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

With a nice stamped & soda-fired mug…
and some spring blossoms still looking great in a “matching” ikebana vase!

Categories: flowers, soda-fired, stamped, vases

Celebrating Spring with some more pretty flowers… just a few branches of ornamental pear blossoms in a stamped & soda-fired ikebana vase. A simple centerpiece with just a few stems. No need for the full bouquet with a stylish ikebana vase!

Categories: classes, handbuilding, process, textures, vases

Looks like Rikke has continued her adventures with texture using one of my carved rolling pins from Stodola! We started this in our Thursday morning class when she wanted to go bigger than her textured rubber mat would allow. The carved rolling pins from Stodola allow her to go as big as she can! The texture & pattern is working well… and we’re both loving the “wood texture” inside some of the pressed squares!

Click here to see more from STODOLA!!!

Categories: artists, flowers, friends, My Talented Friends, pottery, vases

Looks like Spring is working its way into Oak Park… and my friend & fellow potter Roberta’s backyard where the snowdrops have started to bloom. She brought a few blossoms inside for her perfect little bud vase! So pleased that my tumbler made her photo shoot! Thanks for the shout-out Roberta!

Check-out Roberta’s amazing work on her Facebook page…

Categories: classes, clay, color, vases, wheelthrowing

This week in my Beginning Wheel class we played with colored clay for “marbled” pots! I started by coloring some clay ahead of time for them with mason stains layered & wedged into B-Clay. We then layered regular B-Clay and/or Brown Stoneware with the colored clays… and then gave it two simple wedges to start the marbling. So much fun to see the colors presenting themselves as you’re throwing. When we were done, the pieces still have a “smudgy” layer of mixed clays like a dirty skin on the pot. When they get to leatherhard, we will carefully trim the entire surface off to reveal the clean lines of layered & marbled clays.

And yes, if we were doing more than one or two pots, I would have definitely used rubber gloves. But since this was a “quickie” demo and not a long-term pottery career of marbled clay… I figured it was tough enough for my students to throw their own forms, let alone to do it with gloves on!

Categories: pottery, process, textures, vases

Celebrating another TEXTURE TUESDAY with a few close-up detail shots! Crackled slip textures thanks to the magic of sodium silicate!

Categories: pottery, production, textures, vases

Here’s a few more shots of the crackled slip vases I made since class last Thursday. For these, I used colored flashing slips to see what happens to them when fired in the soda kiln. It’s been a fun process to play with… creating different textures & patterns that “magically appear” as the pots are bulged out and the slip begins to crackle!

Categories: pottery, production, textures, vases

So when I shared this crackled slip technique with my class last Thursday morning… they asked if I thought it might work its way into my own body of work. I scoffed and said “I don’t think so.”

But I posted some class demo pictures online and they got some good loving… and then THIS happened!!! Looks like maybe I should not have scoffed so quickly…

Categories: pottery, soda-fired, stamped, vases

Looks like someone found the perfect napkin holder… employing one of my stamped & soda-fired oval vases with the perfect fit!

Categories: process, production, stamped, vases

After stamping, I added a few accents of colored flashing slip onto the vases. These will change colors as they react with the atmosphere of the soda kiln… believe it or not, I’m painting with a slip that turns ORANGE!!!