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

And while we’re on craftsmanship & skill… here’s another video that’s quite mesmerizing. I know I’ve posted it before, but I’m still entranced. I think this is done with colored slip, or maybe colored sand on the wheel… but I suggest we all try the same “trick” on the next platter we make. Get ready Tuesday night class… this week we cover slips, and the next week plates & platters. Dangerously groovy combination apparently?!!! Get ready.

Click here for the spinning, spiraling, evolving and ever-changing video!

And a second one…. on the video there’s a title, but I can’t read it?!

And then a third… and another title in another language… Russian maybe?

Categories: artists

Okay, so I’m not a woodworker. But I do appreciate the intrinsic craftsmanship & skill that goes into this. He makes it look so easy…. which I’m sure it is not. Just wait until you see the final result. Especially when he puts on the final layer of oil. Voila. A masterpiece in wood.

Click HERE to watch the amazing video.

And then a bunch of MAGIC happens in this part… and then the Big Reveal.
Click here to see the MAGIC on the video!

Categories: art fair, mugs

SORRY – This online sale is now closed.

Here we go… WANT A HUG?  GIVE A MUG!!!
And the “official” Online Mug Sale begins NOW on Facebook!!!
Just in time to be the perfect gift for your Valentine!

The “official” Photo Album of the ten mugs up for sale today was just published on Facebook. I’m going with one album so as not to flood your News Feed with a post for each individual piece. Please “Share” the album with your friends.

Click HERE to go directly to my Facebook pottery page.

Each mug is $50 which includes shipping & handling. For ease of getting everything out in time for Valentine’s Day, contiguous US please.

Simply find the piece you want on the Facebook Photo Album… not here on the blog! Then add a Facebook Comment on the individual picture in the Photo Album. If you’re the first person to claim it with a simple “MINE. MINE. MINE”… or something similar… you get the mug. It’s first come, first claimed. Be sure to Comment on an individual photo, not the album. If you’re the first person to “claim” a piece, I will try to confirm quickly to send you some final purchasing details.

If you want to see both sides of a mug, scroll down through the blog for more photos of the mugs up for “adoption.” You’ll both sides and some close-up detail shots!

This online sale ends on Friday, February 5th at midnight. That gives me enough time to ship them out so you get them before Valentine’s Day!

 So hurry up… what are you doing here wasting time reading?
Start clicking through the Facebook Photo Album. Snatch ’em up quick!!!
And be sure to “Share” the Facebook post with your friends. Handmade mugs are the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day for that special someone… or better yet… yourself!!!


Categories: mugs, stamped

Detail shot of Mug J : A preview for TOMORROW’s online mug sale!
Remember, these photos are just to whet your whistle. The actual sale will “go live” on my Facebook pottery page this coming Saturday 1/30 at noon CST. Watch for the “official” Facebook Photo Album. Be the first to Comment on the Photo Album photo to “claim” your mug!!!

Click here to go to my pottery page : Fire When Ready Pottery on Facebook.

Categories: mugs

Don’t forget… an “official” Facebook Photo Album will be posted TOMORROW at Noon CST. Follow on my Fire When Ready Pottery page to see the photos. Be the first to Comment with “Mine. Mine. Mine.” to claim the mug of your dreams. The perfect gift for that Special Someone… or treat yourself. Fewer calories than a box of chocolate!

Categories: mugs, soda-fired, stamped

Detail shot of Mug I : A preview for THIS Saturday’s online mug sale!

Categories: artists, friends, holiday, My Talented Friends, ornaments

Well, here’s The Challenge… we’re doing it again!!!
Three years ago Sarah Chapman and I did the Challenge – just the two of us.
It was a tough task to come up with twelve new & different ornaments. One each month. Keeps you on your toes… and we were looking for another challenge to keep us going this year. We struggled with new project ideas. And finally decided to stick with the Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge. But to mix it up this time, we’ve invited three of our other Talented Friends to join in on the Challenge!!!

