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

So it’s been a BIG week for me and NEW TOOLS!!!
First the care packages arrive from STODOLA
and then earlier this week I got yet another care package in the mail…

This one I knew about as I had ordered it online from Phil Poburka at Bison Studios.
But so excited to see them finally arrive… in such a fancy box no less!

So you may have heard me talking about these before. I have coveted these tools for quite awhile. And was lucky enough that some of my students were “actually listening to me” and picked up on it. At the end of last session’s “Lillstreet Throwdown” class, my students presented me with an AMAZING Thank You Gift Certificate for these Bison Tools!!!

Have I mentioned lately that I have the BEST STUDENTS EVER!!!

Anyway, so I went on line to order my Bison Trimming Tools.
They’re all handmade with beautifully hand-turned handles. In fact, when you open the box you are stuck by the soothing smell of fresh-cut wood and some sort of oil. Wonderful. And then the blades themselves are made out of tungsten carbide. So much stronger than the usual ones that dull down so quickly! Guaranteed to be the sharpest trimming tools ever!!!

So I went with two similar ones… most like my favorite Kemper tools.
But I got them in the two different blade sizes he offers… standard and narrow.
Each with some beautiful woodgrain and different handles shapes!

Now I just can’t wait to break them in. Although I’m a little concerned
about what it’s going to feel like actually trimming with a sharp tool?
Who amongst us hasn’t been trimming with dull blades for years???

And again, HUGE THANK YOU to the most amazing students ever!!!
You guys rock!!!

And if you’re lucky, I’ll even share… and let you give them a test drive!

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Categories: clay, process, studio

After some time stiffening up on my plaster bat, my latest batch of reclaim clay
was finally ready to pound up last night after a “slight” bit of wedging and bagging up.
I’ll let it sit for a while longer… before I start doing a “real” wedging
and actually making work out of this FREE CLAY!!!

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Categories: clay, process, studio

Another pile of goopey, mucky reclaim clay piled out onto my plaster bat.
Sure it’s kind of messy… but I must admit it is a bit fun too.
Gratifying when you see it all turn back into free clay…
and you know how I love FREE CLAY!!!

Categories: production, studio, wheelthrowing

 

Apparently it’s all about small plates & dishes today?!…
otherwise those berry bowls & flower pots would just leak all over the place?!
And that would be no bueno!

Categories: clay, porcelain, process, studio

Another pile of slop! This time it’s a creamy blend of porcelain reclaim sitting on my plaster bat. Should be ready to wedge in a day or so… and then it’s FREE CLAY ready to go!!!

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Categories: artists, studio, tools

Swung by my friend Pam’s metalsmithing studio this afternoon.
She’s working on a bunch of pieces… but I’m not quite sure where?!
Quite a different set-up from a potter’s studio.
The one thing in common?… lots & lots of tools!!!

So what does YOUR studio look like?

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Categories: studio, tools

Just a “small collection” of wire tools in my studio. You know. Just in case.

And thanks to Jon aka “Joe Bowl-a” for the photo…
and for not mocking me too much!

Categories: clay, process, studio

My latest batch of goopey reclaim clay has finally settled up after about a week on the plaster bat. So today I pounded it up a bit with just a smidge of wedging. Full wedging will take place when I’m actually ready to use the clay. Until then it will be bagged up for storage. Storage of FREE CLAY that is!!!

But it seems to never fail, that as soon as I finish up with one batch of reclaimed clay…
it’s already time to start the next batch! So here are some dried scraps ready to go.

And I pulverize them as fine as possible with a rolling pin before putting them into my reclaim bin. Once the clay is in the bin, I add enough water to cover the clay scraps. I let it sit for a few weeks with some occasional stirring & mixing up. Eventually the clay slakes down, the water evaporates and I’m ready to pull out the reconstituted clay onto my large plaster bat… and another cycle begins…

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Categories: clay, process, studio

Sometimes reclaiming clay seems like a never-ending process. Just as soon as I empty out the “big bucket of goo” onto my large plaster bat… the big bucket gets filled up again with dried clay awaiting its turn to slake down.

Categories: studio, tools

Now I’ve got to say how much I LOVE my pegboard… always have, always will
but methinks it might be time for a big cleaning to kick-off the New Year.

Is there such a thing as too many pottery tools?!