Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: flowers, soda-fired, textures, vases, workshop

Beautiful flowers in her new soda-fired vases! Looks like Rhonda is enjoying the vases she got out of the kiln from our LILLSTREET SODA-FIRING WORKSHOP. Such a beautiful combination of colorful flowers, wonderful textures & earthy soda-fired finishes. So glad you came to my workshop Rhonda… I hope you had a good time!!!

Categories: classes, pottery, soda-fired, workshop

So here they are… after a very long wait… the pottery “treasures” that came out of the soda kiln Monday night during my LILLSTREET 3-DAY SODA-FIRING WORKSHOP. As with every soda firing, there area few hits, a few misses… and some crunchy chunks of kiln wash or brick flakes that “ruin” a few pots! There’s always a certain amount of loss during a soda kiln firing. But the soda-fired beauty of the rest of the pots makes it all worthwhile! And I think my workshop students were thrilled with their results as well.

Categories: classes, kiln firing, lillstreet, workshop

Before my students could enjoy their newly soda-fired pots… they had to do some kiln maintenance! Always a hassle after a long firing weekend, but a necessity that I made sure my LILLSTREET SODA-FIRING WORKSHOP folks got to “enjoy” as part of experiencing the “full” soda-firing process! Scraping kiln shelves, re-applying kiln wash on both sides of every shelf & cleaning the kiln room. After they put in the manual labor… we finally got to go back to caress, fondle & appreciate their new soda-fired treasures!

Categories: classes, soda-fired, workshop

Towards the end of yesterday’s LILLSTREET 3-DAY SODA-FIRING WORKSHOP, my students got the chance to load the soda mixture into the kiln. When the kiln gets up to cone 8, it’s time to mix it up and then start scooping & inserting the mixture into the kiln. I like to use a long angle iron to fill with the mixture – and then slide it into the kiln, dump it into the fire box, and then watch the flames shoot out!!! It’s a lot of work, but all part of the soda-firing process. I think they all enjoyed the experience. So now after several rounds of adding soda, the kiln has been turned off and it cooling all day today! They’ll return tomorrow night to open & unload the kiln… do some kiln cleaning & shelf maintenance… and then we’ll all get to look at their new soda-fired masterpieces!!!

Categories: kiln firing, soda-fired, workshop

Towards the end of the firing yesterday, the soda kiln is creeping into the cone 7-8-9 range… and the kiln is in full reduction at that point. Always exciting to see the flames shooting out everywhere!

Categories: classes, kiln firing, soda-fired, workshop

Yesterday was the firing of our kiln for the LILLSTREET 3-DAY SODA-FIRING WORKSHOP. I started the kiln early in the morning… waiting for the pyrometric cones to start going down… and sometime around noon it was time to put the kiln into body reduction. Which is always fun because that’s kinda the first time you seem some flames peeking out of the kiln here & there!

Categories: bowls, flowers, soda-fired, workshop

Cassie brought these tiny little flower dishes to fire in the soda kiln! They were made with different kinds of clay, and glazed with different colors. Individually they were great kiln filler… but when put together I like them even more!!! Like a floral tapestry!

Categories: classes, pottery, soda-fired, workshop

Last night we unloaded the soda kiln, cleaned, scraped, etc… and then took some time to admire our newest treasures! My students were excited to see their new soda-fired pieces – and the randomness that happens during the firing! There were some pleasant surprises… and some not-so-pleasant surprises! But here are just a few of the pieces that came out of the kiln last night. Kudos to my students on their beautiful pots!!!

Categories: classes, kiln firing, pottery, soda-fired, workshop
Categories: classes, pottery, process, soda-fired, workshop

After they had all the FUN of unloading their newly soda-fired treasures… they also got to experience the “FUN” of cleaning the kiln, scraping & kiln washing the shelves, and making the kiln room better than we found it – ready for the next loading team to come in. So they learned a lot in this workshop… and they also got to participate in this sweaty GLAMOROUS side of soda-firing!!!