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

It was a very productive day in the studio. And I’ve got a muddy mess to show for it!!!

Categories: studio, tools

So I received a package in my studio today. It was a little beat up so I was concerned…
but it seemed okay when I opened it up.

I was excited to find a collection of new tools from CI Products.
Some pretty groovy carving tools, a diamond grinding disc, and more!
I can’t wait to give them a try in my studio. More to come…



Categories: clay, porcelain, process, studio

My reclaim bucket was full of slaked down porcelain scraps. Pulverized porcelain scraps soaked in water, and then evaporated until it was gooey, but not puddley. So I thought today would be a good day to glop it all out onto a large plaster bat to get it to start setting up. After a few days of drying, I will be able to start wedging. You gotta love free clay!!! Especially when it’s porcelain… Thanks again Emily!


Categories: glaze, process, production, studio

Did a little glazing & wadding in my studio after camp prepping for this weekend’s Three Day Soda-Firing Workshop. My students should be glazing their work too… I just want to be ready with a few extra pieces for kiln filler. Just in case.


Categories: production, studio

After camp, it was an OVAL kind of day!
Because some times round is over-rated.


Categories: bowls, process, stamped, studio

So the class demo bowls have been “under wraps” in my studio for a few days. But I finally got around to do doing some stamping & detailing. Making the “not-so-basic” bowl demo even MORE not so basic!!!

A quick row of stamps around the edge of a thin flared rim.

A thinner row of stamping on the smaller section of the bowl.

Another row of stamps around the interior of this bowl with a fluted flange.

This bowl had two finger-twists… so I decided to stamp HALF, and only half!!!

Eight fluted accents… now with angled stamps & little button accents.

The basic split-rim bowl now has little “buttons” attached where it was pinched back together. You can’t really see it, but there’s also a stamp on the exterior just below each pinch point.

Same deal here… a small stamp on the exterior and “buttons” added at the pinch points.

The bowl with the dragonscale “flower” got a simple “grooved” rim.

The basic bowl with solid white slip inside got a simple row of stamps along the top exterior.

A simple bowl… a simple rim… no longer so simple with a row of stamps!

Grooved rim should catch & hold some glazes in a pretty cool way.

The split rim square has been detailed… but only on the inside is the rims!

With some concentric circles in the bottom, I though circular dot stamps were perfect!

The chattering pattern has a certain “motion” to it… so I tried to accentuate the movement with some angled grooves around the rim.

Vertical stripes dragged through the slip are mimicked with the grooved rim.

So now they’re drying and waiting to be trimmed. One step closer to done.

Categories: stamps, studio, tools

So many stamps. So many patterns. So many possibilities.
And just for the record, I have over six tool boxes just like this one
full of my handmade stamps!!!

Categories: pottery, process, production, studio, tools

Spent some time tonight trimming my stamped cylinders… with my favorite trimming tool. THE GIFFIN GRIP. It’s a brilliant contraption that instantly centers things and makes my trimming life so much easier in the studio!!! Love it.

Categories: clay, process, studio

Spent the afternoon making some more FREE clay. My reclaim was turned out onto a large plaster bat a few days ago. The gooey clay has firmed up a bit… so it was a day full of “fast-drying” with slices in front of the fan, and a LOT of wedging!!! But still… five bags of FREE CLAY!!! And you know how I like free clay!



Categories: pottery, studio

I had a great “surprise” visit from a budding potter from Nova Scotia yesterday. She follows along on Facebook and found herself in Chicago for a conference. So she stopped by and luckily I was around to meet her, chat and give her a quick tour. So much fun to meet some of my Facebook friends in person! Plus, she now has two nice mugs going home with her to Canada!