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

Porcelain vases thrown this morning & already moving on to the stamping phase.
I love a good productive day in the studio!

Categories: production, wheelthrowing

Not bad for a little early morning production!

Categories: process, production, vases, wheelthrowing

Also threw a new batch of round discs tonight…
soon to be stamped, slip painted and soda-fired. If all goes well,
these will be ready for ART IN THE BARN as ikebana flower vases!

Categories: ornaments, wheelthrowing

After throwing all of the cylinders I’ll need for my collaboration project…
I still had some time & some clay.

It’s never too soon to start making Christmas ornaments, right???

Categories: production, wheelthrowing

Back from last week’s “adventure”… and back in the studio & back on the wheel.
Feels so good to be be back in the saddle again!

Categories: bowls, classes, process, production, wheelthrowing

This week in my Tuesday night Wheelthrowing pottery class, we tackled making “bowls on purpose instead of a cylinder gone bad.” I like to show them how to make a real” bowl with intenti0n, instead of letting a cylinder get away from them and being okay with the “bowl-ish” shape they end up with. So for the demo, I show them how to throw a nice bowl with a beautifully even curve on the interior. No grooves. No indentations. No beginner’s ledge.

Once we cover that first how-to-bowl… then I throw a bunch more while they go back to their wheels to make some bowls… on purpose. After I’ve thrown all of my demo bowls, we reconvene at my wheel to do some quick altering & decorating. My goal is always to show them how to have fun with their clay, to get over the “preciousness” and to encourage them to do something extra to make it “their” bowl instead of just a round bowl that the wheel kind of made for them!!! This is my favorite demo every session!

Bowl #1 – Two simple fluted edges opposite each other.

Bowl #2 – And if two flutes are good, eight might be better?!

Bowl #3 – A wide flanged rim flared out.

Bowl #4 – That same flanged rim flared out and then fluted in four places.

Bowl #5 – A simple “flower” accent pressed into the bottom of a bowl using a metal dragonscale tool.

Bowl #6 – A split rim pinched back together in eight places.

Bowl #7 – Another split rim, this time pinched & flared out in flour places, and inwards in another four places.

Bowl #8 – Sticking with the split rim fun, but this time doing a “scalloped” edge efect.

And then it was time to introduce colored slip as a design option.
I pretty much stuck to white slip as it has a nice contrast to the darker stoneware I was using.

Bowl #9 – a thick layer of white slip with a spiral dragged through it as the wheel was spinning.

Bowl #10 – Think white slip later with some simple banded accents through the slip.

Bowl #11 – A layer of white slip, with one dramatic brush stroke accents swoop!!!

Bowl #12 – A thick layer of slip squiggled through with a finger… like finger painting!!!

Bowl #13 – Another layer of thick white slip, then chattered through with a rubber rib… tapping up & down from the center outwards as the wheel is spinning.

Bowl #14 – A very simple spiral of white slip made with a slip trailing squeeze bottle.

Bowl #15 – A layer of thick white slip with banding and vertical stripes dragged through.

Bowl #16 – Thick white slip with vertical drag stripes, and then a thick grooved spiral in the center.

Bowl #17 – Getting a little ” crazy” with slip, we added some black slip for an ombre gradation effect, an then a spiral dragged through it.

And for now they’re all under plastic in my studio… waiting for a little more detailing…
and who knows?… “maybe” a little stamping here & there???

 

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Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production, wheelthrowing

Feeling a little uninspired this afternoon… so it’s back to my favorites
MAKING MORE MUGS!!!

Playing with porcelain and throwing another batch of cylinders
that will soon be stamped, trimmed, handled and MUG-ified!!!

Categories: clay, summer camp, wheelthrowing

After two days at the pottery wheel, my Summer Campers were cranking out some nice pots… trying to stay focused, elbows down, arms locked in, fingers steady, centering their clay… and eventually making a LOT of pots!!!

Categories: clay, summer camp, wheelthrowing

This is my first week back at Lillstreet Summer Camp!
And my kids are having a wonderful time and making some pretty sweet pots
in Wheelthrowing Camp! Goopey messy fun!!! WHOO-HOO!!!

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Categories: porcelain, production, wheelthrowing

Playing with porcelain again. Pretty in white… with some sgraffito plans in the making…