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

Last night was the opening of the new Mugshot Monday Show at the Lillstreet Gallery.
It was a nice collection of mugs as curated through the many potters who post on Instagram for #mugshotmondays.

I was totally transfixed by these highly “constructed” mugs by Colby Charpentier.
Such an amazing assemblage of porcelain parts & pieces… like these…

In the end… this masterpiece will soon be joining my own Mug Collection!!! WHOO-HOO!!!

And then after snatching up the incredibly complex mug….
I decided to add yet another mug… much more simple & subtle… and unintentionally sticking with a monochromatic porcelain theme with this understated beauty by Bianka Groves.


Categories: process, production, tools

Spinning fast. Trimming smooth.
Love working with my Giffin Grip… makes studio life so much easier!

And then some signing to finish off the bottoms.
They are now under wraps again for the night… for tomorrow I add handles!

When I first started making pots, I signed the bottoms by printing my name in block letters. A couple years in, I switched to hand signing each and every pot. I prefer the personal signature to reinforce the “handmade-ed-ness” of each pot. And yet, I know some of those old pots are still out there… so we refer to the pots with printed letters as “vintage.”



Categories: bowls, stamped, textures

Stamped bowl rim with fluted shadows.

Categories: inspiration

I’m not at all political…
but for some reason I just couldn’t resist posting this today of all days!!!

Categories: blogs

So excited to once again make the list!!!
After three years in the Number One position, I fell slightly to Number Two this year. Still not too shabby considering I squeezed in a lot of fun this past summer… art fairs, summer camps, triathlons, sunrises and a full IRONMAN… and still came in at Number Two!!! Yeah me!!!

Thanks to POTTERY MAKING INFO for following the clay blogs all year long. And for sharing our stories to a wider audience on a monthly basis. So many great potters out there sharing a LOT of information, anecdotes & stories.

Click here to see the full list of those who made the Top Pottery Blogs of 2016.

Beating me out this year, Carole Epps and her “Musing About Mud” blog.
An amazing amount of ceramic content & images. She invites people to submit content to her blog so there’s a wide range of photos, videos, Call For Entries, and ceramic work from all over the world. Huge congrats to Carole… and thanks for sharing SO many beautiful things!

Don’t forget that it’s not JUST about blogging.
Sure, the blog might have a lot more content & stories. But you can always get your “fix” on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube as well. Just do a “Search” for Fire When Ready Pottery. You can pretty much “find” me anywhere… and then you can “Follow” me anywhere.





Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped, stamps

I started the evening with a bunch of cylinders… thirty-six to be exact.
They were way too plain… begging for a bit of textured fun.

So I grabbed two stamps and set forth… first, a single row of lager stamps along the indentation. Which by the way, is the perfect “trick” to help keep your stamps straight.

Then a little “detailing” inside of the indentation to break it up and make it look a bit les obvious.

And then the same small stamp turned and tapped under the original larger stamp.

And here are the two stamps that did all of the work…

One done… thirty-five more to go!!!

Done… ready to be wrapped for the night. Trimming & handles still to come…



Categories: Chicago

As a quick break in the middle of the day, we went for a quick spin on the new Centennial Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. They were giving free rides from 10:00am-12:00pm. And lucky, one of our Pier Park friends was working and “hooked us up” in the special glass-bottomed gondola!!! Extra special views in the extra special car. WHOO-HOO… playing hookie!!!

Dawn was a bit freaked out by the ride…

While Tiffany was grinning & bearing it… while fighting back a smidgen of nausea and claustrophobia!

I, on the other hand, was giggling and goofing around like a four-year old… which I’m pretty sure didn’t help matters any?!!!

“Floating” out of my seat above the glass-bottomed floor!


Categories: Chicago, food

Celebrating the “holiday” with some Chicago Mix… cheddar & caramel corn mixed together!!!
With an added bonus… Buy any medium bag today and get a FREE upgrade to Large
at any Garrett’s Popcorn in Chicago!!! So we did…. twice!!!


Categories: Chicago, sunrise

Another cold morning in Chicago. Cloudy skies covering the sunrise.
The lake is still frozen with a forecast of warm temps this weekend to melt the slushy surface!

Categories: classes, mugs, stamped

Last night in class my Beginning students trimmed & added handles to their first mugs!
Here’s my class demo… and sure, I “might” have done a little stamping on mine too?!!!
Shocker, huh?