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

Looks like “big fun” has popped up along the Lakefront. We already have our tickets…
no horsing around for us!!! Can’t wait!!!

Categories: process, production, stamped

Another batch of wall pocket vases done and drying on the rack…
for tomorrow night they go into a bisque kiln!

Categories: process, production, stamped, textures

Spent the night finishing up some wall pocket vases. Stamping, detailing and painting a few small accents of colored flashing slip.

Categories: color, nature, textures

I’m sure liken’ the lichen & moss colors & textures of these wet Spring days.

Categories: artists, creativity

As a potter who loves great design… classic pottery… and a contact wearer…
I was excited when I first saw this on my Instagram feed this morning!

At first I thought it was just some sort of advertisement for new contact lenses.
I almost scrolled right past them.
Until I saw  and recognized the Instagram user name.

From #potsinaction on Instagram…
Only having eyes for pottery isn’t new for some of us, but these contact lenses etched with a pattern from a Delft plaque take it to a whole new leverl! Collaborative duo, architect Ali Soltani and artist Francine LeClercq, are finalists for the 2017 Rijksstudio Award from the Rijks Museum with this incredible piece. From their website, “Based on the design  of XVII century plaques in the museum collection, our entry DELFT BLUE EYES consists of non-prescriptive contact lenses whose hydrogel surface has been printed with Delft Blue pattern. While drawing on a distinct cultural heritage of Dutch Delftware, the direct juxtaposition of a perceived work and its viewing subject is a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s critique on retinal art through the selective process of “Readymades.” Today, in an era enmeshed by trajectories of prying eyes, the perceiving subject itself is the tentative Readymade the moment it is caught viewing its prey, here the enameled tine-glaze of Delft under a glassy gaze.”

So take a look closer… they’re not just colored contacts.
They change your eye color into a classic Delft china pattern!!! AMAZING!!!
And more importantly, where & when can I buy them???

So these incredible contacts and the images produced are finalists in the museum’s contest. Click here to vote for your favorite of the Top Ten Finalists. Voting is open until April 20, 2017.

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Categories: classes, lillstreet

As posted on Facebook this morning…
Looks like one of my Facebook Fans will be joining my Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing Class tonight at Lillstreet. If she’s been a “fan” for seven years, I hope I don’t disappoint?! That’s a lot of pressure to live up to. I may need to step up my game a bit?… and bring a LOT of Oreo’s?!!!

Categories: classes, soda-fired

Last night was the kick-off my new “Simply Soda” class at Lillstreet. It’s an introduction to the soda-firing process. So we did a quick overview, tour and started discussing colored flashing slips. But there’s really no better way to see what might happen during the firing process than to make your own test tiles… errr, cups! So last night my students threw a bunch of cups off-the-hump and then applied two swatches of colored slip on each side of the cup. We made two for each color so they can fire one in high-soda, and one in low-soda to see the difference. They were very productive… and hopefully it will all pay off with a lot of flashing slip “information” for them to use further down the road,

Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production

Adding handles. Making mugs. Two of my favorite things. No, really.

Categories: artists, classes, summer camp

Hard to believe that we’re already planning and scheduling Summer Camps!!!
Winter is finally ending, and I’m just looking forward to Spring.
But these adorable kids make me even more excited to see Summer get here!

The following is my schedule for teaching Summer Camps at Lillstreet Art Center.
I work with the older group of kids who constantly amaze, inspire and entertain me.
Summer camp is a wonderful experience for the kids and teachers who work together on all of the wonderful art projects… and good for the parents who get a few hours off! You can stop by the Front Desk at Lillstreet Art Center, call them or register online for Summer Camps. Registration is already open and filling fast. Click here for online information & registration.

Week C, June 19th-23rd – Wheelthrowing – 9:00am-1:00pm
Five days of fun where we start at the very beginning with wedging, centering & throwing. Kids will learn all of the basics, practice everyday and finish with glazing on Friday.

Week F, July 10th-14th – Chess Camp – 9:00am-3:30pm
Kids will make their own complete chess set out of clay in just five short days. Thematic sets are encouraged, no ordinary Kings, Queens & Rooks here! Actual chess experience is not mandatory… we’ll all learn a bit more along the way! Check?

Week H, July 24th-28thFire, Forge & Feast  – 9:00am-3:30pm
Admittedly the biggest & most fun camp of the whole Summer!!! But enough about me…
In this camp, the kids get to play with me and my friend Pam who teaches the metalsmithing portions. In the five-day camp, kids will design and create a full dinnerware place setting out of clay and metal. A lot of creative design & brainstorming to come up with their amazing themes. Two days of clay, two days of metals, and a lot of Friday fun finishing place settings and celebrating with a class Potluck Lunch!!!

Week I, July 31st-August 4th – Wheelthrowing  – 9:00am-1:00pm
More mud spinning & flinging as the kids learn how to wheelthrow from beginning to end. From wedging to glazing and every “muddy” step along the way!

Week J, August 7th-11th – Sculptures Big to Small  – 9:00am-3:30pm
In this camp the kids will each build their own sculptures after being inspired during a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park. A dash of art history will serve them well as they work on their own large-scale masterpieces!

Week K, August 14th-18th – Handbuilding & Wheelthrowing  – 9:00am-1:00pm
At this point in the summer, many campers have already taken a couple camps. Some of them have already thrown on the wheel, some of them have handbuilt pieces with clay. This week we’re going to do both – working to incorporate all of their skills into their pieces.

Week L, August 21st-25th – Wheelthrowing - 9:00am-1:00pm
My last week of Summer Camp will be another fun week of wheelthrowing. Spinning, centering, wedging and laughing… maybe an occasional joke along the way?! A great way to end my summer camp “tour of duty.”

If you’re interested in sending your kids to Summer Camp at Lillstreet, click here for their website. And then sign the kids up fast…. spaces are filling quickly!!!

It’s a “shame” that kid’s don’t like playing with clay?!!! Ha!!!
WE ALL LOVE SUMMER CAMP!!!

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Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production, stamped, stamps

Another batch of mugs. Another round of stamping.
I had a customer request a certain color glazed mug the other day… and when I checked my mug inventory, I was a little surprised to NOT have any on the color she wanted. So I’m back making more of my favorites… thanks to Rosene for a little mug motivation!

So here’s the latest batch of mugs-in-the-making. Porcelain cylinders thrown and then stamped… and the stamps that did the magic!!!

Mug A

Mug B

Mug C

Mug D

Mug E

Mug F

Mug G

Mug H

Mug I

Mug J

Mug K

So for now they’re all under plastic for the evening. Plan is to get them all trimmed tomorrow, make some more things… and then if all goes as planned, maybe even get handles on these tomorrow as well. Hard to work when your fingers are crossed.

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