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

So it’s been a BUSY week. With ART IN THE BARN this weekend,
I had to keep my head down and focus if I want to get my new Halloween Ghouls done.
Lots of handbuilt accents & details… a lot of scoring & slipping!!!


Categories: textures, tools

Making some textured slabs for a new project…
and these STODOLA carved rolling pins will be PERFECT!!!

I’ve kinda been “saving them” for something special…
and I’m hoping that my new project will show them off. Made my slabs and I’m ready to ROLL!!! For more about these textured rolling pins, check out the STODOLA website!

Categories: ornaments, production, tools

Never too soon to make more Christmas ornaments, right???
Just trimming the bottoms of my latest batch… made SO much easier
with my favorite Giffin Grip & Bison Trimming Tool.
Spinnin’ & trimmin’ before adding the ring on the top to hang them from!

Categories: bowls, tools

Carving up a couple more bowls.
A bit of colored slip on the insides carved through with my DiamondCore V-tip.
Such nice clean lines!

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!



Categories: tools

A little glimpse into the care packages… looks like a LOT of fun textures to me!!!

Categories: tools

I simply LOVE when surprise care packages arrive in my studio…
especially when they’re new texture tools all the way from Poland!!!

Categories: bowls, tools

Layered with black slip, and then carved through with a v-tip carving tool
by DiamondCore Tools. Another quick sgraffito bowl in the studio.

Categories: bowls, process, production, tools

Berry bowls here we come!!!
And who doesn’t want to play with power tools in the studio? The quicker & cleaner way to drill holes in bowls is with an actual power drill. Go figure!

So I start by marking where the holes will go with my MKM Decorating Disks. They help even space out the holes so you know where to drill. Then you just let it rip!!!

The clay will fly up and leave behind some burrs which are easy to brush off after they dry a bit. A couple minutes and a stiff paintbrush… and maybe a bit of smoothing.

With a little brushing & smoothing, your berry bowls will be done in no time! So much faster & easier than cutting them out by hand. So much so… that this power drill tip was actually featured in Ceramics Monthly!!! Click here to see the article!




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?