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

So my berry bowls are now cleaned-up & drying… but I think a good berry bowl needs a little plate to go with it. That way you can wash some berries, let them drain, and then serve them in the same berry bowl… with the plate under it to keep the water from dripping on your table. So tonight I made some little drip plates…

Categories: flowers, seasons, soda-fired, stamped, vases

A little splash of cheery sunshine & beautiful spring flowers
from one of my customers up in Wisconsin…
eager to show off her new stamped & soda-fired vase!

Categories: inspiration, YouTube

Take the time… relax… breath deep…
and enjoy your time with Kermit during these tough times.
It will most likely be the best three and a half minutes of your day today!

And thank you Kermie… I needed this today!

Categories: artists, Chicago, mosaic

Making the most of a bad situation… or TWO!
Potholes AND Coronavirus!!!

Dealing with both at the same time!!!
And a lot of creativity to help us all get through this together… with a smile!
Thanks to Chicago mosaic artist Jim Bachor.

Click here for the full article on

Categories: bowls, process, production, studio, tools

So I’ve often said the best thing in the pottery studio is POWER TOOLS!
Especially when “drilling” lots of drainage holes into the bottoms of a bunch of berry bowls?!
So why not use a POWER DRILL to drill the holes?!

So I’ve already trimmed the bowls, and let them stiffen up to the “drier-side” of leatherhard. Not squishy. Not tacky. But definitely NOT bone dry yet. And then I start by making the first ring of holes just inside the footring… and then continue on the outside of the footring, between… staggered… lined-up… all different patterns!

And then I let them sit out a bit longer so the drilled “burrs” will brush off easily. Once the shredded debris stiffens up, I use a stiff paint brush to wipe all of those extra pieces off both inside & out! It’s always fun to see the drilled pattern after cleaning out the debris!

Now that they’re drilled full of drainage holes, I’ll let them dry to bone dry. And then I’ll take a green scrubby 3M pad to smooth out some of the rough edges before bisque firing.

Next up?… throwing a bunch of small plates to work as the drainage catch plate!

Categories: artists, creativity, friends, handbuilding, My Talented Friends, teapot

So my friend Cory McCrory has been working on a new teapot for an upcoming show. And don’t for a moment think it is a “normal” teapot thrown on the wheel like I would make. Oh no… that’s NOT how Cory rolls!

Instead, Cory makes these elaborate, handbuilt sculptures with paperclay that have made me smile for YEARS!!! We first met at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Fair when our booths were one row away from each other. I could see her work, she could see mine… but we didn’t have a lot of time to go over and look as we were both busy in our booths. But I could already tell from a distance that I was enamored already!!! I finally made it over to her both and instantly fell in love with Cory AND her amazing work!!!

So if you’re NOT following Cory on Facebook or Instagram, you definitely should be!!! She’s been working on this amazing teapot for the past couple weeks… and graciously been sharing photos every step of the way. I’ll post a “teaser” of the finished underglazed version as it goes into the kiln here. But for the full “start-to-finish” Photo Album, click here for a link to her Facebook page.

Categories: flowers, garden

This little guy started out yesterday looking more like Audrey 2 than the prettiest tiny orchid ever it turned into today!!!

Categories: nature

And then all too soon… while I was still pedaling…
the clouds rolled in, the wind picked-up and the rain started to come down! Sure I got a little wet, but it was still a beautiful bike ride this afternoon.

Categories: nature

A few magical moments along the bike trail this afternoon. No matter how many times I ride the North Branch Bike Trail, I love seeing all of the deer along the way. Today I counted eighteen… that I could see! But this time of the year they blend in pretty darn well. Scroll down through the photos to see them “disappear” into their surroundings!

Categories: art fair, nature

Stopped by the check out the new location for ART IN THE GARDEN… as our lovely hosts have moved right around the corner. Bigger space, more garden and literally a river!!! Now we just have to hope that “things” calm down enough that ART IN THE GARDEN can still go on this year… with proper precautions!!!