Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: art fair, artists, My Talented Friends

Huge congratulations to my friend & incredible painter Cheryl Holz
who won the top honor last weekend at ART IN THE BARN!!!

From Cheryl’s website
Cheryl Holz is a midwestern artist whose mixed media artwork celebrates nature’s strength, beauty and diversity. Like sediment accumulates in a riverbed, she builds up layers of textured surfaces, organic painting processes, and relevant text on wooden panels. Portions are excavated to reveal botanical or geological specimens and natural patterns.

I met Cheryl a few years back and have admired her work ever since. Her imagery, her layers, patterns and combinations. The multi-media mixtures of nature & text. The color palette that is so close to my own personal palette… see my condo, see her colors… one and the same!!! And she’s one of the nicest people to boot. I’ve always said that I’m so happy to have so many Talented Friends!!!

Congrats again to my friend Cheryl… she deserves all the ribbon, prizes and accolades.
BEST OF SHOW 2016.

For more of Cheryl’s work, click here for her website… or in the Links column to the right.

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Categories: food

Is it so wrong that I went to my favorite restaurant for dinner again tonight?

This evening it was Tortellone Con Salsa di Noce… a wonderful tortellone filled with creamy gorgonzolla cheese, then tossed with grapes in a walnut pesto cream sauce. Yum… oh yeah, and more hot caramel sauce for dessert. But I did show some restraint and did NOT come home with any more jars of their homemade caramel sauce!!! Sadly, they’re only open for two more dinner services… get there quick before they close for good!!!

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Categories: classes, process

My wheelthrowing students keep asking how they can improve. They want better control of their clay. They want to get the shapes they’re hoping for. So in this week’s class, I offered up my “Throwing With Intention Challenge.” So we started with a discussion about how important it is to know what you want to make from the very start. As early as cutting off the right sized piece of clay. And then centering it into a good shape. I encourage a taller ball of centered clay if you’re going to throw a vertical form. Whereas a lower, flatter centered piece of clay is ideal for plates & platters. We then discussed how they should have a “design”in their mind of what they want their form to look like. And the benefit of sketching pieces first, or keeping a scrapbook of images & forms.

And then the challenge began. They each drew a piece of paper which had a challenge on it. They needed to throw the shape on the sheet as best as they could. Keeping in mind edges, curves, proportions, etc. I purposefully put a thin grid behind the drawings to help point out the geometric-ness and proportions they should strive for. They then sat down to throw their “chosen” cylinder with intention!!! With a good plan from the start… instead of slapping down some clay, spinning the wheel and seeing what you get!

Most of them enjoyed the challenge. And each of them struggled, but succeeded in their own way. It was great to see them embracing the challenge and refining their skills. Little do they know… but this challenge will most likely be repeated again… and again… and again…

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Categories: artists, glaze, My Talented Friends, tiles

Came home from ART IN THE BARN with this beautiful porcelain tile from My Talented Friend Mike Skiersch. He hand carves the master tile and then makes a mold to produce these tiles. The glaze is one of studio recipes that looks incredible on his tiles. I love the color & the pooling. The crackling looks great on his tiles… not quite so good on my functional work.

To see more of Mike’s tile work, click here for his website.

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Categories: food

Another wonderful dinner tonight at my very favorite restaurant… ROSE ANGELIS. Great food, good friends, incredible caramel sauce. Sadly, after 25 years, they have decided to close the restaurant this Saturday. I’m hoping to get back for at least one more dinner before then. But if not, I’ve already started hoarding their caramel sauce!!!

Five jars… hoping for more!!!

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Categories: bike, sunrise

After yesterday’s clouds, today was completely clear. Just blue skies, an orange reflecting glow and an odd line of lights in the early morning sky. Look closely… it’s just a line-up of airplanes headed towards O’Hare.

 

Categories: bike, sunrise

It was a cloudy & gloomy start to the day. Very windy along the lake… but really cool to see the storm front moving out. You know that dotted line with triangles on it that they always show on the Weather News?… well I think I saw it this morning?!

 

 

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Categories: art fair, terra cotta, tiles

A beautiful morning to kick-off Day Two of ART IN THE BARN. So fun to be greeted by this smiling face when I arrived to replenish & restock the shelves. Come quick though… there’s only four Jack-o-Lanterns left!!!

Categories: art fair, friends

Day One of ART IN THE BARN was great!
So many fun people stopped by to say “Hi” and to buy my pottery.
I was excited to get my red ribbon for being one of last year’s “TOP TEN SELLERS.”
Now that’s the ribbon I want to get every year!!!

And look at the riff-raff that moved into the booth next to me?!
My friend & metalsmith Amy Taylor and her hubby Tom. Ha!!!

Categories: art fair, terra cotta

The latest additions to “The Ghouls Collection” have infested my booth.
This year we have Black Widow Spiders and more pumpkins in new colors & shapes.
Limited quantities going fast… c’mon by ART IN THE BARN to snatch ‘em up!!!