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

Today I finished up my latest batch of miniature vases. Some bud vases with proportionately small stamped details. So today I trimmed the bottoms of them using one of my all-time favorite tools… my Giffin Grip!!!

And yes, even the mini’s are always hand signed!

And then I added some colored flashing slips for colors that will become more vibrant & dynamic during the soda-firing atmosphere.

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Categories: mugs, process, production, tools

I was getting ready to paint some colored flashing slip accents on another batch of mugs. But every time I do this, I wish I could see better where I’ve painted. This particular slip color is just too close to the color of my clay body. Hard to keep track of where you’ve already been!

So I finally did it… I added some food coloring into my bucket of slip. The plan is to tint the slip so it shows up better… all the while knowing that the food coloring will burn out during firing. Cool trick, huh?

So I squeezed a few drops of yellow food coloring into my bucket of Smooth Orange Flashing Slip… and if you wait a few minutes before stirring, you get this really groovy pattern as the food coloring spreads. You kinda just want to stand there and watch!!!

Eventually I had to get back to work… so I stirred it up and started painting the slip accents on some mugs. I like to paint the top section as well as a center detail on each stamp. Since I only had yellow food coloring, the color change was not too dramatic. But it did give the slip a bit of a pale yellow tint so it was easier to see what I had painted and what I hadn’t as I was rotating the mug.

Categories: process, production, tools

Spinning fast. Trimming quick.
I LOVE my Giffin Grip!!!

Categories: movies, mugs, process, production, studio, television, tools

I frequently get asked what my studio looks like…. well, here it is as I was working at my wedging table this afternoon. A lot of pegboard. A lot of tools. A lot of handles to be attached to mugs!!! And one of my favorites on the TV… any guesses?

 

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Categories: process, production, tools

Spinning fast. Trimming smooth.
Love working with my Giffin Grip… makes studio life so much easier!

And then some signing to finish off the bottoms.
They are now under wraps again for the night… for tomorrow I add handles!

When I first started making pots, I signed the bottoms by printing my name in block letters. A couple years in, I switched to hand signing each and every pot. I prefer the personal signature to reinforce the “handmade-ed-ness” of each pot. And yet, I know some of those old pots are still out there… so we refer to the pots with printed letters as “vintage.”

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Categories: tools

No need to clean ‘em if you’re using them again tomorrow, right?!

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…

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Categories: process, tools

Well lookey here… someone has an article published in the October issue of Ceramics Monthly. It’s the “Tips & Tools” segment… all about using a power drill for the holes in my berry bowls. Thanks to the folks at Ceramics Monthly for inviting me to contribute to their magazine.

Categories: tools

Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE trimming!