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

I love when my pots find a good home. And look, one of my tall stamped vases
found a great place to hang out surrounded by monsters & tiles! Add some candles
and we’re pretty darn close to a Gary shrine?! I’m just sayin’…

Categories: process, production, stamps, studio

It was a great day today at the RAVENSWOOD ARTWALK.
A lot of great people stopped by today to see our studios… and, even better,
I was very productive through the day. I finally finished detailing these votives!
Forty-four thrown… forty-four finished.

Stamped, pierced & slip painted. Now they need to dry and find a bisque kiln.

Categories: art fair, artists, studio

If you’re looking for something artsy to do today, I’ll be working
in my studio all day as part of the Ravenswood Artwalk 2012.
Many artist studios & galleries all along Ravenswood Avenue are open today
& tomorrow. Start your tour by stopping in my studio on the second floor of
Lillstreet Art Center – then follow the maps & signs for a full day of art fun!
I won’t be there tomorrow… ‘cuz it’s the Apple Cider Century!!!

Click here for more information – Ravenswood Artwalk 2012.

Categories: art fair, television

New this year, all five artists will be creating a special, one-of-a-kind piece in
their traditional methods to debut at ART DETOUR. But here’s the catch…
they have to have a bird on them! Quite the challenge for those of us who are
not illustrators?! And I’m REALLY excited to see what Sarah comes up with
in her metalsmithing work?! The items will be available for bid by silent auction.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Northwoods Wildlife Center which
provides humane wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release services.

Why a bird?!… well, it’s kind of a long story… and kind of an inside joke.
I will be more than willing to fill you in on the joke when I see you up North.
But until then, there’s a short YouTube video might tell the story even better!

“Put A Bird On It” Video on YouTube… thank you “Portlandia.”


Categories: art fair, artists, friends, nature

I’m counting the days until ART DETOUR.
I will be heading up to the Wisconsin Northwoods a couple days early
to set-up and soak in the incredible Fall colors. Maybe even a hike or two?!
Sadly, no bike as my car will be full of pottery… and s’more supplies!!!

Categories: clay, pottery

Over the years, many people enjoyed some tasty treats at City Olive in Andersonville.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, the owner Karen decided to
move her business to Roscoe Village. Be sure to stop by for quality olive oils and other
culinary treats from around the world. You can even taste-test many of the oils before
you buy them. Don’t know much about oils?… her staff is there to teach you!

But it’s not just olive oil’s healthful properties, including high levels of beneficial
fatty acids and antioxidants, which delight City Olive’s customers time and again.
It’s also the taste, the old world allure and the bounty of delightful products that grace
City Olive’s shelves. Carrying the finest selection of olive oils from countries such as
Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Portugal, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile
and the United States, as well as vinegars, spices, mustards, tapenades and other gourmet
items, City Olive’s charming boutique offers the culinary best of the old & new worlds.

City Olive – Roscoe Village
2236 West Roscoe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60618 – (773) 687-9980

And very soon, City Olive will be returning to their roots in Andersonville
with a second store location just in time for the holidays!

City Olive – Andersonville
5644 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60660 – (773) 942-6424

Plus, City Olive also carries an assortment of ceramic oil pourers made by yours truly!
Luckily, they sell out pretty quickly… so I’ve got to keep making more! Especially with
the holidays coming so quickly! Stop in soon to snatch one up!


Categories: art fair, artists

C’mon up to the Wisconsin Northwoods next weekend!
The colors will be gorgeous in all of their Fall splendor… and s’mores too!!!
Plus, there’s a huge art tour going on with a lot of open studios & galleries
where you can see some great art and meet the artists. My friend Amy Higgason
lives up there and will once again be hosting a few of her talented friends!
She’s not longer part of the “official” art tour. That’s why we’re the DETOUR!!!

Five Artists. Five Friends. Just off the map!!!
I will be joining Amy at her place, along with metalsmith Sarah Chapman,
watercolor painter Wendy Powalisz, and potter Katlyn Koester.

