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

Uh oh… another one bites the dust!!!

And this one is a bit painful.
It was the very first mug that my very first art fair friends ever got from me! It has lived a long life with them… as you can tell by this earlier “style” with minimal stamping and too much glaze for a good soda-firing?! Luckily, they have more than PLENTY of my newer pottery pieces in their house… and I’m sure they’ll get more!!!

Sad day & sad mug Rosene!

Categories: nature, photography, sunrise

Another big sky moment this morning along the lakefront.

Categories: nature, photography, sunrise

Icebergs are melting, snow piles shrinking. Mushy puddles abound. Always fun to play along the lakefront in the morning sun… anxious to get my bike back out on the trail. But I fear we’re still a few days away with all of the slushy mess out there!

Categories: classes, food

While we’re no longer supposed to have snacks in our pottery classes… one of my students couldn’t help feeding my “addiction” with GINGERBREAD OREO’s!!! I’m trying not to think about the post-holiday timing on these, cause they sure were yummy! But in our defense… individual serving packets that people took home with them. Still no eating in classes with all of our covid-restrictions! Whew… we skirted around that one.

Thanks Kate for the sweet treat!!!

Categories: pottery, process, textures, vases

Celebrating another TEXTURE TUESDAY with a few close-up detail shots! Crackled slip textures thanks to the magic of sodium silicate!

Categories: pottery aprons, process

Funny story…
While I was making these crackled slip vases, one of them “slumped down” a little as I might have bulged it out a bit too far. I let it sit on my work table while I made more… mocking me… always looking at it thinking that the shape was bad. Questioning if I should just squish it up and do it again. But then I remembered one of my students Dan who always tries to flip-over his slumping pots to see if gravity will “un-slump” them. I figured what do I have to lose?! It was still firmly attached to the plastic bat, so I flipped it, tapped it a few times and then hung it upside down overnight in a bucket with plastic over it. The next day… voila’… the slumped area had “stretched” back out and the curve was all better… and perfect for trimming!!!

Thanks Dan for the unwitting motivation! HA!!!

Categories: pottery, production, textures, vases

Here’s a few more shots of the crackled slip vases I made since class last Thursday. For these, I used colored flashing slips to see what happens to them when fired in the soda kiln. It’s been a fun process to play with… creating different textures & patterns that “magically appear” as the pots are bulged out and the slip begins to crackle!

Categories: pottery, production, textures, vases

So when I shared this crackled slip technique with my class last Thursday morning… they asked if I thought it might work its way into my own body of work. I scoffed and said “I don’t think so.”

But I posted some class demo pictures online and they got some good loving… and then THIS happened!!! Looks like maybe I should not have scoffed so quickly…

Categories: Chicago, weather

With warm temps, the snow is melting which gives even less reason for Chicago “dibs”. A strange local custom where people put chairs, tables, garbage cans & all kinds of trash in their shoveled out parking space to “reserve it” for when they come back. Kinda loved this impassioned message I saw this afternoon on my way home!

Categories: Chicago, nature, photography, weather

Just got back from a sweaty afternoon jog along the lakefront! So excited to see all of this snow starting to melt. We have a long ways to go… but it was encouragingly warm this afternoon. Of course I put on too many layers and regretted it quickly… and got tired of splashing through all the mushy puddles. But I’ll take it if it means Spring is one day closer!!!