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

This morning was surprisingly warm for this time of the year.
And what better place to hang out than on the beach. Not quite the same as summer,
but still a great destination for the morning sunrise bike ride!

Categories: kiln firing, process

My firing yesterday was smooth & effortless. I spent the day cleaning my studio
while I was “trapped” there firing all day long. I started early in the morning so it wasn’t
too late in the evening when I finally turned it off for the day. Then, all day Sunday it cooled
and it was still over two hundred degrees when I got there around 6:00pm tonight. When you
unbrick the kiln door, it’s always great to see the results. A treasure trove full of new pots!

Once the kiln is unloaded and the pots are packed up to take home, then the “real” fun begins.
Cleaning. Yes, the kiln needs to be cleaned after every kiln firing. Scraping shelves. Sweeping
out the fire box. Kiln washing the shelves. Sweeping. Cleaning. etc… all of that “glamorous”
stuff that no one realizes is all part of making that one pot they eventually see at the art fair!

Categories: nature, photography, sunrise
Categories: bike, sunrise

Ive been so busy getting ready for my soda kiln & Holiday Home Show…
that I almost forgot to ride my bike!!! Until today…

And it felt great to be back in the saddle again. Plus a beautiful clouded sunrise to boot!

Categories: kiln firing, process

Well, it’s finally my soda firing weekend. It’s been a long & productive two weeks getting
ready… throwing, stamping, firing, glazing, wadding and getting ready to load the kiln.
So I rolled my studio cart down to the kiln room. Safe after the trip down the freight elevator -
thanks to the masking tape “safety belts” that I put on the shelves to keep pots from
“jumping off the cart along the way.

And then it was time to load. Which takes me a lot longer than most people.
Especially with my “addiction” for filling all of the kiln shelf spaces. No shelf space left unfilled.
I’ve got tiles. I’ve got ornaments. I’ve got kiln filler galore!!! So here’s the back stack
of the kiln, one shelf deep. With lots of filler. And ready to start the front…

And then here’s the front stack which is two shelves deep. Including cone packs
in just the right places! Ready to be melted down!

So once it’s all filled up with pots, posts and shelves… it’s time to close the door
with individual bricks. Layer by layer. Brick by brick. Then a quick warm-up…
closed up for the night… and ready to fire tomorrow!!!

Categories: holiday, Taylor

My  adorable niece Taylor is in first grade, and apparently it was time to make some
Thanksgiving decorations at school. My sister sent me a picture of Taylor’s turkey
masterpiece! A couple leaves, a few scribbles, a couple googlie eyes and voila’!!!

I love it. I know I’m kinda partial… but I think she’s got some real talent here!

Categories: glaze, process, production, studio

While bisque kiln #2 is cooling… it’s time to start glazing the pieces from bisque kiln #1.
So the pieces are spread out all over my studio. And I’m starting the process with glaze
inlaid into the stamped impressions and liner glazes.

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

One week closer to my soda kiln… and it’s time for another bisque kiln.
Just in time to fire the bisque, cool it and get the contents glazed for Friday’s loading.
It’s been a quick, fast-paced round of production this time trying to make enough work
to fill the soda kiln. I hope this bisque tops it off!

Layer #1 – bowls, ovals, tiles, ornaments… and a couple Karen Patinkin pieces!

Layer #2 – bowls, ovals, ornaments, tiles and soap dispensers.

Layer #3 – ovals, ornament, soap dispensers, tiles and more

Layer #4 – lots of tiles, a Karen Patinkin platter and some freshly made, still wet tripods
for firing my ornaments in the soda kiln. Yes, I made the tripods about 5 minutes before
loading them. Let’s hope they survive the firing?!!!

And, I think I may have redeemed myself a little better this time…
not as much empty kiln space as last time! I love me some kiln filler…

Categories: art fair, process

So last night my new postcards arrived… as well as my chocolate cake!
So this morning I’ve been labeling & stamping postcards, and eating cake…
with the hopes of getting them into today’s mail. Then it’s back to the studio
to make more pots. Looking at the calendar, I think today is going to be the last day
to throw wet new work if I hope to stamp, trim & dry them in time for next Tuesday’s
bisque kiln. Which then leaves me just a couple nights to glaze & wad for Friday night’s
soda kiln loading. The holidays are coming quick… and I’m already running out of days!

Categories: friends, studio

Last night when I got to the studio, they asked me if I had seen my special delivery.
I said no – and assumed it might be my new postcards for the Holiday Home Show!?
He explained that it arrived a couple days ago, and someone was supposed to tell me. Yep,
that worked well. Ha.
Then Joe from the front desk said my delivery was in the refrigerator.
Now I’m intrigued. So quickly I went to find out what my surprise delivery was…

Turns out that my college friend Pammy, and fellow first-time-Triathlete, had sent me
a little trick-or-treat surprise. And what a treat it was! I had sent her a couple Halloween
surprises in the mail, and apparently this was her response!

Breakfast of champions… seriously!