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

Just sharing a little TEXTURE TUESDAY flashback… back to last week when Pam posted this for her Texture Tuesday post! And flashing back even further to wonderful memories of her amazing Northwoods cabin, the beautiful lake, the tranquility, serenity and the fun of leaving behind a handmade ceramic leaf for her to find!!!

Categories: artists, classes, lillstreet, platters, textures, wheelthrowing

For class tonight I did a couple demos of throwing plates & platters. For this dinner plate I channeled my inner Steven Showalter… trying out some of his amazing textural slip work! Thanks Steven for being such a great teacher & sharing so much online. Love your work, your techniques & your willingness to share! I just payed it forward!!

Be sure to follow Steven on Instagram – @stevenshowalterpottery

Categories: artists, murals

I always love stumbling across some beautiful street art… or in this case, alley art. I found these graffiti murals on the east side of the Red Line train track between Rosemont & Granville. It’s my neighborhood, but I’ve never run across these ones before?!!!

Categories: artists, lillstreet

Last night was the Opening Reception featuring Cassie Tompkins the Textile Dept. Artist-In-Residence in the Lillstreet 2nd Floor Annex Gallery… socially-distant with lots of face masks of course!

I posted photos of the shibori dyed panels before… but the colorful floral patterns are new & very fun!!! Luckily, I get to walk past them every day when I go to my studio! A whimsical way to brighten the second floor!

Categories: artists, food, friends, mugs

Looks like Martin is starting his morning off right… with some tea & crumpets before he starts painting! And I’m sure his tea is extra tasty this morning… in one of my mugs that he got from our pottery class mug “exchange-stealing-trading” game!!!

You can check out some of Martin’s amazing paintings & other artwork by clicking here for his website!

Categories: artists, bowls, creativity, food, friends, pitchers, pottery

When Rosene sent me this picture of her grocery produce “harvest” on some of my pottery… it looked a little too much like she was setting up a still life to do a painting!!!

So I went ahead and made it for her!!!

Categories: artists, classes, lillstreet

And not to be out-done… Melanie had a pretty adorable final piece in her Matryoshka set as well. This teeny-tiny little cat jar was just PRECIOUS!!! Also worth the wait… finally glazed after several months of waiting & sheltering-at-home!

Categories: artists, creativity, lillstreet

So, after several month of pandemic, quarantines & sheltering-in-place… many of my students from last Winter’s LILLSTREET THROWDOWN have returned to Lillstreet to finish up the projects they were making during my challenges & contest class. One of the best challenges in class was for the students to build a set of Matryoshka Dolls… with a minimum of five pieces that all nestled in on each other. Most of them got their pieces made… but no one had a chance to glaze them as COVID-19 set-in just at the end of class. No time to finish. No time to glaze. Our final THROWDOWN class happened just days before the lockdown!

But now we’re back at Lillstreet… and students have returned to pick-up where they left off. There’s been a lot of glazing going on. Including Christine who won the Matryoshka Challenge… as well as the overall trophy!

Here’s a look at her Matryoshka set that recently came out of the glaze kiln!

Her set was based on the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class itself, and some of the bigger challenges along the way! BRILLIANT!!!

Her largest jar was an homage to… well, err… little embarrassing… ME!!!
It’s not everyday you get memorialized in underglaze!!! Complete with my tie-dyed t-shirt & black gym shorts!!

The other exterior sides of the largest jar hosted shelves of pots and the names of everyone in class! Again, honoring the class, the fun , and everyone who took part in Season Three of THE GREAT LILLSTREET THROWDOWN!

Oh… but then it opens up…

And then the second layer was based on the challenge when they all had to make Flower Bricks. Self-enclosed vases with a bunch of holes on the top for the flower stems to go through!

Inside the Flower Brick was a set of Matching Mugs… another one of our weekly class challenges. They were told to incorporate four different patterns & designs on the mugs… stripes, polka dots, paisley and plaid!

Inside the matching mugs, is a set of matching bowls. Another one of our class challenges! Smaller than the actual bowls made for the challenge… but they had to fit inside, right?!

And oh, but wait there’s more…
Inside the stacked bowls was a miniature ceramic OREO cookie!!!

YES!!!… Christine actually made a clay OREO cookie!!!
Okay, so “maybe” I have a bit of an OREO addiction going on.
Perhaps we ate far too many of them during class?!
But good to see that they’re getting honored in Christine’s set!!!

And there it is!!! Well worth the wait!!!
Even though the pandemic is still carrying on… it does feel great to be back at Lillstreet teaching & working. So good to see students back in classes, and campers back at Summer Camp. Happy that we are all making the best of the situation… with more than enough social-distancing, sanitizing, procedures and structural changes within Lillstreet.

Happy to see Christine’s finished set of Matryoshka nesting dolls!
A BRILLIANT concept!!! Thank you Christine for sharing your talents!

Categories: artists, classes, lillstreet, mugs

As part of the final class of my Intermediate Wheelthrowing class at Lillstreet, I had challenged them to bring two matching mugs for a fun “trading-exchanging-stealing” game! I made my mugs for the game… although I couldn’t make it to the final class as I was at ART IN THE GARDEN.

My substitute teacher Chelsea covered the class, and they all decided to trade the mugs – but to mix up the pairs so people would get two different mugs by two different people! Looks like Stephanie got one of mine!!!

Categories: artists, friends, garden

So my cousin Kim & I hopped in the car early yesterday morning… and decided to drive down to Bartonville to visit my friends Gerry & Rosene. They’re my very first at fair friends EVER!!! From the very first day, from my very first show oh so many years ago in Sandwich, Illinois!!!

So we had a wonderful drive down to Central Illinois covering many subjects and “solving all the problems of the world”. We made it to Goodfield – and it’s always tough to go past Goodfield without stopping at BUSY CORNER for homemade pie!!!

We decided to get a slice to go… a snack for the road for the next 20 minutes… but I couldn’t decided… so I got two! I went with a classic rhubarb pie, and slice of chocolate turtle marshmallow cheesecake!

When we got Gerry & Rosene’s home, you’ve always go so much beautiful garden colors, flowers & rustic art everywhere to see. So here’s a visual tour… just a small glimpse of their garden!

And then at the end of our evening, we were sitting around on the deck having dinner, and more pie… AND brownies with ice cream & hot fudge!!! And then we saw a spider building an amazing web directly above my chair. Tough to photograph… but I kinda got this nice shot… a bit blurry… but still pretty cool.

And with that… our road-trippin’ day to Peoria had come to an end…
and it as time to head home!!!