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

After driving back into the City from Midway Airport, I had to swing past
the studio to unload my latest bisque kiln. And everything looked good.
Not a single “explosion” from my “still-too-damp-to-fire-but-going-in-anyway”
textured slab vases! I knew that they had to fire while I was away in Delaware
if there was to be any chance of getting them into Friday’s kiln loading!

Categories: special events, sunrise

So I just got home from a whirlwind trip to Dover, Delaware!
I had to go out there for meeting about an upcoming “glitter gig.”
We were there for just over 24 hours!

But it still counts in my “states I’ve been to” challenge.
My rule is that I have to actually sleep overnight in the state for it to count.
Only about ten more to go!

Sadly, I didn’t really catch too much of a sunrise this morning.
but I did love the early morning sun reflecting off the bleachers!

Categories: kiln firing, production

Back to back kilns… So tonight I unloaded my last bisque kiln, and immediately
re-loaded it with another batch of greenware. This may not be my finest packed
kiln ever, but it was more about getting all of my textured slab vases into the kiln!

Kiln Layer #1 – A collection of mugs, bowls, ovals and some more “kiln filler”
that didn’t quite make it into my last kiln!

Kiln Layer #2 – A large porcelain platter by my studio neighbor Karen Patinkin.
Without this layer, I would have had an extra 3-inches at the top. And you know how
I hate to leave extra space in my kilns! So I slipped in Karen’s platter to fill the space!

Kiln Layer #3 – With a collection of textured slab vases… with the newest, not-quite-dry-yet
ones upside down so the moisture doesn’t get trapped. Somehow it make me feel better
knowing that damp bottoms have space to breath! Plus, a few glazed terra cotta planters
from my cousin’s visit from Minnesota with his kids! They’ll be excited to finally get their
projects back so they can start growing their gardens!

Kiln Layer #4 – A couple more textured slab vases – but these were too tall to fit in.
So I laid them down sideways! Plus, a couple more terra cotta planters!

It’s all loaded tonight… but I felt it might be a good idea to let it sit overnight to give
some of the pieces a chance to dry a bit more. So I’ll turn it on tomorrow with a little
pre-heat time and fire it slowly.

Categories: process, production, textures

With my next soda kiln just a week away, I made one last batch of textured slab vases.
They’re perfect pieces to fit on the top shelf… hopefully fitting in perfectly along the
curve of the roof. Unfortunately, I only finished these yesterday, so they’re not quite dry!
But, I need to get them into my next bisque kiln if they’re going to make it into my
soda kiln next weekend. What to do?… well, I’m going to put them in, do a little
pre-heat, fire slowly and hope for the best!

Categories: rusty

You know how I love my rust… and I REALLY wish these were mine!

Categories: art fair

Well, the official kick-off to my Summer Art Fair season is just one month away!
It’s confirmed – I’ve been accepted to all of the shows I applied to again this year.
So I’m trying to crank out as much new work as possible between now & then.
Mark your calendar now to come out and see what I’ve been working on!
And don’t forget… you can always follow the progress on Facebook too!
Click here for my pottery page… Fire When Ready Pottery on Facebook.

Schaumburg Prairie Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, May 26th, 2012 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, May 27th, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center, 201 Schaumburg Court in Schaumburg, Illinois

Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, June 10th, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Burlington Park on Chicago Avenue between Washington & Garfield Streets
in Hinsdale, Illinois

Evanston Lakeshore Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, August 4th, 2012 – 11:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, August 5th, 2012 – 11:00am-6:00pm
Located in Dawes Park along beautiful Lake Michigan
on Sheridan Road between Church & Davis in Evanston, Illinois

Art In The Barn
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Located on the grounds (and in the barns) of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
on Route 22 in Barrington, Illinois – my double booth in the Lower Barn E4 & E6

Art Detourin the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods!
Friday, October 5th, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, October 7th, 2012 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Featuring artists: Amy Higgason, Sarah Chapman, Kathy Furda, Wendy Powalisz & me!
Beautiful fall colors, handmade art and gourmet s’mores to top it all off!
Located on the grounds of Pigeon Road Pottery… also Amy’s home!
7744 Pigeon Road, Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin 54539

