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

In between all the bike rides… I do find time to throw!… trust me.

Categories: bike, seasons, sunrise

With some surprisingly warm weather here in Chicago, the morning bike rides have been
a little easier to “get motivated” for. With the warmer mornings, I can wear fewer layers…
and get out a little sooner! Although it is Chicago… who are we kidding… it might still snow?!

Categories: pottery, process, production, stamps

This evening I set about to turn the plain flower pots I threw yesterday
into more decorative flower pots with a LOT of stamping & rim fluting.
Some with some traditional stamping, and more with the newer, “bulgier” stamping
with fluted rims. A mix of old & new styles… still not sure how I’m going to glaze these?

Tomorrow I hope to trim them all and paint some slip accents.
And don’t forget to punch the drainage holes too!

Categories: process, studio

This evening I glazed up the test tiles with the “mystery” glazes
that I scored from Tony when he moved out of his Lillstreet studio.
I’ve glazed two tiles for each glaze – one test is going into a cone 10
reduction kiln, and a second set is going into a soda kiln. I’m hoping to see
how they turn out and if the soda atmosphere does anything cool to the glaze.
Fingers crossed…

Categories: bike, Chicago

While “slightly” breaking my own rule of not riding
in the morning when it’s raining or the pavement is wet…

I got up early this morning for another ride, and the pavement was still wet
from an overnight rain. But with the impending plummet of temperatures, I felt
compelled to pedal this morning, not knowing when the next chance might be?

No sunrise to speak of this morning…
but a beautiful blue sky before the day’s grayness took over!

Categories: pottery, production

We keep waiting for Spring… hoping that it’s around the corner somewhere?!
But as another cold front is headed towards Chicago, I’m in the studio making
flower pots for my early summer art fairs. Just in time for those Spring plantings!
So this afternoon after unloading my bisque, I threw 50-lbs. of flower pots!!!

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, process, production

So I unloaded my electric bisque kiln this afternoon, layer by layer…
and just for fun, counted the number of pieces in that firing.
I included the seven bowls by Karen Patinkin, but not the maquettes
by Lisa Harris… nor did I count my glaze test tiles. I guess I was just
counting the “real” pieces?!… either way, there was a LOT of work in there!

The final bisque tally?… 135 pieces!!!

Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise
Categories: kiln firing, pottery, process, production

Today I loaded another electric kiln to bisque my latest batch of work.
And you know my theory… pack it in as tight as possible to get your money’s worth!
So I did. And here it is, layer by layer…

Layer One: bowls, mugs, soap dispensers – and a new oval planter for my windowsill.

Layer Two: bowls, mugs, test tiles and new garlic keeper lids!

Layer Three: bowls, test tiles, garlic keeper plates… and a stack of beautifully
decorated bowls made my my studio friend Karen Patinkin.

Layer Four: a tumbled-stacked pile of fun!… soap dispensers, vases, mugs & more!
Plus a couple hand-built maquettes by Lisa Harris for a show she’s going to be in soon.
She’ll be using them as glaze tests before the finishes off the full size versions.

Categories: pottery, process, stamps, textures

Okay… so one of the studio potters at Lillstreet moved out of his studio
a few months ago. In his wake, he left a lot of mess, supplies, and buckets of glaze!
Now since I already have enough supplies & mess of my own – I claimed the buckets
of glaze! Sadly, I’m not really sure what they are, and I definitely don’t have
the recipes to make more. But free glaze is free glaze!!!

So… tonight I made a batch of test tiles for these “mystery” buckets of glaze!
Complete with stamps & textures to see how the glaze would work on my own
textured work. I’m going to test the glazes in both cone 10 reduction and the
soda kiln. I want to find out if any of them do really cool things in the soda kiln
atmosphere?! Or if they do really terrible things BEFORE I start glazing
a kiln full of work. Wouldn’t that be a bummer?