Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: art fair, photography, pottery, production, studio

So tonight I unloaded another bisque kiln – in preparation of my upcoming Home Show…
just trying to squeeze in one last firing before next weekend! I unloaded the last batch
of pots (while they were still a little warmer than they should have been) and waxed
the bottoms in preparation for some big glazing this weekend. The bottoms are waxed
to help keep the glaze from adhering to the bottom  – making it easier to clean off the bottoms
before loading them into the kiln. I’ll need to get them all glazed over the weekend
so they can be loaded into a cone 10 reduction kiln that I’m sharing with my
studio pals Karen Patinkin & Marian Castro-Palanyk.


Categories: bike, sunrise
Categories: bike, sunrise

Another morning ride with a lot of drama as the clouds swept across the horizon…
along with some gusty winds to accompany them!


Categories: kiln firing, studio

So my firing was pretty smooth on Saturday… a little long, but nothing too unusual.
I came in tonight to unload the kiln as usual. Brick by brick, shelf by shelf, post by post.

It wasn’t until I got about halfway through that I could finally see that the bag-wall
on the left of the kiln had fallen in. The bag wall is a row of bricks stacked two high
that separates the incoming flames from the stack of shelves & pots. The flames enter
the back of the kiln on both sides and shoot towards the front. When the kiln is close
to its top temperature, I inject a combination of soda ash & soda bicarbonate into
the kiln through ports on the front of the kiln. I dump the soda mixture in on both
sides so that it falls right into the fire box – which is created by the bag-wall.
The bag-wall creates a wall to protect the pots and direct the flame pattern
throughout the kiln.

So… without the bag-wall in place, the soda mixture was able to “run rampant”
throughout the kiln. Some of my pots have a little too much soda build-up on them,
some are a little too gray with carbon trapping. But the rest of them… BEAUTIFUL!!!

Luckily, the fallen bricks did not hinder the firing itself. The fallen bricks could have
gotten in the way of the flames going into the kiln. So I was lucky… and a few overly
blasted pots is a small price to pay for a kiln full of BEAUTIFUL!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Another beautiful morning… like seeing the world through rose-colored glasses!



Categories: nature

The weather was incredible this weekend… both Saturday & Sunday!
Compared to the cold, wet, windy Fall we’ve had so far – it was spectacular!
Unfortunately, I was “stuck” inside Lillstreet yesterday as I was firing my soda kiln.
So I tried to avoid looking out the window all day – trying to convince myself that it
wasn’t so incredibly gorgeous outside!!!

Today however…
I had to get outside for a nice hike through the woods for what might be the last
truly incredible “weather weekend” for this Fall. Although my fingers are ALWAYS
crossed in hopes of a few more days of Indian Summer!!!




Categories: kiln firing, photography, studio

Another day. Another kiln. Another firing.
More flames shooting out of the peeps as I check the cones!
New work coming soon… my annual Home Show is just two weeks away!


Categories: bike, nature, seasons

Beautiful colors along the lakefront bike trail this morning.
Especially these statuesque, mature gingko trees still hanging onto
their leaves in splendid golden colors. More beautiful colors this fall…



Categories: bike, sunrise

It was a “pretty” sunrise over Lake Michigan this morning.
Finally a sunrise that actually broke through and showed up for the day!
Enough fog… enough clouds… enough rain. Finally some sun!!!

Sadly, it was also “pretty cold” this morning as I headed out for my morning ride!
As I passed the marquee at Dunkin’ Donuts… it said 34-degrees!
And that’s “pretty darn cold”.



Categories: pottery, process, production, stamps, studio

Another night in the studio… a night of bowls… a night of stamping.