“My Home For The Holidays” Home Show
Saturday, November 17th, 2012 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, November 18th, 2012 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Contact me for invitations & more information…

“Mud & Metal” : Another Holiday Home Show
A collaborative holiday show with master metalsmith Sarah Chapman.
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 – 10:00am-6:00pm – DATE PENDING
Contact me for invitations & more information…

Categories: kiln firing

With just one week until I need to have everything glazed, wadded and ready to be
loaded into my next soda kiln, I figured I better get started with firing some of my pieces.
So I loaded my kiln tonight. When this bisque kiln cools and can be unloaded, these pieces
come out and I turn right around and load it again with more! There’s going to be some
marathon glazing days next week if I have any hope of being ready in time!

Layer One : Ovals, Mugs, Small Vases and more!

Layer Two : Bowls, Soap Dispensers, and some new two-parters ala Julia Galloway!

Layer Three : Slab Vases, Ovals & Tumblers… some stacked two high to fill space!
Scott… I’m trying to get closer to tumble stacked with no shelves… soon… ha!

Layer Three and a Half : more Ovals, Soap Dispensers, Small Vases and Tiles.

Layer Four : As the back half was filled with Layer Three, I was stacking just the
front half… and my studio neighbor Corinne Peterson had some mural tile pieces
that she needed re-fired for a kids classroom project.

Layer Five :another layer of Corinne’s pieces to be re-fired.
I love the sharp color contrast to my very neutral gray greenware pieces!

Categories: bike, Chicago, Taylor

Okay, so we made it down to the North Avenue Beach when the sun finally made an
appearance this morning. From the beach, you also get a good view of the city skyline.
Flat Stanley was quick to strike a pose on the spokes of my bike!

There I was… only a few more days with Flat Stanley. He still needed to see the Big City!
So we pedaled towards Navy Pier to start his big adventure! Posing in front of the iconic
Ferris Wheel that Taylor got to ride last summer.

We also pedaled along the Chicago River and made it to Michigan Avenue.
Stanley was impressed by the big buildings… especially the gleaming white Wrigley Building!

Over the river, he was greeted by Marilyn Monroe… or at least a huge sculpture of her
in the infamous dress & stance from “Seven Year Itch.” And… for the record…
I have NO IDEA why she’s even here in Chicago?!!!! Or when she’s leaving?…

Across the plaza from Marilyn Monroe is the beautiful Chicago Tribune Building.
Striking gothic architecture with incredible “inclusions” mortared into the facade…
pieces & parts for other famous & historic buildings around the world.

Also in the Tribune Towers… the WGN Radio station! You can see the broadcasters
through the window as they work. And Stanley climbing out of my bike bag!

Then, further up Michigan Avenue, Stanley found two of his favorite friends…
and Taylor’s favorites as well! Always a happy moment when you see Mickey & Minnie
greeting you at The Disney Store.

Next we were off to the historic Chicago Water Tower. A beautiful brick building reportedly
one of the few that survived the Great Chicago Fire. Actually, I think it was the building
across the street that survived the fire… but who’s counting?!

And a trip to downtown Chicago would not be complete without a stop for some chocolate!
Sadly, they weren’t open yet… shucks…  I guess Stanley’s tour was not quite complete!

By the time that our tour had finished, I was running late. And we still needed to pedal
all the way home… into the wind!!! Needless to say, I was exhausted and running late.
I actually sent a text message to the “glitter gig” to tell them I would be coming in later.
And I blamed it all on Flat Stanley and his Big Adventure!!!



Categories: bike, sunrise

This morning was a bit windy. And chilly as the wind was coming from the north & off the lake.
And there was  bit of haze on the horizon which kept us from getting a clear & colorful sunrise.
A little confusing how there seemed to be no clouds in the sky, and yet it wasn’t clear?!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Flat Stanley’s second sunrise.. and it’s not much to speak of.

Kinda gray… kinda gloomy. Not so sunny this morning for Flat Stanley’s second bike ride.
And to make it even “better”… a little bit of drizzle as I was headed home!