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

Just spent a lot of my “bonus” Leap Year Day at The Apple Store.
We get a bonus day every four years… but it’s been at least two of these bonus days since I’ve gotten a new laptop. My computer has been so far out-of-date that I’ve been struggling with it for awhile.

But when your messenger bag slides out of back seat of your car… and then when you open the lid… and suddenly you have a big black bar & colorful stripes running down the center of the screen… maybe it’s time?! Now I just need to get it all set-up so I can get back to posting on a more regular basis!!!

Categories: classes, inspiration

After the bowls & spoons challenge, I decided to up the ante with possibly their toughest LILLSTREET THROWDOWN challenge yet!!! MATRYOSHKA… yes, a set of five Russian Nesting Dolls.

I showed them some examples, as many of them jumped right in on throwing their parts. But it was going to be the sizing, trimming, stacking & decorating that was really going to make them work… hopefully enough to “bring us to tears.” Just like Clover did to judge Keith in season two, episode six of “The Great Pottery Throw Down.”

Categories: pottery, process

So then this happened… after carefully taking our spoons to the kiln room, and asking the monitor if we could carefully slide them in… he said he would take care of them for us. Only to find one of Jen’s ladles broken on the “reject shelf” just a few minutes later. Thankfully there was a note… we knew they were fragile… and I tried my darnedest to fix it for her. We’ll just have to see if it “survives” another trip to the kiln.

I get it. We all do… and I know the kiln loader is putting in hundreds of fragile pieces! It was just bad timing as we had just offered to put them in ourselves… so if it were going to break, it would have been Jen breaking her own piece… instead of the monitor!

Categories: bowls, classes

This week my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students were challenged to create four bowls with colored slip & four spoons… only then to find out they needed to make a large serving bowl and large serving utensil to go with the set. As always, my students totally killed this challenge. They never fail to amaze me every week!!!

Here’s Christine’s set…

Here’s Tracy’s set… terra cotta bowls with an ombre fade inside, and an amazingly smooth burnished terra sigillata exterior.

Here’s Norah’s set…

Here’s Molly’s set…

Here’s Helen’s set…

Here’s Jen’s set… complete with pink slip & splattered accents, chopsticks and a large ladle to serve!

Here’s Dana’s FIRST PLACE SET… great contemporary lines, both the decoration and the shape of the set… and a couple extra spoons as she found that she kinda loved making them!

Categories: sunset

Sunset through the bridge. Hard to catch it while driving… but I did.
Timing is everything!!!

Categories: food

Possibly the best lunch ever?! Enjoying some Jeni’s ice cream… including their new Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate Blackout Cake and the new Skillet Cinnamon Roll… in order of preference!

Categories: artists, creativity, murals

Enjoying a stroll through the West side with a few colorful murals catching my eye… they always make me smile!!! Another mural. Another giggle.

Categories: process, production, studio, tools

Tools of the trade. Love my Bison tools for trimming…
and my MudTools rib for smoothing & burnishing!

Categories: bowls, process, production

Just a little early-morning trimming to start the day!

Categories: kiln firing, soda-fired, textures

This past weekend was my 3-Night Soda-Firing Workshop. A quick introduction to the many wonders of soda-firing. We glazed, wadded, loaded, fired, cooled, unloaded, cleaned, admired and potluck’d all in three days! A lot of work… but it all starts with an empty kiln. Perfect for TEXTURE TUESDAY!!!