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

You know I LOVE TIE-DYEbut this is a little crazy!!!

It’s not actually tie-dye, it’s just another bag of my reclaimed porcelain clay! It’s been sitting around in my studio for quite awhile. And the sides that were facing outwards to the light grew this wonderfully green “algae” of sorts. Luckily, it’s just a bit of wedging before it’s all good to go again! And since we already have face masks… no worries!

Categories: clay, process, studio

While we’re all secluded and anxiously awaiting to “reclaim” our normal lives… I thought it was time to turn out another large batch of reclaim clay! A big pile of wonderfully gooey stoneware reclaimed clay ready to set-up on my plaster bat until it solidifies enough to start wedging up again!!! Gotta love FREE CLAY!!!

Categories: movie, music, studio, television, theater

One of the benefits of “self-isolating” in my studio tonight was that I could sing out loud… and there’s no one there to tell me to keep it down!!! Watched “OKLAHOMA” tonight for free streaming online with Hugh Jackman… long before his Wolverine days!

Categories: porcelain, production, studio

Playing with a bit of porcelain while working in my ever-so-quiet & isolated studio. Not a single person to chat with… which I guess is good as we need to stay safe. But I also need some human face time… even if it is from a safe distance! But still… no one!!!

Categories: inspiration, movie, studio, tools

Seemed oddly appropriate for today’s studio background movie… HAKUNA MATATA. It means no worries, for the rest of your days! It’s our problem-free, philosophy... HAKUNA MATATA.

And yes, you can thank me now for getting that little diddy stuck in your head for the rest of the day !!

Categories: kiln firing, ornaments, process, studio

As I was leaving the studio today, I left this festive “bowl-full-of-fun” in the kiln room just In case someone has room in their bisque kiln. I’m guessing these might there for quite awhile… luckily, dust will burn right off!!!

Categories: ornaments, process, production, studio, tools

Trimming & finishing some stuff today. Trying to get a bunch of stuff done in the studio. So much easier with my Bison Trimming Tools & Giffin Grip!!

Categories: clay, porcelain, studio

Well, it looks like I’ve got some rather “ripe” porcelain reclaim clay piling up here in my studio. Nice & green… who knows… mold?… algae?… could be full-on seaweed at this point?! Either way, it’s going to wedge up great and all of that “bonus” color will burn away in the bisque firing.

FREE RECLAIM CLAY is always good… regardless of the color!!!

Categories: process, production, studio, tools

Tools of the trade. Love my Bison tools for trimming…
and my MudTools rib for smoothing & burnishing!

Categories: clay, process, studio

So my reclaim pile of clay has been sitting on my plaster bat for awhile…
as the extra moisture settles out and the clay stiffens up. It was still a bit sticky to the touch, but firm enough to get started with the cutting, wedging & bagging part of the process. I start by shaving off large chunks of the clay with my wire tool.

You can see that my reclaim clay mixture is just that… a MIXTURE.
I am more than willing to mix-up all of my assorted reclaim scraps. I will add in any kind of clay as long as it’s a high-fire cone 10 clay body. So you can see there are still some sections of porcelain, darker, ochre clay, lighter B-clay, some organic grayness… and unexpectedly, some blemishes of terra cotta red that must have gotten in there accidentally. Luckily, there wasn’t a lot… so I figure it will just blend in and add a bit of iron-richness to the clay… and it won’t affect the final firing temperature of the mixed clay.

Cause after all… as I tell my students… IT’S JUST CLAY!!!

I take the large chunks and lay them out on my wedging table so the canvas can soak out some more of the extra moisture. I do a very brief wedging of the clay, and then shave off layers and re-stack them into small piles.

I take the stacked piles, cut them in half and stack them back on themselves. Cut the stack in half and layer them on top of themselves again. Repeat a couple times and the layers begin to get thinner & thinner as the clay mixes evenly. It’s a LOT quicker & easier than just straight wedging. The layers squish together easily with a little bit of gravity & slamming down on the table to help along the way!

A bit of quick wedging, and then I set it aside to carve off another chunk from my reclaim pile.
Piece by piece… slice by slice… chunk by chunk…

As I wedge up the piles, the clay is still a bit wetter than I want, so I throw them out stretched as a quick slab… and stand them up so they get some extra air exposure.

Some more wedging of the pieces and they get placed in clear bags. I don’t worry too much about a “perfect” wedging at this point, as I know I will do more wedging when I get around to actually using the clay.

So after a couple hours of cutting, layering & wedging…
I now have well over a hundred pounds of reclaimed clay.
FREE CLAY just from a little work… my favorite kind of clay!!!

 

 

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