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

Hope everyone is celebrating the end of 2021…
another mishigas of a year with so many highs & lows.
Looking forward to a better 2022.

So go out there and celebrate the New Year…
even if “out there” is your own back porch!!!
Make friends, make resolutions, make memories…
but also be thoughtful, be kind & BE SAFE.

Categories: holiday, inspiration
Categories: collaborations, friends, mugs

A few weeks before Christmas, I was contacted by the boyfriend of a good customer-friend of mine. I’ve known Allison for several years… and now her boyfriend Terry had a Christmas “plan” for Allison. He decided he wanted me to make a “custom” mug just for Allison… something… err, ANYTHING with moon & starts on it. Since his request was a little to close to Christmas, I knew I didn’t have time for a good soda-fired mug. So I had to go another route!

I decided to go for a little more whimsical approach… with some fun textured stars, colorful underglazes & a moon that rattles!!!

After it dried, I had to bisque fire it and give it a coat of glaze. In the effort of time, and my “control” over the firing schedule, I decided to go for a clear cone 6 glaze. It gave the mug a nice shine, and helped “pop” the colors!

So then Christmas came… and Allison received her surprised commission mugs! Oh yes… plural… TWO MUGS as Terry came to my studio to make one of his own for Allison too! She seems like she was totally diggin’ the “moon & starts” vibe of her gifts!

The mug that Terry made started with a wheelthrown cylinder I pre-made for him, and trimmed the bottom. He handbuilt the accents & details… with lettering that says STAR SHINE!!! After he finished his piece, I had to bisque fire it, and glaze it to his glaze choices & specifications.

Little did Terry know that Allison had pre-purchased a special mug for Terry’s Christmas Gift as well!!! She had come to my Holiday Home Shows and picked out one of my soda-fired mugs with pointy spikes on them… little tetrahedron stamps to give it a fun detail.

Looks like Allison & Terry’s mugs already have a special place of honor… joining the others on custom shelving unit for their combined Mug Collection!

So exciting to be part of a quickly-blossoming Mug Collection!!! Surrounded by some textured & colored cuties by my friend Cory McCrory… and a few I don’t recognize?!

Categories: challenge, handbuilding, stamped

Here’s my December chain for the 2021 Monthly Chain Challenge… stamped, glazed & painted. It’s gone through a few variations, but now it’s gold & done!!! So much fun to finish the monthly challenge… the brainchild of my friend Sarah Chapman. Originally intended for metalsmiths, but FUN for me too!!!

#chainchallenge2021 – #handmadechain – #chainlinks2021

Categories: challenge, handbuilding

I decided that the unstamped rings of my chain were a little too plain… so I decided to add a little shine to them!!! A little bit of metallic glimmer can only help make my “final” chain of the year-long challenge a bit more special!!!

#chainchallenge2021 – #handmadechain – #chainlinks2021

Categories: challenge, stamped

Here’s my December chain for the Monthly Chain Challenge.
Cute, but I’m thinking it still needs a little “more”…
as we all know MORE IS MORE!!!

Gotta keep working on it… I’ll post finished pictures tomorrow!

#2021chainchallenge – #handmadechain – #chainlinks2021

Categories: challenge, handbuilding, stamped

Eleven out of twelve… only one to go… so I’ve been working on my “last” chain for the Monthly Chain Challenge. This is what it was looking like while I was constructing it in my studio.

#2021chainchallenge – #handmadechain#chainlinks2021

Categories: food, friends, platters, stamped

Great visit & great cake! Coincidence, I don’t know?

But it’s always extra “sweet” when your friends bake a chocolate carrot cake with raspberry filling & an amazing chocolate cream cheese frosting in anticipation of your arrival! Oh sure… the plate ain’t too shabby either!

Categories: creativity, holiday

Yesterday I made a quick escape out-of-town for some festive Christmas Lights!!! I went down to Peoria to visit friends and to see the East Peoria Festival of Lights… a former winner of TV’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”

Apparently, these light installations have all been handmade by Peoria volunteers, and it all starts with a parade through town closer to Thanksgiving! Now they’re all set-out in a park for a beautiful drive-through light display… just to brighten your already sparkly holidays!!!

Categories: soda-fired, stamped, totem pole

Always fun to see a stamped & soda-fired totem pole in the snow!
Sure, not a full snowstorm… but a pretty dusting nonetheless.