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

Spinning. Trimming. Make my feet look so much better!
Gotta love that Giffin Grip!

Categories: stamps, studio, tools

So many stamps, so little time…
and never enough pots to use them all.
This is less than a third of my stamp collection.

Categories: tools

Carving some leaf patterns through white slip to reveal the darker clay color… and using these great new Zebra Carving Tools by DiamondCore Tools. They seem a LOT sharper and give a much cleaner line! Loving them!!! Plus, the foam grippy thing for comfy holding, and the fact that you can pivot and change the angle of the blade. Genius!

Categories: summer camp, tools

Lots of kids in Summer Camp means lots of trimming tools
for Wheelthrowing Camp… for Wednesday is always Trimming Day!


Categories: classes, porcelain, tools

So I subbed this morning for Lisa’s advanced class. At their request, we worked on lidded oval casseroles as they had seen my Beginners working on theirs here on Facebook. After the oval demo, some of them were carving & adding surface decorations. I ran upstairs to grab my new Zebra Carving Tools from my studio. They loved them too! As you can see here by the little leaves Deborah was carving on the side of her porcelain jar.

And the sketch that started it all…


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.



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?





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.”