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

This week we may have had a couple “yellow towel” moments… celebrating diversity with our favorite cookies! However… we all kind of agreed that they may have missed the mark… as we were all hoping for some rainbow colored filling, edible glitter, or something else a bit more FABULOUS!!!

Categories: bowls, challenge, classes

Things are coming out of the kiln… like this beautiful bowl that Kristen made in my Tuesday night class last session!

During Week 9 of that class, we did a bowl carving challenge… where they had to take away at least half of the clay weight of the bowl… and THIS is Kristen’s bowl that separated into two parts. Luckily, the patching fix we did in class held together and it has survived the glaze firing… and it’s STUNNING!!! Well done Kristen… good save!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Clear skies. Nothing but clear skies. Okay, and a bit of a side-wind to make my morning ride a bit tougher than expected. Always enjoyable… even though the sunrise wasn’t as “stunning” as I would like it to be!

Categories: summer camp

We’re in the middle of my second week of Summer Camp at Lillstreet… another week of wheelthrowing & handbuilding with my campers! Picture a classroom full of VERY energetic nine 8-year old boys… and one quiet girl in the corner (she’s a trooper)! And, oh but wait there’s more... several of them came in already as best friends from school! And when the Dad dropped off the first one of the boys… his comment was “Good Luck with this one”… and then he left! Yikes!

Let’s just say they’ve been “very entertaining” for me this week. But not too much for them to be following Rule #3… cleaning like the best of them!

Categories: flowers, soda-fired, stamped, vases

Looks like Sally is loving her new square vase… stamped & soda-fired... and the daisies are loving it there too! Thanks for sharing your flowers all the way from Wisconsin!

Categories: bowls, food

Well, apparently it’s garlic scape season!!! Yes, that weird little squiggly part that grows up amongst the leaves of a garlic plant is actually edible… and very garlicy! I was introduced to them last year… but it looks like Kristy in Stevens Point has just upped the game with this beautiful Garlic Scape Pesto & Pasta dinner!

Categories: bowls, classes, surface decoration

A few weeks back, during my SURFACE DECORATION class, my students tackled Water Etching with Catherine Tweedie! I was out-of-town for the Minnesota Pottery Tour… and Catherine is always my number one choice for a class sub. And in this case, it worked out perfect. As she was available to sub for me when I needed her to… AND she is the master of water etching so she was the perfect replacement to fill-in while I was gone.

Prior to class, I had pre-made several bowls for my students to play with. I threw them, trimmed them, and added a layer of colored slip on the exterior of most of them.

Catherine brought the bowls down to class as a surprise for them to work on… GIDDY-UP!

Catherine started by showing them how to paint wax resist patterns on the bone-dry bowls.

And then when the wax resist is dry, they started to wipe-away the unprotected surfaces with COLD water! Gently wiping the colored slip away… leaving the wax protected areas intact. The more you wipe away, the more difference in depth you start to see. Eventually you can see and feel a crisp edge around the waxed patterns.

I kinda feel bad that I missed such a great water etching demo by Catherine!… but I will say, it was more than worth it with the Minnesota Pottery Tour! Looks like I left my students in good hands… and they made some really cool patterns on the bowls.

Categories: bike, sunrise

Another early start for another beautiful sunrise bike ride. After yesterday’s gloomy clouds, it was nice to see the sun coming back up this morning… creating such a beautiful & colorful sky show!

Categories: mugs, summer camp

After wheelthrowing the first couple days, my Summer Camp kids this week switched to handbuilding for the last two days. We all built slab mugs… lots of scoring & slipping… plus, they needed a “theme” that tied their two mugs together!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Another glorious morning. Amazing sunrise reflections shimmering along the lakefront. Another day with beautiful weather… now THIS is Summer!!! Still the best way to start the day…