So, this time around, we have five artists playing our silly little reindeer games. Three ceramic artists and two metalsmiths. The challenge is to make a new holiday ornament each month. Each group has different “struggles.” It’s easier for the ceramic folks to make multiples, but tougher to get them done, fired & glazed in time to post… so you’ll be seeing a lot of greenware ornaments. Finished glaze photos to come as pieces are finished. Whereas the metalsmiths work with materials that are generally more expensive than clay. So they may only make one or two… and in some cases, maybe not even in metal?!

So there will be a few “challenges” within the Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge. And we’ll see how this plays out over the course of the year. Hopefully everyone will keep up with it. I’ll post them here on the blog, as well as on my pottery Facebook page. I plan on making multiples of all of mine… so I’ll have plenty to sell at the Holiday Home Shows!!!

So here we go…. the first month… January… first of twelve…
and your first glimpse at the five “Talented Friends” taking on The Ornament Challenge!
Be sure to check out their websites. They’re all in the LINKS section in the far right column. And they all have fun Facebook pages too. Find your favorites & follow them everywhere!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have quite a crush & quite the collection of Cory’s whimsical pieces. She is an amazing handbuilder using paper clay. Her pieces include a lot of textures, colors, and humor. I can’t wait to see these ornaments glazed in bright colors. You know I’m going to need one for my tree… okay, well at least one!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
An amazing metalsmith and good friend, Sarah is known mostly for her oxidized silver jewelry with an urban-architectural-textured flair. I have quite the collection of Sarah’s work as well. And since we did this challenge together three years ago, I was interested to see where she would take it this time. Looks like she’s going back to her childhood with some traditional “paper cut-out” snowflakes. Except they’re no longer just for paper…

My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta is known for her exquisite carved porcelain pods, urchins and other organic forms. So it’s not a big surprise that her first ornament in the Challenge is miniature versions of her pods. I love them. So sweet. So precious…. and I can’t wait to see where she goes to from here.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
What?… no hinges??? Taking a spin from her already popular ADORBS Collection, Amy came in with an ADORBS-able ornament to celebrate the New Year. I have an ADORBS necklace, and my niece Taylor has an ADORBS necklace that she refers to as her “good luck charm.” Since everyone loves their ADORBS… let’s keep the lovin’ going with an ornament version. And I love how that one green eye totally matches the tree!

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME!!!
I’m the fifth artist partaking in the Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge. My ornament for January is a porcelain stamped Christmas Tree. My plan was to glaze it green, but now I’m considering making it a White Christmas after all. For more about my January ornaments… just read the blog post right before this one!


Categories: ornaments, porcelain, stamped

So I just finished taking down my Christmas decorations…
and I’m ALREADY back in the studio making new Christmas ornaments!!!
Too soon? I hope not. I’ve got a plan… and a Challenge!!!

I’ve been playing some porcelain and stamping in a stylized Christmas tree pattern.
Contemporary swirls for the holidays.

To keep them flat, I’m drying them on some of that plastic grid they sell at hardware stores for fluorescent lighting panels. I raise the panels up just a bit on wood. That way, they can dry evenly on both sides which helps prevent warpage.

So my plan is to bisque fire these, then glaze them. I was planning on a saturated cone 6 kelly green color glaze… but now I’m starting to wonder if a few of them should stay white?! It might be a White Christmas after all???…. eleven months from now!!!

And what about the Challenge???
Well, this is just the first batch… of the first month… of the New Year.
Eleven more monthly ornaments to come!!!

But it would be more fun with friends, right?


Categories: mugs, soda-fired, stamped

Detail shot of Mug H : A preview for TOMORROW’s online mug sale!
Remember, these photos are just to whet your whistle. The actual sale will “go live” on my Facebook pottery page this coming Saturday 1/30 at noon CST. Watch for the “official” Facebook Photo Album. Be the first to Comment on the Photo Album photo to “claim” your mug!!!

Click here to go to my pottery page : Fire When Ready Pottery on Facebook.

Categories: food, inspiration

A little splash of citrus to brighten your day. Just don’t squeeze it in your eye!