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

Can’t wait to see green here in the City after a long gray Winter…
even if it is the traditional green dye in the Chicago River!!!



Categories: classes, lillstreet

After ten weeks of playful pottery competition… we’ve finally come to the end.
The Closing Ceremonies so to speak. After awarding points to the final teapots, and points to the matching cups & saucer, the totals were tabulated for all participants!

And the Winners are…

THIRD PLACE… with a total of 300 points…
“Tay-Tay Clay-Wedger”… also known as Taylore!

SECOND PLACE… with a total of 310 points…
“ClaytinaWatergirl” … also known as Catherine!

And in the much coveted FIRST PLACEwith a Grand Total of 372 points…
“Clay Eagerman”… also known as Chuck.



Categories: classes, teapot

Last night was the final class & final challenge for my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class! While we had a few people struggling to find time for this final & largest challenge, we still ahd quite a few amazing entries. Especially amazing as this was the very first teapot for many of my students!!! And just two weeks to finish putting it all together is not a lot of time!

Katie’s sweet little teapot and cups. Her first teapot ever!!!… and as of right now, she’s claiming it might be her last. We’ll see… maybe I can get her to tackle another one next session???

Ryan’s structured slab constructions kind of took on a life of their own… especially when the teapot literally “jumped” off the table and fell om the ground. Luckily, it was still wet enough that he could do a bit of reconstructive surgery in it. We’ll see how this holds up when it gets fired… so far so good.

Chuck’s wheelthrown set dipped in colored slip for an upcoming soda-firing.

Jon’s unique handbuilt teapot… note: the little bumper at the bottom right is just that, a bumper to keep it from rocking backwards white drying or bisque firing. Unfortunately, Jon wasn’t able to complete his cups in time as some birthday celebrations got in the way… totally understandable… PARTY OVER POTTERY!!!


Richard’s teapot set was very well-constructed with great angles & lines that tied it all together. Very well thought out as you might expect from an architect.

Stephanie’s handbuilt constructions with stenciled slip decorations.

Isabel’s porcelain set… with a smidge of last-minute brilliance of throwing her cups & saucers as one piece and slapping on a handle quick so as to fulfill the challenge in time!

Patty’s porcelain set with sweet cups & saucers.

Taylore’s porcelain teapot & cups… soon to be completed with a handmade brass handle!
My vote for second place!

And the one I chose as best teapot was Catherine’s porcelain precision!


Categories: pottery, production, stamped, teapot

So my teapots are drying slowly. I wanted to take another photo of the sets as I was moving them onto a raised plastic grid for better airflow and even drying. So here they are gain… my “five” sets of teapots & cups!





And then there were FOUR!!!
Yes, like a bull in a china shop… quite literally… I lifted the wareboard, spun around and ran right into a stack of clay boxes. Yes, those clay boxes have been there for months!!! Nothing new. Nothing that should have surprised me.¬† I was just moving too fast, not paying attention, And in the blink of an eye, the board hit the top box, everything toppled and I managed only to save a cup. Everything else went crumbling down. At least it’s nice to see how evenly thrown my lid was????

Mwah, mwah, mwah…



Categories: classes

Okay, so my final class of the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class is tonight!!!
And I’m working quickly to make some prize ribbons to share with the group.
There’s been a lot of healthy competition & camaraderie amongst the students.
So tonight is going to be a fun one!!! Everyone has worked hard…
so EVERYONE gets a ribbon!!!


Categories: pottery, process, production, stamped, teapot

For the final challenge of my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, my students were tasked with making a teapot with matching cups & saucers. They have also learned that I love a good challenge… so I’m now making the same.

But you know I can’t make just ONE… so I’m doing FIVE!!!
All assembled and freshly slip painted with colored flashing slips for the soda kiln.






Categories: color

Getting my sparkle on! Who knew that glitter came as a spray paint… thank you Rust-O-Leum!!! It’s the first time I’ve every spray painted pottery… let alone glittered either. All for a good cause… and a good PRIZE!!!

Categories: food, holiday

Why choose on National Pi Day?!… err, PIE DAY!!!
Especially when there are BOGO deals & sale bargains everywhere!

I’m just celebrating TWICE!
Classic over-achiever!!!

Categories: flowers, garden

While “everyone” is at NCECA… some of us had to stay home to make the pots!!! Just had to take a quick afternoon break at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show to “ease the pain.” Have fun Pittsburgh Pottery Peeps!!!

Categories: production

With a final class THROWDOWN challenge of teapot with matching cups & saucers for Thursday night… gotta make some saucers quick if I’m going to finish my set as well.