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

Just doing a little more detailing on one of last week’s class demo bowls. We started with an ombre’ slip gradation from black to white slip in class. Then I did a little stamping along the rim. Followed by some carving through the slip using one of my favorite DiamondCore Tools for crisp, clean lines.

Categories: bowls, stamped, surface decoration

After last Tuesday’s class demo on making “not-so-basic-bowls”… there may have been a bit more detailing that happened up in my studio?! HA!!! After a couple nights under plastic, I pulled the demo bowls out and started stamping & indenting the rims to make them even more fun & even less basic!!!

Categories: surface decoration
Categories: platters, stamped, stamps, surface decoration

Just finished my first week of Summer Camp…
and just decorating another platter in my studio after the kids have left!

Categories: bowls, classes, surface decoration

So this week was “bowls on purpose, instead of cylinders gone bad” demonstration night for my Tuesday night Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing class. So we started by discussing what makes a good bowl… a nicely rounded interior, no beginner’s ledge, intentional rim, and all of the other things to watch out for!

So then I did a throwing demo for my students, and showed them how to make a nice bowl INTENTIONALLY, instead of a cylinder gone bad! After the demo session, my students all went back to their wheels to start practicing & making bowls of their own.

Meanwhile, I threw a bunch of bowls so that we could “play” with them later in class!!!

After my class had some time to throw their bowls, and I finished with mine…
we re-grouped at my demo wheel so that I could show them a few quick tricks & techniques to make their bowls “not-so-basic.” My feeling is pretty much that the wheel kinda makes a round bowl for you… but it’s up to each person to make it their own!!! So I just wanted to add a few “possibilities” to their arsenal of tricks to play with. So here they are…

Bowl #1 – Four fluted edges… and a nice spiral.

Bowl #2 – and if four fluted edges are good, maybe EIGHT are even better?!

Bowl #3 – A flared out flange… bent out over the edge to create a “wider” rim.

Bowl #4 – And if a one-inch flared flange is nice, maybe a larger one is even better?

Bowl #5 – Then I combined the flared flange with some fluted accents.

Bowl #6 – A split-rim pinched back together in eight places!

Bowl #7 – Another split-rim pressed-in on two sides. There’s “a very good chance” that there might be a handle up & over from pinched part to pinched part to make it a “basket” bowl.

Bowl #8 – Another split rim – pressed in on four sides to create a kind of quatrefoil effect.

Bowl #9 – Another split rim pressed in at four points, and pressed out at four points! Kind of a lotus pattern.

So after doing a bunch of altered rims, I introduced them to colored slip. And how they can use some “thick” slip to add some details & textures to their bowls.

Bowl #10 – A layer of thick white slip with a spiral dragged through from the center up & out.

Bowl #11 – Another layer of thick white slip with banded drag-throughs… and a good chance that there “might be” some carving to be done through the thicker bands.

Bowl #12 – Thick white slip with some finger painting… just some squiggles from my index finger.

Bowl #13 – Thick white slip with some fun chattered texture & patterns… rhythmic tapping with a rubber rib… up & down, round & round, from center to rim.

Bowl #14 – An ombre’ blend of white slip to black slip… and again, a “good chance” there might be some carving coming soon!

Bowl #15 – And ombre’ blend of thick white & black slips… and a finger squiggled through.

Bowl #16 – Thick black & white ombre’ blend– and then chattered through the slip.

And for now they’re all “resting” safely in my studio under a bunch of plastic. Like I said, there might still some additional work don on these to make them EVEN MORE “not-so-basic”!!! Maybe a little stamping, carving & detailing… possibly?… allegedly?…

Categories: platters, process, surface decoration

So I finally have a “plan”… and I decided that soda-firing would be the better option to finish this amazing platter. My friend Kristen carved the pattern and I don’t want to “glop-it-all-up” with too much glaze filling it in. Instead, I waxed the interior section and then sprayed a thin layer of mustard slip around the rim. Being careful not to get too much in & avoiding drips. I will now let it dry, then bisque it. The wax will disappear from the interior then. I will glaze the center section, and probably do some glaze-inlay around the rim. The soda-firing should help accentuate the carved textures & the colored slip will hopefully pick-up some cool flashing marks during the firing. Fingers crossed… but we’ll need to wait over a month for my next soda kiln firing.

To see more of Kristen Holub’s cool carving technique… follow her on Instagram… @kayhoceramics

Categories: platters, stamped, stamps, surface decoration

Another plate. Another stamp.
Just added a textured rim around this dinner plate!

Categories: My Talented Friends, platters, surface decoration

I had thrown a large platter for a class demo… and then it “lived under plastic” for a bit too long, getting too dry to stamp. So I gave it to my friend & former student to work her magic on. Kristen has been doing wonderful carving techniques on her pots, but mostly smaller mugs & bowls. I thought it might be fun to challenge her with a larger surface to decorate. And she did NOT disappoint!!! The platter looks AMAZING with her beautiful carvings all around the rim. It’s now back in my studio and I need to figure out where to go from here. To glaze or soda-fire, that is the question…

Check-out more of Kristen’s amazing work on Instagram… @kayhoceramics

Categories: process, stamped, stamps, surface decoration, textures

Time for some more stamping… using one stamp pattern for each pot. Just making each one a little different… all the while hoping the stamps line-up & don’t overlap in some crazy way when I get back around to where I started!!! Fingers crossed…

Categories: classes, surface decoration

After painting the underglaze, my SURFACE DECORATION class wiped off the top surface of their waxed pots. It’s always exciting to see your pattern be “revealed” as you gently wash away the excess. Hopefully, after a good bit of wiping, the surface will be clean with underglaze only filling the carved lines & patterns. When finished, these cups can now dry & be bisque-fired. The wax will burn away, the underglaze will be firmly in place & it’s time to glaze like normal. Fine line drawings with inlaid underglaze… voila’… MISHIMA.