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

Don’t you always wish that your Easter Eggs were this cool?

I seem to have grand plans every year for making the coolest eggs ever. Then somehow when the day actually rolls around, I find myself without the time to color ANY eggs!!! So I need to enjoy someone else’s really cool eggs I found on the Internet. At least I did get to spend the day with my “favorite” little Easter Bunny… my niece Taylor!

Categories: artists, creativity

I found this really cool video online. It’s basically a feather balancing act… and a lot more! His name is Madir Eugster and he’s apparently known for balancing a lot of crazy things. This time it’s a feather… and that’s a lot of contraption to lift one feather!!!

Just balancing one feather wouldn’t be so impressive. But add a few more pieces…
and then it’s kind of like and Alexander Calder mobile. Be sure to watch to the end when he removes the feather!

Click here to see the video of Madir Eugster and his amazing balancing feat.

Click here to see the same trick done by his daughter Laura Jacobs Rigolo.
Who I believe is now performing this act in Cirque du Soleil’s new show “Amaluna.”


Categories: artists, holiday, ornaments

We’re getting down to the last few days of March…
and you know that the plan for metalsmith Sarah Chapman & me is to create a new holiday ornament each month this year! And here they are for March… just under the wire.

Sarah as been working feverishly to get her ornaments done in time! She’s bee busy in her studio making other pieces, including a special commission piece for a commercial photo shoot! Yeah Sarah! So I was excited when she finally showed me her finished feather ornaments!… complete with textures & patinas. Two of my favorites!

From Sarah: “The theme for March’s ornament is a feather. These are copper with embossed and roller printed textures, hanging from loopy brass wires. I’ve been a little obsessed (researching, drawing, standing in front of people’s houses trying to figure out what kind of bird is making that sound) with birds for a while now and these are among the first pieces to emerge in this theme. I had to keep myself from referring to a particular bird’s feather and just go with featheriness.”

When I started my ornaments for March, I decided to go with a snowflake theme. So I build myself a couple snowflake stamps that I could use. Once they were bisqued, they were ready for pressing into the clay. I cut them out, puffed them up a bit and made them into ornaments.

Once I had several of them done in stoneware, I realized that maybe I should have done them in porcelain?! So I made another batch. I think it will be fun to have both versions to play with for different finishing effects.

Once they’re all bisqued, I will need to decide how I’m going to finish them. At first I was thinking of glazing them in clears, whites and blues. But now I’m considering rubbing some underglazes into the textures first… maybe leaving them unglazed?! Or underglazed to accent the textures, and then clear glazed over? Luckily, I have a lot of them now to play with!!!

Categories: production, stamps

After a little trimming, stamping & slipping, the simple enclosed “cone” forms I threw Wednesday night were converted into wall pocket vases last night in the studio!

Categories: bike, sunrise

It was very quiet on the lakefront this morning. Quiet colors. Quiet water. Quiet sky.

A perfect chance for some morning reflection(s)… especially with Mother Nature’s beautiful version of a Rorschach inksplot test. So?… what do you see?! And more importantly, what do you think it means?!

After the morning reflections, the sunrise was beautiful. Still quiet.
It’s turning out to be a very good Friday… and really, isn’t every Friday a good Friday?!

Categories: production

After seeing Terry Hogan’s pierced porcelain perfection, the wall pocket vases that I threw last night seemed a little anti-climactic. Sure, they’ve just been thrown. Sure, they’re not stamped or decorated yet. But still… she’s a tough act to follow!

Categories: artists, creativity, friends

Last night I hung out with some friends at Lillstreet Art Center before making it upstairs to my studio. Such a fun distraction to have the classrooms downstairs with a lot of great fun & art going on down there. Last night my friend Terry Hogan was once again working on her incredibly intricate pierced porcelain creations. Up until recently, they’ve been on the smaller size. But lately she’s been expanding (literally) and going for some larger, sculptural pieces. Still with that crazy perfection & attention-to-detail.

And how does she do it one might ask? Well, with a crazy amount of creativity & patience!!! But also a pretty cool pile of tools for poking, piercing, pricking and pointilism-ing!

Categories: bike, sunrise

After yesterday’s seemingly “turbulent” & vibrant sunrise,
the simplicity of this morning’s sunrise was somehow refreshing.
overly dramatic one day, quiet & simple the next.

With a hint of warmer temperatures coming our way…
maybe I can start peeling off some layers soon??? Let’s hope, huh?!

Categories: artists, glaze

So I just donated to Fine Mess Pottery to help in her quest to reformulate her glazes
for cone 6 soda firing. A great project with hopes of making a safer, greener & cheaper firing alternative. I love that she’s doing the work, and more than willing to share her results on her blog. So we all benefit… especially when her glaze tests work out. And as an added bonus, for my $30 donation, I’m going to receive a bound notebook of all her glaze & slip recipes!!! If you’re looking to donate a different amount, there are several other “thank you gift” levels… from thank you notes, to teabowls, to mugs, to casseroles… or even a cake stand with a cheesecake!!!

Thanks to Emily Murphy Bicking for sharing this glaze-fundraising project!
If you’d like to support her Lori Watts and her glaze reformulation project, click here.
If you want to learn more about Lori and Fine Mess Pottery, click here.

Categories: bike, sunrise

It was another morning with a lot of clouds in the sky and another sliver of hope glowing low on the horizon. Would the “sunrise potential” be fulfilled with a blaze of color today?

Well, yes it was!!! Everything lined up at just the right time and we were treated to an incredible blaze of color. It was so nice to see some color in the sunrise again. It seems like it’s been so gray lately. Finally, the sky was ablaze with color!

If only for a few moments before we were plunged back into gray for yet another day.

And scene.