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

Another glazing day in the studio. Getting ready for our Wednesday kiln loading.
Lots of pots. Lots of buckets. Seems like there’s never enough colors. Never enough options.

I felt like it was time for a change… so I mixed up a couple glaze cocktails!
Bu simply mixing a couple existing glazes in different proportions, I found a couple mixes
that appear to be working nicely. I’m always on a quest for nice color glazes that break well
and pool nicely in the stamped impressions without just covering them over! These are
the top three I ended up with… and I’ve glazed a LOT of new pots in them. I hope they
work as well on my pots as they appear to have on my test tiles?! Fingers crossed…

Categories: bike, sunrise

With just a sliver of sun this morning, it was also back to layers of clothing. It was
so cold out that it made you shiver! The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing
and there was this crazy frozen rain hitting me in the face! Hail?… really???
I could hear it hitting my jacket as I was headed south with the wind at my back. But,
when I turned around, into the wind it was like frozen pins & needles hitting my face!

What happened to our week of summer fun & 80-degree days?! I want them back.

Categories: glaze, process, production

I’m sharing a cone 10 reduction kiln this week with my studio neighbor Karen Patinkin.
So today was the kick-off my glazing! I’ve got a lot of bisqued pieces waxed & waiting
to be glazed. Plus, we’re unloading another kiln tomorrow. And another bisque kiln
means even MORE pieces to glaze!!! Yikes…

Categories: Mom & Dad, special events, Taylor

Chocolate. Pizza. Taylorthree of my favorite things all in one day!!!
What could be better? Decadent fun making chocolate pizzas with Taylor!
It’s not every day your favorite niece turns seven years old. Happy Birthday Taylor!!!
Yep… she’s the cutest one in the bottom right corner… the one with her tongue sticking out!
I’m sure this photo will be a proud moment for her Mom!!!

And here’s our tools for the day. Yum… and more yum!

We all started out making our chocolate pizzas. The “crust” was a layer of milk chocolate.
Followed by “sauce” of candy jimmies, “sausage” of gummie worms, “garlic” of M&Ms,
more sprinkles, more chocolate, more gummies, more fun and a drizzle of white chocolate
“parmesan cheese” to top it all off. Layers & layers of yummy goodness.

Imagine a room full of seven year old all hopped up on sugar! Too funny!!! And if you
look closely… you’ll also see my parents working in chocolate too! Taylor made sure that
her Grandma & Grandpa were playing in the mix. So focused on their yummy projects.

So here is Taylor’s masterpiece pizza… with lots of toppings! Many of them chocolate!!!

And here’s mine! We’ll just call it my “late night snack”…

Once the pizzas were done and off to the side, we switched to making chocolate
“ice cream cones” using plastic candy molds. Here’s Taylor working diligently to make her
chocolate treats just perfect! Drizzling chocolate, sprinkling candies and more!

It was a great birthday party for Taylor and several of her school friends.
They were all so cute. So funny. Playing. Working. Teasing. Interacting. Creating.
So focused in the beginning, a little looser and animated as they “snuck” more chocolate
into their mouths, and by the end… it was a real party!!!

And the best part… besides playing with Taylor the birthday girl…
is taking home a box full of chocolates that I’ve created for myself!!! Yummy…

Click here more information about The Morkes Original Party.
Morkes: The Chocolate Shop – 180 North Rand Road, Palatine, IL 60074 – (847) 359-3454


And then

Categories: friends, pottery, process, production, terra cotta, textures

Yesterday I spent the day with my cousin Michael from Minnesota and his family.
They came down to Chicago for Spring Break and we had planned a full day of clay fun
at the studio. We started making terra cotta planters with textures – everyone working
on their own planter. They all learned the basics… and set off to work…

And then, unfortunately… the day took a turn!
As we were about halfway done with our planters, I started feeling a little light-headed.
A little dizzy… and the next thing I knew, I was down for the count. Literally. Down.
Drama. Embarrassment. Paramedics. And a trip to the hospital to get checked out.

Apparently, I was dehydrated and my body wasn’t happy with that. They checked my vitals
and everything was fine. Except for the back of my head where it “met” the wedging table
on the way down. So I now have four staples on the back of my head. Yeah, souvenirs!

The doctor said I should get plenty of liquids and bring up my blood sugar level…
so we all went for a wonderful dinner at my favorite restaurant Rose Angeli’s.
And I had plenty of HOT caramel sauce for medicinal purposes!

Categories: process, studio

Tonight at the studio seemed like a “mixed bag of tricks.”
My HGTV knobs are being fired in a cone 10 kiln downstairs.
I loaded my greenware into another kiln to be bisqued tomorrow upstairs.
And I made cone packs for next week’s cone 10 glaze firing with Karen Patinkin.
Seems like I have a lot of “something” going on all over the studio!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

This week has been unbelievable. Unseasonably warm weather with temps in the 80’s
almost every day! And beautiful sunrises to boot. It’s been so great pedaling this week
and being able to wear fewer layers than I should be for mid-March! Today was no exception
as the light cloud cover was the perfect canvas for some beautiful morning color.

Beautiful color playing across the clouds… beautiful.
And then the sun finally crested the horizon… even more beautiful.

And then, just when I thought that the sunrise couldn’t get any better, and had already
hopped back onto my bike to pedal home… one quick glance over my right shoulder and
I saw this wonderful view of a harbor still void of boats.

Almost home, and another glance over the same shoulder…
and I saw another beautiful view that I couldn’t resist stopping to catch on my camera!

All in all… not too shabby for a mid-March morning, huh?!

Categories: classes, lillstreet

It’s just one week away until the start of the new Spring Session at Lillstreet!

I will once again be teaching my Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing
class on Tuesday nights from 7:00-10:00pm. So whether you’re a brand new beginner
or just wanting to come back to refine some skills and play in the mud?!… this is the
class for you. Don’t get left out… ONLY THREE SPACES LEFT IN MY CLASS!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

This morning was very dark. When I stepped out on my back porch to check the weather,
I actually stopped for a second questioning if it was even the right time?! So dark…

But then the sky lightened up a bit…
and the clouds kind of looked like an odd “explosion” emanating from the horizon?!
A dark splash of cloud with tiny bits of color on each side. Did I mention “tiny” bits of color?!

And the whole time I just kept thinking…
“If that darn cloud would move just a few feet over,
we would get a beautiful splash of color on that big cloud!”                                        No dice.

Categories: glaze, pottery, studio, textures

More of my “catch-it-while-it’s-clean” studio photo tour… a little closer up this time!