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

We’re just hours away from the New Year.
Time to get your party on as we usher out 2014 and welcome in 2015!!!

Have a wonderful celebration wherever you may be.
Watch the Ball drop. Tip a glass. Throw some confetti.
Make some noise. Bang some pots & pans. Tee-pee your neighbor’s house!
Make some New Year’s Resolutions… and have a safe evening with friends & family!

Have fun. Be safe. See you in 2015!!!

Categories: Chicago, sunrise

A beautiful start to the last day of 2014.
Enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations. Have fun & be safe tonight.

Categories: bike, sunrise

Well, this morning was the last sunrise of 2014.
And it was a cold one with frozen fingers!!! I think it was even too cold for clouds?!

Here’s to a wonderful New Year… and plenty of warmer sunrises in 2015!!!

And at long last, fittingly the last sunrise of the year…
and the first sunrise self-portrait of the year! Do I look cold?… cuz’ I was!!!

Categories: holiday, mugs, ornaments

Another holiday “photo” greeting… this time from a Facebook Fan in Utah.
And proud new owner of a Fire When Ready Pottery Mug from the
“Happy December Online Sale.” Thanks for sharing Scott!!!

“Hi Gary – Enjoying some Christmas coffee in my new favorite mug as the snow falls here in Utah. And if you look close you’ll see last year’s ornament hanging from the tree. Thanks for your blog – it is informative and inspirational. Happy Holidays.”    – Scott

Categories: family, pottery, Taylor

Today was a fun day at the studio. After a hectic holiday, it was great to get back in the mud again. And today, my parents brought my niece Taylor into the City for a day at the studio. She’s been there a few times before, but this was her first day working on the wheel. I gave her the choice… hand-building or wheel-throwing?! Never afraid to get dirty… she chose to spin fast with wet sloppy clay.

We started out with the basics. A demo of wedging, followed by a step-by-step tutorial on the wheel. With quite a few mentions of how “frustrating” this is going to be. And that my adults take a 10-week class to learn, and she’s got just a few hours. My Mom bowed out of the fun, but Taylor and my Dad stepped up & hopped onto their wheels.

As always, centering is the hardest part to learn. Both were struggling. See?… not so easy.
I was just happy that they were both keeping at it… and Taylor was still smiling!
Already wearing clay in all the cutest places!!!

More centering. More throwing. More goofing up. More splattering.
More wedging. More centering. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A few hours later, Taylor was still focused. Eyes on the prize.
She wouldn’t give up… as my Dad was quickly reaching the end of his adventure.

Still smiling… and still making some sweet pots.

At the end of the day, they both had the “fun” of cleaning up their workspace. They cleaned their wheels, tools, buckets, splash pans AND the wedging tables too!!! It’s all part of the process, right???

And I was left with a couple ware boards of pieces to finish up for them…
and a sheet of instructions as to how she wants her pieces glazed!!!

Another great day at the studio… and hopefully another great memory for Taylor!!!

Categories: holiday

Another great holiday celebration shared by a Fan on Facebook.
A small, stamped incense tray being used with a special holiday flair.

“We are using this tonight as we celebrate Christmas as a family returning from our awesome western vacation!! Thank you! Frankincense and Myrrh burning.”    – Allison

Categories: mugs

Another mug making someone’s morning a little happier…
and their coffee a little tastier!!!

From Pam in Massachusetts on Facebook:
“Mmmm morning coffee in my new mug from Fire When Ready Pottery.”

Categories: food, pottery

As a functional potter, it warms my heart to know that my pottery is being enjoyed.
To see that my work is actually being used on a daily basis or for special occasions.
I love hearing how my work has made someone’s day brighter or in some way happier.
Thank you to everyone who shares their photos & stories…
like this one which made MY day today a little brighter!

“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I had bought a platter from you earlier this year in Schaumburg and we finally inaugurated it over Christmas dinner. So I just wanted you to know that there was a lot of praise for you that night! I’ve attached a few photos of your work… we really love the piece!”    – Ria

…now if she could just share some of that cheesecake too!!!

So if you want to make this humble potter a little happier, please take a second to e-mail me a photo or two. I’d love to see how you’re using my pottery in your everyday world. Thank you!

Categories: artists, friends, holiday, mugs

Just got home from a wonderful “post-Christmas” dinner at my favorite restaurant with my favorite metalsmith Sarah Chapman. We ate way too much food, way too much hot caramel sauce and had a wonderful time sharing stories, gifts and our plans for the New Year. I came home with a full tummy & two beautiful new mugs for my collection. Thank you again Sarah!!!

Mug by Kip O’Krongly

Mug by Deb Schwartzkopf

Categories: garden, holiday