Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: artists, glaze, kiln firing, production

After unloading Karen’s glaze kiln, I turned around and help Corinne load her kiln.
Luckily, she had a third of a kiln left open… and you know how I like to be the “filler.”
She called my yesterday to ask if I had anything left to fire. I said I had some bisqued
ovals that didn’t make it into Karen’s kiln. So glazed last night, and loaded them into
the kiln today while it was still warm from Karen’s firing! And I just LOVE the crazy
juxtaposition of Corinnes’s textural monoliths & my somewhat “precise” stamped ovals!

Enough of the photo session… gotta get back to the loading. All the way up to the top!
More pots. More ovals. More ikebana. More kiln space to be filled!!! Thanks Corinne!

Check out more of Corinne Peterson‘s finished works by clicking on her name!

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, mugs, process, production

Today I unloaded the glaze kiln I shared with Karen Patinkin.
As you may remember, in that kiln were some new glazes I recently made.
I was encouraged by the test tiles that I fired, and couldn’t wait to actually put them
to the test on actual pieces! And of course, I can’t start small with just a couple mugs.
Instead, I glazed a LOT of pieces in this kiln with the new glazes. Luckily… they seemed to
work very well so I gave them names and labeled the buckets! Here’s a very quick preview.

SPRUCE – a beautiful dark evergeen shade that breaks well on my stamped textures.

GOLDEN CRANBERRY – a thicker glaze that breaks golden, but pools with a burgundy tone.

CILANTRO – kind of a yellowy, parsley color… didn’t break as light as the test tile did?!

And the best part?… they look even better on B-Clay!!! And they feel great too!!!
I love how the Spruce Green turns a beautiful shade of blue and yet breaks so beautifully.
The Golden Cranberry shows more depth and pools well in the grooves.
Cilantro is yellower, with a nice clear color that accentuates, but doesn’t fill the stamps.

Guess I gotta start making more things out of B-Clay, huh?!


Categories: glaze, process, production

Last night I finally got around to glazing all of my long-overdue class demo pots.
It’s amazing how they pile up after a couple sessions of “not” glazing them?!
I also glazed a couple for the soda kiln loading that was going on as I glazed.

Then later today, we’re unloading the glaze kiln I just shared with Karen Patinkin.
And I still need to glaze more for the kiln that we’re re-loading today… another glaze
kiln this time sharing with Corinne Peterson!!! I just found out about this one yesterday!
But when opportunity knocks, I’m always glad that I have some bisque ready & waiting!

And oh, but wait there’s more… the terra cotta planters that we made while my cousin
and kids were in town are ready to be underglaze-stained & liner glazed. More fun for today!

I love getting things through the end of the process.
Making room in my small studio to start again making more, more, MORE!!!
Busy, busy… a whole lot of new pots coming soon!!!

Categories: artists, inspiration, textures
Categories: artists, inspiration, textures
Categories: artists, Chicago, special events, Taylor

Today was a day of culture & fun… culture for Taylor & fun for ME!!!
My favorite niece Taylor is on Spring Break this week and chose to come downtown
to spend a today at the Art Institute with me today! So my sister Jennifer packed ’em up
and headed downtown, along with one of her co-workers, her son Gabe… and Flat Stanley!
You know that scrappy, little flat guy gets to travel the world more than you & me!!!

Soon we were inside and visually overwhelmed – just like everyone else there! We toured
pretty much the entire Museum, starting in the original part with Japanese arts & ceramics,
Indian artifacts, glass paperweights, tapestries, furniture and so much more. We went down
to the Garden Cafe, past the Chagall Stained Glass windows… which were unfortunately
obstructed for routine maintenance. After lunch, we headed to the fun stuff… Picasso, Monet,
Gauguin, Cezzane, O’Keefe, Van Gogh, and the rest of the Masters! As always, the highlight
for most kids is Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grand Jatte.”

We also worked out way through the sculptures and the Chicago architectural pieces by
Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. The beautiful Sullivan gates were a perfect photo op
for Taylor & Stanley… apparently, “T” is for Taylor!

Before we left the original Museum space, we did stop off at the Thorne Miniature Rooms.
What little 7-year old doesn’t like exquisitely made, masterpiece doll houses?!

Then, we went over to the new Modern Wing of the Museum. I question a lot of what’s there…
I think my sister was hoping that I would be able to “explain” some of the things they call “art”
in the Modern Wing. Sadly, I couldn’t. I’ve never subscribed to the concept of “I’m an artist
and therefore anything I make is art.” Seriously, some of them are drop cloths! Or scribbles!
And even if I don’t quite “get it, I would still appreciate it if the craftsmanship was well-done.
Apparently, that didn’t matter for the American Modern Artists. At least the European’s I can
appreciate. Maybe not like them, but at least admire them for what they are. Picasso, Dali,
Kandinsky, Giaccometti, Goncharova… and my favorite Surrealist Rene Magritte!

Categories: bike, sunrise

After the crashing waves and the gusty wind yesterday,
this morning was silently golden as the sun crested over the horizon.
The wind was gone… leaving behind beautifully clear skies!


Categories: pottery, special events, television

Here’s a sneak peek… my HGTV pieces
were picked up by the Producer today!
Pretty sure they get installed tomorrow?!!!
Can’t wait to see them on the “big reveal.”

I’ll definitely let you know when the episode
is going to air as soon as I find out! Date to come…
Plus more pictures & stories after the “big reveal.”

Categories: classes, lillstreet

Tonight was the first night of the new Spring Session at Lillstreet Art Center.
And it looks like I have a great new “crop” of potential potters!
Some have a bit of experience, some have been gone for awhile,
and some are brand new to clay!

All of them got dirty!… and were still smiling!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Okay… so it may look calm & serene. But it was really gusty & windy this morning. And cold.
The waves were crashing onto the shore and the sound was deafening. But kinda cool to hear!

And then the sun finally made it over the horizon… and peeked out greet the day!

But then… what’s up with that big cloud coming in??? Uh ho…