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



Categories: art fair, pottery, production, stamped

I’m kinda excited about this latest batch of lidded jars. I went a little larger this time… racing to get things made for next Saturday’s soda kiln. Even more importantly, in time for the Holiday Home Show which is coming up all too quickly. Always the weekend before Thanksgiving… just three weeks away?!


Categories: process, production, stamped

As if repetitive stamping weren’t obsessive-compulsive enough…
let’s just make it a bit more labor-intensive by painting the inside of every stamp
with some colored flashing slip!!!

Categories: holiday
Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

This morning was definitely a “treat” with candy-colored calico skies. Sure, it started out incredibly dark… and windy… but the “trick” got better as the sun came up and it turned into a tailwind all the way home!!!

Categories: holiday

Happy Halloween!



Categories: food, special events

Celebrating the World Series the best way I know how… with extra cheese!

Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production

This morning started early with some stamping of the porcelain cylinders. Then some trimming… and then handles needed to be attached. So the afternoon was a porcelain process. A little more fidgety than stoneware… but still went pretty smoothly.

I started with nugget cubes of wedged porcelain. I don’t measure things…
I just “guess”, and hope, that each cube will be enough clay for the handle.

Then I take each piece and “slam it” against the table repeatedly. Rotating the piece each time until it becomes a carrot shaped wedge of clay.

Then I pull my handles the old-fashioned way. A bit of water. A lot of friction. And a slight childhood memory of milking cows by my Grandfather’s place in Missouri. As I finish pulling each handle, I like to flip it into a curve shape and set it up on itself. I let them sit like this until the clay sets up a bit. When they are no longer sticky, I can start attaching them.

To attach the handles, it’s a lot of “scratching & attaching.” Always careful not to squish or mis-shape the cup as I’m attaching them. Making sure the handle looks proportionate to the cylinder. And that the attachment is secure and clean. Soon enough… another dozen porcelain mugs!!!



Categories: process, production

Full production mode today… stamping… handles… wedging… throwing…
Trying to get as much done as possible. But being held-up with a bit of trimming that’s not quite ready yet. I hate when I “rush” the process and try to trim pieces when they’re still too wet. No good ever comes of it. It seems like it’s always a mess. So here’s a bunch of piece bottoms-up in the studio waiting for their turn to be trimmed. C’mon… dry already!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

This morning started early with a bunch of stamping. My goal is to get them all stamped, trimmed and handled today. I’m “rushing” to get everything in one last bisque so that they can make it into my soda kiln next Saturday!!! These porcelain cylinders were thrown yesterday… and stamped this morning!!! Yes, of course I am running a bit last minute… again.