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

Well, I found them!!! The newest flavor of OREO’s!!!
Looks like it’s going to be another “sweet” pottery class tonight. Yum!!!

Categories: process, production, stamps, vases

Throwing off the hump making some mini vases.
And yes, smaller vases need smaller stamps!!! Go figure.

Categories: process, production, tools

Spinning fast. Trimming quick.
I LOVE my Giffin Grip!!!

Categories: mugs, porcelain, soda-fired, stamped

A sweet little soda-fired porcelain cup fresh from the kiln!



Categories: television

Unfortunately, I can’t find BBC2 on my cable anywhere!!!
Guess I’ll need to wait to find it on YouTube in a couple days?!

Categories: artists, creativity, friends

Last night was my friend Pam’s 50th Birthday Party!!!
And sure, we could have had a “normal” night out… but that’s not how we fly!
Pam decided to have her party at the Firehouse Art Center in Chicago. She was surrounded by all of her friends… and a lot of flames to play with!!! We all had a chance to do some glassblowing with proceeds going to the ArtReach Program. Such a great idea for her party… and her group of artist friends! So much fun for everyone!!!

So first, you need to decide what colors you want added into the glass. There were bags of colored frits to choose from… a little overwhelming. So many choices… and far too many flames all around as a wonderful distraction!!!

Then you with down with a glop of molten glass on the end of your rod. The glass is pressed into the pan of colored frits so they stick to the glass and begin to melt. Then you poke, snip and swirl the colors with metal tongs. Since I decided to make a paperweight, I knew I wanted to add some cool air bubbles into my glass, so I poked holes deep into the glass.

Another dip of glass… more swirling… more mixing…

Then you finally get to start shaping it into a ball using tongs and a wet wooden “scoop” shaper.

Once the shape is good, you need to make a groove where the piece will be “cut off” the rod.

A little last minute shaping… and then it was time to snap it off the rod, blow torch the bottom edge to smooth it out, and then it went into another kiln for a slow cool down.

And me… a happy camper after playing with fire & glass!!!

My friend Kelly was there too… so here’s her glass “journey” too!
Rolling her glass in the colored frits…

Re-heating the glass to melt it all together again…

Some poking, snipping, swirling… and shaping…

A wet wooden “bowl” shaper to help refine the shape of the molten glass.

And then since Kelly was making a bowl, she got to actually “blow” her glass ball open. While the studio tech was helping with the bowl, Kelly was at the other end of the rod ready to blow and inflate her glass at his command. The coolest part was when her glass was a nice large, round “bubble”… he told Kelly to suck the air out and it pulled in the top half to make a double-walled concave bowl. Pretty amazing!!!

So at this point, all of the bowls and paperweights made last night are still in the kiln cooling down. I’m pretty sure we will get them in the next day or two… and I’ll be sure to post some photos!!!

We all had a great time at your party… it was a wonderful idea to party with fire!!!!



Categories: food, friends, stamped

A little sneak peek of the Pumpkin Cheesecake I made for my friend Pam for her 50th birthday. It’s her favorite flavor of cheesecake. I’m pretty sure she’s going to like it… especially when she figures out that she gets to keep the platter too!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped, stamps

It’s been a long morning of stamping cylinders. One step closer to making another batch of mugs. This time I made a few different shapes of cylinders… kinda hoping to find a new one that intrigues me. I also “forced” myself to do all the stamping with the new batch of stamps I made a couple weeks ago. So here are a few new mug shown before & after stamping… as well as the stamp that I used to make the pattern.

Mug A

Mug B

Mug C

Mug D

Mug E

Mug F

Mug G

Mug H

Mug I

Mug J

Mug K

Mug L

Mug M

Mug N

Mug O

Mug P

Mug Q

Mug R

Mug S

So now all of the cylinders are stamped and under plastic.
Next up will be trimming the bottoms and adding handles.


Categories: artists

Another dreary gray day in Chicago.
Looks like I’m not the only one feeling the effects of these long gray days.

Categories: Uncategorized

The first night of my pottery class this session we made some new clay stamps. They’re back from the bisque firing… and it was so much fun to see Grace using her new stamps last night to make this beautiful pattern on the bottom of her oval piece. A wonderful texture by my little stamping prodigy. Let the addiction begin…