If You're a Potter, Work with Ceramics, You Probably Need CrackZapIt!

And if you're a potter, you're probably more likely to listen to someone who also works with clay... has for many years... and has not only experienced painful finger cracks, but came up with a solution himself!

That's me...Jackson!

I took my first clay class from Jon Stokesbary, my favorite potter, at the old Laguna Beach School of Art...right next to the entrance of the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts back in 1965. (Hey, I was only 22 - you can imagine how old HE is!).

When I got out of the Army at the end of '68, I went back to school to study Art, Ceramics, and Education.

By '71, I was exhibiting at one of the Summer festivals... then had a booth at the Sawdust Festival until 1978 when I moved to Colorado.

In '73 I had graduated from college and started teaching Art and Ceramics at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana, CA.

I continued teaching Art and Ceramics, K-12, from '81 to 2002 right here in Norwood, Colorado and then retired...kinda'.

So there's the 'resume', but I also wanted to have a bit of a gallery to show you a few of the 1000's of pieces made over 45 years, just so you'd know I knew (kinda') what I was talking about!


The Clay Gallery

I've enjoyed making a number of fairly tall (18"-24" range) pots with thrown tops, bases, and lids... putting hand built sculptures on top, and creating the body out of slab that I have impressed and drawn into.

The way you do that, of course, is to roll out the slab, make what marks and impressions from stamps on them you want to...

...then the potter takes a large diameter plastic pipe and wraps newspaper around it (helps to get the pipe out as soon as possible from the slab so it doesn't shrink and crack around the immovable pipe/mold).

From there, score and slip the joint. I try to make the joint something interesting to look at by cutting shape into the overlapping part.

Baleen Whale Sculpture Lidded Form

BTW, those sculptures are mostly hollow, usually starting out as a lump I hollow out like a pinch pot, and then add on to.

Baleen Whale Lidded Form . In person you'd see a maelstrom of fish schooling below on the pot's body.

What's it for? Well, once when my dad looked at a pot I'd slaved over, he said: "Bet that would hold a lot of beans!"

It's really supposed to hold your attention. {;>) About 19", Cone 5 Electric.

Squid Sculpture Lidded Form

Squid Sculpture Lidded Form , about 18-1/2", Cone 5 Electric, also with a school of fish on the pot body.

The 'fish' are actually stamped into the slab body of the pot. The stamp used was derived from a Chinese butter mold in the form of a stylized Carp...

...I had spied the fish carving stamp on one of Stokesbary's pots and he let me stuff some clay into the mold...I think we were getting ready to go surfing that morning, but it only takes a minute!

From there, it's a matter of drying, low firing, and, Voila! Fish Stamp.

A Potter always wants to be on the look out for interesting textures and carvings to take impressions from!

Here's a little bit better detail of the 'squid lid' .

In person you'd also see the fish he's caught, as well as that school of 'impressed' fish all around the tall body of the piece.

Squid Clay Sculpture Lid Detail

From Potter-needs-CrackZapIt! to Clay Gallery, page 2...

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