Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: bowls, stamped, stamps, textures

Time to do a bit of detailing on the latest batch of bowls. They’ve set-up a bit and are now a “wet-leatherhard” stage. Not quite dry enough for trimming, but stiff enough to hold it’s shape during the stamping process. Gauging the right wetness is kind of mportant when you’re going in to for a full day of stamping!!!

Bowl #1 -


Bowl #2 -

Bowl #3 -

Bowl #4 -


Bowl #5 -

Bowl #6 -

Bowl #7 -

Bowl #8 -

Bowl #9 -

Bowl #10 -

Bowl #11 -

Bowl #12 -

And for now these bowls are stamped and back under plastic for the night.
But then coming soon… power tools to make them berry bowls!!!






Categories: porcelain, process, stamps, tools

Just making some new stamps for the next set of pots coming soon. And for the first time, I decided to see what would happen if I tried my new carving tools from DiamondCore Tools for stamp-making?! Huge potential here with these great tools… I just think I need to let the clay stiffen up more & go bigger!!! No time to be timid with sharp Zebra Tools from DiamondCore!!!



Categories: stamps

A New Year always needs some new stamps, right?!
Making some new stamps for the next round of pots coming up soon!

Categories: classes, mugs, stamps

Last night was only the second class of the new session for my Beginners…
and they’ve already thrown, trimmed and made mugs!!!!…
oh yeah, and a couple new stamps just for fun!


Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped, stamps, textures

Spent the nigh stamping mugs in the studio. I threw the cylinders yesterday and kept them covered overnight. They were still a smidge too wet… but I unwrapped them today and gave them a few more minutes to set up before stamping.

Categories: stamps, studio, tools

So many stamps, so little time…
and never enough pots to use them all.
This is less than a third of my stamp collection.

Categories: process, production, stamped, stamps

Platter stamping with the eternal question… is one row of stamps around the rim enough?! Or do I “over-do it” by stamping the entire flange?! This time I tried to restrain myself.

Or do we prefer an INSTAGRAM-type “photo collage” post better than individual photos?!
Personally, not a fan of the collage, but wondering what you think.



Categories: stamped, stamps

After weeks & weeks of spritzing, spraying & re-hydrating, I finally found tine to do some stamping. Yes, this platter has been under-wraps for about three weeks (maybe four?) since I did a wheelthrowing demo fro my class. So I’ve been a little busy… so maybe a bit of procrastination… but I finally did it tonight!

So I pulled out one of my MANY stamps… and started stamping around the rim of the platter.

And the stamp that was doing all of the magic!

Soon enough, after a few revolutions around the platter… it was all stamped and done!

A few impressions… each stamp pressed in one at a time… one by one… by one… by one…

Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production, stamped, stamps

Another batch of mugs. Another round of stamping.
I had a customer request a certain color glazed mug the other day… and when I checked my mug inventory, I was a little surprised to NOT have any on the color she wanted. So I’m back making more of my favorites… thanks to Rosene for a little mug motivation!

So here’s the latest batch of mugs-in-the-making. Porcelain cylinders thrown and then stamped… and the stamps that did the magic!!!

Mug A

Mug B

Mug C

Mug D

Mug E

Mug F

Mug G

Mug H

Mug I

Mug J

Mug K

So for now they’re all under plastic for the evening. Plan is to get them all trimmed tomorrow, make some more things… and then if all goes as planned, maybe even get handles on these tomorrow as well. Hard to work when your fingers are crossed.



Categories: classes, process, stamps, textures

I began my Tuesday evening by throwing a lot of cylinders in my studio. I had a plan…
I was on a mission… and my wheelthrowing class was going to be starting soon!

So I received a package of few carving tools in the mail awhile back… so exciting!!!
And I’m always telling my students to experiment, to try new things, to break out of their shells. To remember that it’s JUST CLAY!!! But I get it… my Beginners are working so hard to make each and every cylinder. It’s a lot of work. A lot of centering & focus. So much so that each piece is somehow considered “too precious” to experiment with. So tonight I plan to test them… to push them a bit… to show them that it’s NOT so precious. I figured if I provide them with already thrown cylinders, all of the “hard part” is done, right?

So I threw a bunch of cylinders and brought the down to class with me. I explained my “not-so-precious” texture & surface decoration challenge to them. I encouraged them each to do anything they wanted to the surface of their cylinder. To carve, slip, stamp, whatever!!! Just have fun… and see what happens with their new-found “freebie” not-so-precious cylinder!!! And here they go…

After class, I did a little “photo shoot” in my studio before they started to dry.

SO HERE”S YOUR CHALLENGE : Can you guess which ones are mine?!

Special thanks to Robert at C.I. Products for sending me a little “care package” of tools to try out. I’ve been kind of busy through the holidays… and finally found some time to try them out. And why not share my new tools with my students?! These Zebra Trimming Tools are pretty darn amazing. They took us a little while to get used to them. The blades are at a different angle than Kemper Tools…. and adjustable!!! The wood is so lightweight… and the foam grip pretty sweet too. But it’s really the extra-sharp blades that cut such a smooth clean line with nice line definition. I definitely look forward to using them more in my own work. Seeing what kinds of great textures & patterns I can come up with using these great new Zebra Tools!!! Thanks again Robert… your tools are GREAT!

Click here to see the wide assortment of tools from C.I. Products.
Or here to go straight to the Zebra Trimming Tools.
You’ll be glad you did… especially those of you who are carving crazy cool patterns, making cool textures and doing a lot of sgraffito or mishima.