So mark your calendar to come up for the long Columbus Day Weekend.
And stop by to see us in the yard of Pigeon Road Pottery.

Pigeon Road Pottery
7744 Pigeon Road, Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin – (715) 277-5099

And be sure to follow ART DETOUR on Facebook for more details!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Could it get any darker?… well, it seems to get darker & darker each day…

As the sun continued to rise, the sky took on a beautiful pastel pink color.
I especially liked the stark contrast of the dark clouds hovering out there.

But then, almost as soon as it started, the pink coloring began to dissipate.
And blue skies kept poking through… everywhere except where those wonderful
dark clouds were still hanging on. Great contrast in the morning sky!

It felt like we were honored with a special “second sunrise” of sorts.
Beautiful pastel skies followed by a stunning sunrise with nicely contrasting clouds!

Plus, another milestone this morning… I finally retired my old pair of biking shoes!
They’ve traveled many miles with me over the years. And I’ve known they needed to be
replaced for quite awhile now. But you know how you an old pair of shoes fits perfectly?!
Well these ones do too. But they’re beat up, ripped up, sewn back together, and worn down
to bare structure in some of the most important places… like the heels!

So this morning was the inaugural “virgin voyage” for my new biking shoes.
And luckily, these new ones fit pretty well too!!! Here’s to the miles to come…
and a special thanks to these shoes that have served me so well!

Categories: bowls, classes, lillstreet, process, production

Last night was one of my favorite demos every session. It was the night when my beginner’s
learn how to make a bowl on purpose… instead of a cylinder gone bad. I show them the basic
techniques to make a bowl with a smooth, refined curve on the interior.

Once we finish the first bowl demo, I dismiss my students so they can get back to throwing –
and trying to make a bowl or two while it’s still fresh in their minds. At the same time,
I continue to throw a few more bowls. This time, I threw eleven not quite “matching”, but
relatively close bowls. Once I had them all thrown, I had my class reassemble for “Part Two”
of the demo. When I show them that “it’s just clay” and you can do quite a bit to decorate
it and make it your own! So we moved through pretty quickly with the intention of “introducing”
some concepts, techniques & tricks to get them over the “preciousness” of every piece.

Here’s a quick overview of my eleven bowls… that used to be the same. Now?…
not so much.

A little overwhelming at first… so let’s break it down a bit…

BOWL #1 – Simple fluted rim… with a pinch and a twist!

BOWL #2 – Simple fluted bowl times two! If four are good, eight are better, right?

BOWL #3 – Flared out flange… waiting for some stamped decoration when it stiffens up!

BOWL #4 – Flared flange bent upwards… looks like a handle over the top will tie it together!

BOWL #5 – Split rim with four pinches and gently squared off a bit.

BOWL #6 – Split rim pinched back together evenly in eight places.

BOWL #7 -Basic introduction to white slip… leaving a little extra thickness to make
a groovy swirl in the bottom. A little “surprise” for good glaze pooling!

Bowl #8 – After covering with white slip, I dragged a wood tool through the slip while it
was spinning on the wheel to create a dramatic spiral.

Bowl #9 – Rhythmic chattering through the white slip while it spins on the wheel.

Bowl #10 – A little newspaper cut-out stuck onto the clay with water… then carefully slipped
over completely. The newspaper character is carefully pulled out after slipping.

Bowl #11 -Using a normal tool in an unconventional way… the corner of a wood rib
pressed in to create this “snowflake”-esque pattern in the bottom of the bowl.

The bowls are now wrapped up in my studio stiffening up a bit. A few of them need some
extra “detailing” before I can call them done. There’s some stamping to be done, and
some additions & refinements to be done. And of course, trimming for them all.




Categories: bike, sunrise

It started out dark & dreary.
And I assumed it would stay like that all morning.

Luckily, I was wrong!