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

It was a breezy morning on the bike.
A beautiful sunrise… but methinks this is the last of the sun we’ll see today
as the clouds began to move in for the day!

Categories: process, studio

So tonight when I came back to my studio, I noticed some sort of random “fuzz” growing on my plaster bat. I use the bat to lay out my sloppy reclaimed clay. It sits on the bat for about a week before it is dried up enough to roll off and wedge up. I took my latest batch of reclaim clay off the bat about five days ago. I decided to leave my plaster bat sitting out so it could dry up a bit before laying out another batch of reclaimed clay slop. The bat is “elevated” on a couple commercial tiles so there is air circulation below it as well. I didn’t notice before… but I assume the fuzz has been “growing” since I took the clay off the plaster bat. I’ve seen little crystal-like build-up before, but NEVER this thick & furry!!!

Any thoughts of what’s going on here?
Should I be worried? Should I be concerned?
How do I fix the situation?… or is it too far gone? And time for a new plaster bat?!!!





Categories: classes, mugs

Tonight was the second class for some of my Beginning Wheelthrowing students…
and they’ve already finished up their first batch of mugs! We’re off to a great start!!!



Categories: mugs, porcelain, soda-fired, stamped

A small, stamped soda-fired porcelain mug to celebrate Mugshot Monday!

Categories: bike, sunrise

After yesterday’s windy century ride, this morning’s little jaunt along the lakefront was a simple “walk in the park.” Not so windy. Not so far. Just a bike and a beautiful sunrise.

Categories: bike

It was a wonderful day on the bike with my friend Chris today! Beautiful miles rolling through rural farms, small towns and endless cornfields. The weather was almost perfect… a bit windy… okay, a LOT windy… but so much fun pedaling close to a hundred miles!!!

First rest stop down. Twenty miles in, only eighty more to go!

And my new best friend… who let me pet her head and used my hand as her own personal salt-lick!

Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

Clear skies with a cool breeze all the way down for a beautiful sunrise
on Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Looks like Navy Pier is gearing up for a busy Pride Weekend.

While the statue of Bob Newhart looks on… according to the Navy Pier website…
Designed for visitor participation, lie on the couch and pour out your troubles to bronze Bob Hartley, the 1970s psychologist from The Bob Newhart Show. Created by Studio EIS in New York, the life-sized statue was commissioned by nostalgia cable channel TV Land and unveiled to the City of Chicago on July 27, 2004 by the company’s president Larry W. Jones. In November 2004, the statue was moved to Navy Pier.

Categories: glaze, summer camp

It was the last day of Wheelthrowing Camp…
and what better way to finish their terra cotta pots than with some decorative splattering?!!! The kids LOVED IT!!!


Categories: clay, process

My students often ask about spiral wedging. And I quickly admit that I have no technique, no flair, no special way of wedging. I’m more of a straight-forward, push it-muscle it-get it done-kinda guy. But for those of you interested in spiral wedging… this might be a better teacher than me!!! Beautiful to watch the rhythmic wedging… but I think I’ll be sticking to what works for me!

Click here for the video from The Ceramic School.




Categories: bike, weather

ABORT!!! ABORT!!! I just got up for the morning bike ride, got geared up and headed out. Sure, my weather app said 70% chance of rain… but being the eternal optimist, I thought I could squeeze in my ride before it went up to 90% at 6:00am. Wrong. So I pedaled two or three miles. Sprinkles. Another one or two and bit more rain. So I made the wise decision to head home. The winds shifted & picked up. The temperature dropped quickly. More rain… and just as I was walking up my back stairs… DOWNPOUR!!! Guess sometimes those weather apps are correct??? Huh.