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


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