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

More clouds than sun this morning… more wind too!!! Most would have rolled over & gone back to sleep. But they would have missed the cool waves crashing all around… including up & over the bike trail at the S-curve of Lake Shore Drive. And yes, for the record, I pedaled through and my shoes got soaked. It’s just water, right???

Categories: bike, Chicago, sculpture, sunrise

A warm & humid start to the day, with layered clouds brightening the sky…
and a beautiful ride down to the South Side and back.

And a fun, sunrise-watching sculpture on the South Side by Tom Friedman.

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Categories: creativity

Well, this can’t be good… unless you’re really, REALLY thirsty!!!

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Categories: bowls, process, production, stamped, textures

Last night in the studio I did some “follow-up” detailing on the class demo bowls that I made last Tuesday. They’ve been under plastic waiting for some decoration. So I did some stamping, texturing, dotting and more! Each one a little more special than they were before!

And this one, I peeled off the “impromptu” loop handles that we added during the class demo. Remember the cut-outs that I scooped out of the splash pan and stuck on?! Well, I peeled them off so that I can add some better ones back in their place later…. tomorrow???

Categories: photography, sunrise

Big sky. Big color. Big sky show.
Big panoramic photos!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

With a ton of clouds this morning, we had a very dramatic sunrise sky show. It was warm & sweaty, but well worth it when the entire spectrum of sunrise colors evolved through the morning.

 

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Categories: bowls, classes, wheelthrowing

This week in class was my favorite demo of the entire session!!!
Making bowls on purpose instead of a cylinder gone bad… and then altering & decorating.

My bowl demo has a three-part approach.
First, to show them how to make nice, smoothly rounded bowls instead of settling for a cylinder gone bad. So we have a nice curve in the interior instead of a flat bottom and corners like a cylinder.

Second, to introduce them to colored slips as another “tool” for surface decoration to make their pots more special & fun.

Third, to get them to play with their clay more. To realize that is not as “precious” as they think it is. To get over it. Pinch, flute, flare, squish, whatever. Do something fun with your pot to make it your own!!! Any one can make a plain round both. Make it special. Make it yours!

So we did the throwing demo… and then my students went back to their wheels to start practicing. While they were away, I threw the rest of the bowls… a full bag of clay to make 16 bowls! When I finished throwing them all, we reconvened to do some altering. All of the bowls started out pretty much the same… but after some quick changes, each one was different from the others!!!

Bowl #1 – two simple twisted flutes

Bowl #2 – and if two twisted flutes are good, eight might be better?!

Bowl #3 – a simple flared flange of a rim.

Bowl #4 – a much deeper flared flange… kinda like that bowl you get a very fancy expensive restaurant where the give you the big bowl with a teeny-tiny nugget of food in the bottom for a very high price!

Bowl #5 – then we combined fluted twists on the flared flange.

Bowl #6 – a simple split rim… pinched back together in four places.

Bowl #7 – another split rim, dented in in four places, and then dented outwards too!

Bowl #8 – a fun little “surprise” flower in the bottom of the bowl made with a metal dragonscaling tool.

Bowl #9 – For this one, my students were excited to have me try a new style. My plan was to cut the rim off in with decorative curves. I started with four curved incisions… and I tossed the cut-off parts into the splash pan. But then someone suggested I use the cut-off parts somehow. So I pulled them out, rolled them a bit and decided to add them on as handles. Unfortunately, the clay cut-outs were a bit gooey, and I didn’t score & slip them on… so I will be peeling them off and adding better handles later.

And then I introduced colored slip as a decorative accent…

Bowl #10 – a simple coating of thick white slip on the interior of the bowl. My plan for later is to do some decorative carving through the slip to reveal the darker clay in the design.

Bowl #11 - a simple layer of thick white slip and a rounded tool dragged through while the wheel was spinning to get this mesmerizing spiral effect.

Bowl #12 – another layer of thick white slip and some “finger painting” squiggles while the wheel was still spinning.

Bowl #13 – thick white slip with a spiral and some simple banding.

Bowl #14 – thick white slip with some chattering through the slip. Steady rhythmic tapping of a plastic rib through the slip to show the darker clay. Tapping, spinning and moving up all at the same time to get this great design.

Bowl #15 – a flared flange covered with thick white slip… and then some simple finger drags through it to create a patterned rim.

Bowl #16 – a layer of white slip, and then a layer of blue mazzerine slip over part of it for a groovy ombre effect.

So for now they’re wrapped up under plastic… soon to be stamped, carved, detailed and more!

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Categories: lillstreet, porcelain, soda-fired, vases

Here’s a quick peek at the porcelain vases I made and donated for the Lillstreet ArtReach Fundraiser. They had asked for a couple tumblers, but I wanted to do more for the kids. So I offered up some vases for the floral centerpieces… each to be sold off at the end of the event. So if you were one of the lucky folks enjoying an evening of “Art Under The Stars” you would have your choice of one of these vases. A great chance to donate to a great program AND come away with a beautiful “souvenir.”

 

So hopefully by now, people are enjoying their evening on the Lillstreet Rooftop.
A special evening to support the efforts put forth by the ArtReach Chicago group.
Bringing creativity to the community. Sharing clay, paint and other supplies.
Making art happen all around the City… in places that need a little extra inspiration!

Categories: cirque du soleil

Look what has popped up in Chicago… I’d recognize that tent anywhere!!!
Coming soon…

 

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Categories: bike, sunrise

Sure, it may have been pouring rain this morning…
but yesterday was pretty darn stunning with reflections all around.

Today, not so much.

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