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

It’s been another great week of Wheelthrowing Summer Camp… with a younger group in the mornings, and an older group in the afternoon. It’s always fun to watch them learn how to throw on the wheel… struggle a bit… and then crank out a bunch of pots in just a couple days!!!

Categories: bowls, classes, wheelthrowing

Ten bowls by 10:00am!!! Sure, I shoulda been making the terra cotta drip plates… but I kinda slipped on a tangent. But seriously, who doesn’t need some new bowls???

Categories: classes, wheelthrowing

Had a “little” fun last night in class! We started with throwing lidded jars… and then switched to throwing the lids off-the-hump. And then since I had some “extra hump”… we continued and I showed them how to make mini bowls, small bud vases & ornaments too!!!

Categories: handbuilding, mugs, process, production, stamped, textures, wheelthrowing

Doing some trimming on my latest batch of hybrid mugs… making the “wheelthrown” part look even more like a nicely trimmed wheelthrown mug.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE trimming?! It makes such a difference…

Categories: production, wheelthrowing

Just a few disks freshly thrown… a quick & productive morning!

Categories: challenge, classes, wheelthrowing

While I was in St. Louis this week, my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class went on without me… thanks to my sub Lisa… and my pre-determined wheelthrowing challenges! This week they had to make their own version of a “perfect” seven-inch cylinder! Not realizing until later that they would also have to recreate that same “perfect” vase proportionately at 5-inches tall… and them again at 3-inches tall… and one more time at 9-inches! Looks like they killed it!!!

And I can’t wait to see them next week… when they need to bring back all four vases with “matching” surface decoration using SLIP TRAILING as their primary technique!

Categories: pottery, production, wheelthrowing

And when you make a bunch of flower pots, you also need to make a bunch of water drip trays to go with them!

Categories: pottery, process, production, wheelthrowing

Making a quick batch of flower pots… while looking forward to my “Plants & Pottery Pop-Up” down near Peoria over the third weekend of May! If I play my cards right, I’ll be headed down with a bunch of pottery, as well as some plants to fill them!!!

Categories: bowls, challenge, classes, wheelthrowing

After throwing-off-the-hump, my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN peeps turned their attention from matching mini bowls… to matching serving bowls! They had three pounds for each bowl, and plenty of time to make them as “perfectly matching” as they could. Plenty of time to throw two bowls… plenty of time to throw a replacement bowl or two… plenty of time to overthink things… plenty of time to push too far until they flop!

They all did a great job… but no winner was chosen! As the “real challenge” is to come back to class next week with two perfectly matching & perfectly TRIMMED serving bowls!!!

Categories: classes, wheelthrowing

Last night during my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, we started the night with an “off-the-hump” wheelthrowing challenge! They each started with 8-pounds of clay and about 30 minutes to throw as many small dishes as possible “off-the-hump”… which means working off the top of a bigger lump of clay, only centering & working with a small handful each time until the big ball of clay has all been used up. The “big twist” was that the bowls had to be between 3″-4″ at the rim… and only the ones that matched would count!!!

Big kudos to Will who cranked out the most matching bowls during our quick challenge!