY… so they would be ready for Christmas!!!