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

Trimming the latest batch of mugs with my new trimming tools from DiamondCore Tools! Still loving the feel of the handle, the sharpness of the blade… that and the fact that I just LOVE TRIMMING!!!

Categories: studio, tools

Spent the evening in the studio doing some more trimming with my new DiamondCore Tools! Their new trimming tools are pretty sweet… nice & sharp as you would expect, a comfortable wooden handle, and a bonus “carved shape” on the end of each one! Looks like they’ve just found their “new home” in my studio. Gotta LOVE some good pegboard!!!

Categories: platters, porcelain, sgraffito, tools

Just one of the sgraffito platters that will be part of this evening’s POP-UP POTTERY SALE only on my Fire When Ready Pottery Facebook page… just four hours away! They’re each hand-carved & one-of-a-kind… so when they’re gone, they’re gone! Starting tonight at 7:00pm CST.

Special thanks to DiamondCore Tools​ for kick-starting my sgraffito adventures… a few great carving tools and look what happened!!!

Categories: platters, porcelain, sgraffito, tools

You know how I LOVE a good spiral…
even more when it’s surrounded by a fun sgraffito carved pattern!…
thanks in part to the best carving tools from DiamondCore Tools​!

This is just one of the porcelain platters that will be included in my POP-UP POTTERY SALE only on my Fire When Ready Pottery Facebook page! The fun starts in just five hours… 7:00pm CST. Click on this LINK then to see the “official” Photo Album to shop from!

Categories: bowls, textures, tools

New tools mean it’s time for some new carvings! Playing around with some new patterns & textures using my new PF5 fine point U-tip carving tool from DiamondCore Tools!

Categories: process, production, studio, tools

Another night of trimming. Spinning fast in the studio. Enjoying my new trimming tools from DiamondCore Tools. Nice & sharp, making wonderful ribbons just peel right off!

Categories: bowls, process, production, studio, tools

So I’ve often said the best thing in the pottery studio is POWER TOOLS!
Especially when “drilling” lots of drainage holes into the bottoms of a bunch of berry bowls?!
So why not use a POWER DRILL to drill the holes?!

So I’ve already trimmed the bowls, and let them stiffen up to the “drier-side” of leatherhard. Not squishy. Not tacky. But definitely NOT bone dry yet. And then I start by making the first ring of holes just inside the footring… and then continue on the outside of the footring, between… staggered… lined-up… all different patterns!

And then I let them sit out a bit longer so the drilled “burrs” will brush off easily. Once the shredded debris stiffens up, I use a stiff paint brush to wipe all of those extra pieces off both inside & out! It’s always fun to see the drilled pattern after cleaning out the debris!

Now that they’re drilled full of drainage holes, I’ll let them dry to bone dry. And then I’ll take a green scrubby 3M pad to smooth out some of the rough edges before bisque firing.

Next up?… throwing a bunch of small plates to work as the drainage catch plate!

Categories: process, production, tools

It’s always a GREAT day when a surprise “care package” shows up…
with a promise of wonderful things inside!!!

So I ripped it open!!! To find the newest assortment of trimming tools from my pals at DiamondCore Tools!!! … WHOO-HOO!!!

They even come with their own replacement blades!!!…
so easy to switch out with a simple screw & screwdriver! With all the DiamondCore Carving Tools that I’ve used, I’m only had to switch the blade once… and that was all my fault… as I “squished” the blade when I accidentally pressed it into the edge of my wedging table… awkward… don’t ask…

It wasn’t because their blade had worn-out, it was because I’m a klutz!
But it is nice to know that replacing the blade is always an option!

I couldn’t wait to give them a test drive… their inaugural trip… their virgin voyage… and yet totally LOVING how crisp, clean & pristine they were right now. Knowing that they will NEVER be quite this clean ever again! They’re pretty sexy, right?

Another great design choice… each of the trimming tools has a different shaped end. A point, a square, and wedge and the rounded Potter’s Thumb! Double-duty being able to use both ends of the tool.

And verdict is in!!!…
Their trimming tools are GREAT!!! So smooth. So sharp.
And the handles feel great too… nice weight, nice balance, beautiful wood!!! You know I LOVE trimming… now there’s even more to love!

Thank You DiamondCore Tools… I love your tools. Always so sharp, well-made and perfect for so many uses! I can’t wait for this whole quarantine thing to end… so I can share these beauties with my pottery students!!!

Categories: studio, tools

Sometimes making a mess is the best part.

Categories: mugs, porcelain, stamped, tools

Ready to get some trimming done tonight. This batch of porcelain mugs are coming together… and giving me something a little more “normal“ to focus on!