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

I met Cory McCrory a few years back at the Hinsdale Fine Art Fair.
She was a row over, and I could barely see her booth from mine… but the little
I could see definitely piqued my interest. She had clay fish swimming in her tent!
It was love at first sight… the colors, the patterns, the textures, the whimsy…
oh, and she was really nice too!!! Since our initial infatuation with each others work,
we’ve become good friends over the years. We shared ideas, fears, inspirations and meals.
We are both working our way through the world as self-employed ceramic artists…
both trying to carve out our own niché… both playing with textures!


Cory McCrory Workshop at Terra Incognito

Last weekend, Cory was the “headliner” at a ceramic workshop at Terra Incognito
in LaGrange, Illinois. As the supportive friend and Cory-enthusiast, I had to go.
It’s not every day that one of your friends is presenting a workshop!


She worked her way through the day presenting her techniques, making a couple pieces
and sharing her thoughts, inspirations & passions along the way. Cory’s work is more
sculptural in nature, filled with a wonderful sense of whimsy, yet often functional
at the same time. Tough to get all three to work in balance like that. She also works with
“paper clay” which affords her more time to “work the clay” as though it were more like fabric.
Paper clay is regular stoneware clay that has a large percentage of hydrated paper pulp
mixed into it. The result is a lighter clay body that retains moisture longer so it extends the
“workable” time before it dries out. She has also had great results with re-working pieces
even after they’ve dried to greenware. Apparently the paper pulp helps with dry attachments?!


As with a lot of my friends, I have quite a collection of Cory’s work… and always want more!
I do here graphic design for her… postcards, business cards, etc… in exchange for more.
I have a teapot, bottles, whistles and an entire school of her clay fish. And more to come.
There’s never enough whimsy in the world… and Cory just keeps adding more!

1 Comment

Jacquee Lawrence

February 15th, 2009

I too have seen Cory’s demonstration. I was just writing my contact at church to tell her about Cory and needed a webstie to share with her,…I just sent her your story…my friend is Judy Buchnot who writes for the Naperville Sun, maybe she’ll interview her, too. Thanks for the write up!

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