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

The sunset was pretty cool tonight as I was driving north on Ashland.
But even cooler by the time I got to the studio!!!

Okay, so I couldn’t decide… vertical or horizontal???


Categories: food

Last night in class, one of my students brought in another flavor of Oreo’s!!!

Another odd flavor combination… odd, but still yummy.
And after careful and “repeated” flavor analysis, I have two words for you…


Anyone?… Anyone?… remember Cap’n Crunch cereal with Crunch Berries???
Same flavor. Same smell. Same childhood memories. Just sayin’…

Categories: blogs, pottery

So I got an e-mail yesterday from the folks over at Pinterest…

Hi there,
Pat yourself on the back: You got 13,356 clicks
to from Pinterest in the past 30 days!

That sounds pretty overwhelming to me?!
And I don’t quite know what to do with that news, that number.
How do I process that information? What does it really mean?!
I’m not well-versed in the world of Pinterest, but it sounds pretty cool to me!!!

Click here for finished Fire When Ready Pottery pieces on Pinterest.
Click here for Fire When Ready Pottery TEXTURES on Pinterest.
Click here for Fire When Ready Pottery STAMPING on Pinterest.
Click here for Fire When Ready Pottery MUGS on Pinterest.
Click here for Fire When Ready Pottery TILES on Pinterest.
Click here for some of my BIKING SUNRISES on Pinterest.

And then start pinning to your heart’s content!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Today I finished up my latest batch of mugs with some colored slip accents. The slip will change colors and do some fun “flashing” effects in the soda kiln. Or at least that’s the plan… you never know for sure until it comes out of the kiln!!!

Categories: flowers

So it’s finally March…
There’s still snow outside, but inside my “shamrock” oxalis plant thinks it’s already Spring?!!!

Categories: mugs, production

Today was all about finishing some mugs.
First I trimmed them all. And then wrapped them up while I made the handles.

I start with little chunks of clay gently thrown against the table to make “carrot” shapes. For some reason, I’m not sure why, I stand them up as I’m making them?! Like little soldiers waiting to go into service. Or in this case, kinda like a little Stonehenge of Handles?!!!

Then I pull each handles individually the traditional way. After I get them to the right thickness & width, I loop them over on themselves and stand them up again. This way, the curve is already set as they stiffen up a bit.

When the handles get to the right stiffness, I start attaching them to the cylinders. The tricky part with doing this many is trying to keep the handles from drying too fast and all at the same time. So I keep them under wraps and give them an occasional spray of water. Then it’s some scoring, slipping & attaching of the handles.

One after another… score… slip… attach… repeat.

Now that they are all “handled,” I’ve got them under plastic wrap for the night. That way the moisture levels can balance out a bit. Tomorrow I will do some final detailing, smoothing and add some colored slip accents before I set them out to dry.

Categories: tools

This afternoon I had a new tool to play with… thank you Sarah!
I think it will be fun to throw with to add some grooves on the sides of cylinders. But today was not a “throwing day” for me. So I decided to play with some slabs & some slip to see what it might do?!

First I dragged it across a slab of clay – and it makes some nice clean grooves.
Sharp edges down in the grooves with gently rounded edges on the tops.

Then I painted layers of slip on the slab and dragged the tool through.
Just playing with lines & squiggles! A little quick fun… now I need to make a plan
on how to REALLY use this fun new tool!!!

Categories: studio, tools
Categories: friends, tools

Sure, just after I struggle to figure out my eight favorite pottery tools… I receive a new “contender” in the mail today from my friend & wonderful metalsmith Sarah Chapman. She knows I love textures… and we both have far too many tools in our studios!!! So what’s one more tool from my “enabling” friend?! Thank you Sarah!!!

So now I need to get into the studio to give it a try…
and see what wonderful things this tool can make for me?!

Categories: studio, tools

It’s latest Facebook “trend” going around amongst the potters of the world!!!
Artists showing off their eight favorite tools in their studio. I thought about it for awhile and it was tough to narrow it down. I couldn’t make it JUST eight… so I hope that “collections” of the same tools count as one?!!!

1. My Shimpo VL-Whisper Wheel
2. My Shimpo banding wheel… my first pottery tool “gift” from Mom & Dad
3. My Giffin Grip… one of my best gifts to myself!!!
4. My square plastic bats.
5. My wire tool…. love the rubber loop ends and extra thin wire.
6. My wooden knife… with worn down end from burnishing after trimming.
7. My Sherill Mudtools plastic ribs.
8. Last but surely not least… tool boxes full of my own handmade stamps.