Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: bike, Chicago, special events, sunrise
Categories: pottery, process, production

So I’ve assembled all of the teapots and decided that some of them needed a little more attention. A little pop of color here & there with some colored flashing slips.

Teapot #1 – slip painted accents on lid & each stamp.

Teapot #2 – just stamped… I figure this one will be glazed with a light coat of temoku.

Teapot #3 – slip painted accents on lid & each stamp.

Teapot #4 – slip painted accents on lid & each stamp.

Teapot #5 – just stamped… I figure this one will be glazed with a light coat of temoku.

Teapot #6 – slip painted accents on lid & each stamp.

So now they’re all assembled & slip painted… and wrapped overnight one more time so they can “dry together” a little bit slower. One they’ve settled in together, I’ll unwrap them tomorrow night so they can start drying… so that they’re ready for my upcoming bisque kiln!

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

It’s been quite busy in my studio over the past couple days… weeks even. So today was my first chance to load a bisque kiln, with another one right around the corner. I’ve scheduled my next soda kiln firing for next Saturday… and I’m scrambling to get everything done in time. Racing up to the last moment as always!!! So while these pieces are dry and going into the bisque kiln, I’ve still got some brand new, freshly thrown pieces wet in my studio?! Hoping to get those done in time too!!! Yikes!!!

Kiln Layer #1 – mugs, mugs, and lots of mugs!!!… you know they’re my favorite!!!

Kiln Layer #2 – bowls, creamers, soap dispensers, ornaments and more mugs!!!

Kiln Layer #3 – creamers, soap dispensers, test tile, soap dishes, ornaments & more!

Kiln Layer #4 – oil lamps, yarn bowls, mugs, soap dispensers and more ornaments!

So close to the top… you know how I love to pack a kiln as tight as I possibly can. It’s always a little “iffy” when you get this close to the top. Will the kiln lid close?!… without cracking anything?! All goes as planned… it’s a snug fit. And things will shrink during the firing, so everything’s good.

With so many ornaments going into the kiln, I had to be especially careful with these fragile ones. I didn’t have room to lay them all flat individually on the shelf as I would have liked to… but I’m hoping this careful stacking will work for me too?!

Categories: lillstreet

Congratulations to Lillstreet Art Center for celebrating ten years at our “new” location. Sure, we may not be on the actual Lill Street anymore… but it’s hard to believe that we’ve been on the corner of Ravenswood & Montrose now for a full decade?! And to think that I’ve been there as a student, monitor, teacher, studio member & summer camp counselor during those years. Where did the time go?… and just think how many pots I’ve made there since we’ve moved?!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Had a great time this morning hanging out at the Bucktown Arts Festival chatting with a lot of “My Talented Friends.” If you have time, they’re open again tomorrow with hundreds of artists all through the park. Stop by and say hi to metalsmith Sarah Chapman, potter Delores Fortuna, printmaker Judy Zeddies, yarn-mistress Susan Tecktiel, chain maille jeweler Melissa Banks, potter & sgraffito artist Glynnis Lessing, potter Isabel Mikel and so many more!

Categories: friends, lillstreet

It was another productive day in the studio,
followed by another productive evening in the studio.

On my way out for the night, I got drawn into some hysterical discussions downstairs with Terry, Corkie, Donna, Marsha & Joe. I think I just might need to “play” downstairs a little more frequently. Especially after they’ve “had a few” and Joe just kept getting “smarter.” We covered more topics than you can imagine… and trust me, you don’t even want to know!!!

Categories: bike, Chicago, special events

This afternoon I went downtown to check-in for this weekend’s Chicago Triathlon.
Picked up my information packet, my swag bag, my t-shirt, some power gels & more!
It will be my third year in a row… and hoping for another fun race with good weather?!
The “fun” starts very early Sunday morning… swim, bike, run… giddy-up!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Strong winds blowing in off the lake this morning, bringing crashing waves along with it. The colors were crisp & clean… as was the sound of the waves!

And kind of an ominous sign this morning… for the first time, there was a stray “boat” floating out in the water this morning. Made me wonder where the riders were?… the owner?… and didn’t anyone notice that this floating toy was no longer attached to their boat when they got back to the harbor???

Categories: bowls, friends, production, studio

My studio was more than full of stuff today. Wet pieces here. Drying pieces there. Stamping going on at the table. Things stacked on the floor. As usual, I was stuck looking for more space to work. Lucky for me, my studio neighbor Karen Patinkin has a large table that she wasn’t using… and I knew she was gone for the afternoon. And when opportunity knocks… I’m more than willing to answer. And more than willing to take over her studio too!!!

Categories: bowls, pottery, process, production, stamps, studio

As part of my “big” production day in the studio, I threw five more serving bowls with soda clay. I let them set-up for awhile and had the opportunity to stamp them today. Usually I do it the next day, or even two days later. But since I was cranking things out today… it was great to be able to stamp them today!!! I’m kind of rushing to fill a kiln next weekend. The “faster” I can get things done, dried and into a bisque kiln the more time I’ll have to glaze & wad.

Bowl #1 –

Bowl #2 –

Bowl #3 –

Bowl #4 –

Bowl #5 –

So now they’re loosely wrapped up for the night… and I hope to trim them tomorrow.