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

Not quite ready to give up… and since today was my “last day” to throw wet, I decided to make one last batch of miniature vases. Thrown off the hump, left to set-up a bit and stamped. I’d love to trim them tonight too… but I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow?!

And in case you’re wondering… smaller pots need smaller stamps!

Categories: production, stamps, textures

Today I finished another batch of textured wall pillows. I’ve been putting off making them longer than I should. They’re a special order and I’ve known about them for a long time. Knowing that they’ve got to get into my soda kiln next weekend finally became a “good” deadline for me to get my act together!!! So I’ve made more than I need for the special order… hoping that they all turn out well.

Categories: bowls, process, production

Today I trimmed all of the bowls from my class demo last Tuesday night. The fifteen bowls have all been decorated, altered, stamped and detailed… the last thing to be done before bisque firing was to trim a good foot on each of them. Done.

Categories: bike, sunrise

A quiet morning with a cool breeze coming in off the lake.
Crashing waves & crisp colors.

A great way to start my day before I head off for a big production day in the studio! I’m just a week away from my next soda firing… so I think today might be my last day to work wet?!

Of course that doesn’t mean that I might not “need” to skip out for another afternoon ride at some point?! You know, while some clay stiffens up so I can continue to work on it tonight!!!

Categories: terra cotta

In my last bisque firing, I finally fired the terra cotta mugs that AJ & Lizzie made when they were in my studio a couple weeks ago.

I feel bad that it took so long to fire them… I’m sure the anticipation is killing them!!! I think they turned out great, and they should be thrilled to get their mugs!!!


Categories: food

So I’m not quite sure how to feel about this on a couple levels.
A Facebook Fan sent me this message today…
“Saw this while at Wal-Mart today. Thought of you.
Not sure how I feel about them.”

I agree that Tropical Fruit flavored Oreo’s seems a little strange.
But it’s the “thought of you” that kind of freaks me out…but I’m oddly okay with it too?!!!
Made me smile. Go with your strengths, right???

So now I need to go “seek them out” here in Chicago.
And if I can’t find them, my Facebook Fan has offered to send me a bag!!! Yeah!!!

Categories: theater

When offered a free theater ticket… I’m pretty much in for anything!!!
So tonight was date night with my Mom, Dad & Aunt Marilyn.
Yeah… us and a bunch of freaky singin’ & dancin’ felines!!!

Categories: bowls, kiln firing, process, production

Tonight I loaded another bisque kiln. And as usual, I tried my best to pack it tight. I think I did pretty well this time… and sadly, a few bowls & an oval casserole did not make it in!!! Good thing I have another bisque kiln scheduled for early next week. For which I need to make a LOT of work to fill that one too!!!

Kiln Layer #1 – flower pots, tumblers, salt & pepper shakers

Kiln Layer #2 – oval casseroles, flower pot drip plates, salt & pepper shakers & tiles.

Kiln Layer #3 – oval casseroles, spoon rests, flower pot drip plates & salt & pepper shakers.

Kiln Layer #4 – bowls, flower pots, salt & pepper shakers… and two adorable terra cotta mugs made by my little friends AJ & Lizzie… who I’m sure have been waiting anxiously to get their masterpieces back!

Categories: Chicago

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs on 1o0 Years at Wrigley Field.
A wonderful Chicago landmark… regardless of which baseball team you cheer for.
Regardless of if you’ve given up on the hopes of a World Series Championship season.
Either way, a day at Wrigley Field is always fun… a concert at night is even more fun!
Nevertheless, congratulations to Todd & Tom Ricketts on a milestone anniversary!!!

Categories: bowls, classes

Last night was my favorite demo of the session!
Bowls on purpose. And then decorating them all to be one-of-a-kind pieces!

I try to do it every session showing my students how to “make a bowl on purpose” instead of making a “cylinder gone bad.” Once they learn how to make a “real” bowl, I have them all go back to practice while I throw a bunch of basic bowls quickly. I then call them all back to watch the decoration process. All fifteen bowls looked pretty much the same… plain & round. Hopefully my students picked up a few tricks last night. And if nothing else, I hope it gave them some encouragement to play with their clay – and to do something to it AFTER the wheel does all the work making it round.

Bowl #1 - Plain & simple with a slight spiral in the center.

Bowl #2 - A twice twisted & fluted rim.

Bowl #3 - And if two twists are good, eight might be even better!

Bowl #4 - A flared flange makes the bowl shorter & wider.

Bowl #5 - A wider flange for more presentation… less food.

Bowl #6 - Not every bowl needs to be round. Like this square one!

Bowl #7 - Using a simple dragonscale tool, I impressed this flower one petal at a time.

Bowl #8 - A decorative split rim with eight pinched sections.

Bowl #9 - Another split rim with ore pinches for a decorative, almost-braided look.

Bowl #10 - A split rim pinched together… bent inwards,, and bent outwards like a lotus flower.

After a simple explanation of colored slips

Bowl #11 - A simple spiral dragged through the slip to reveal the clay color below.

Bowl #12 - Banded rings with a squiggled section in the middle

Bowl #13 - Rhythmic chattering through the colored slip.

Bowl #14 - A “stencil” letter cut out from the newspaper. Slipped over, then pulled out.

Bowl #15 - A two-color ombre effect… but I couldn’t resist, and I “had to” drag a spiral through it.

So now all fifteen bowls are up in my studio…
Wrapped up overnight so I can keep working on them later. Sadly, all of my tables are full of drying pieces… so last night’s bowls are under plastic ON THE FLOOR!!!