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

Looks like my friend Marsha is kicking off her day with a beautifully healthy fruit salad… even tastier when served in one of my handmade stamped bowls.

Also… be sure to check out Marsha’s pottery on Instagram with some beautiful glazing effects!

Categories: bowls, food, friends

Looks like my friend Pam made herself a healthy & yummy dinner last night while self-isolating… and I’m sure that eating it out of one of my bowls only made better!!!

If any of you have been enjoying my pottery in your new “quarantined life”… I would love to see a photo! Please send a few pics to my email – Thanks, be safe, be healthy!

Categories: bowls, porcelain, stamped

Oh yeah… and a couple stamped porcelain bowls while I was on a stampin’ kick! …again!

Categories: bowls, porcelain, process, production, stamped, stamps

Just a little early morning stamping going on… no sunrise bike ride in the rain!!! Instead, playing with some stamped patterns on these little porcelain bowls.

All stamped for now… back under plastic so they can stiffen up a bit more… and then I get to trim some footrings onto the bottoms of them!

Categories: bowls, porcelain, production

After playing outside all afternoon… it was back to the studio tonight for more porcelain fun!

Categories: bowls, classes

This week my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students were challenged to create four bowls with colored slip & four spoons… only then to find out they needed to make a large serving bowl and large serving utensil to go with the set. As always, my students totally killed this challenge. They never fail to amaze me every week!!!

Here’s Christine’s set…

Here’s Tracy’s set… terra cotta bowls with an ombre fade inside, and an amazingly smooth burnished terra sigillata exterior.

Here’s Norah’s set…

Here’s Molly’s set…

Here’s Helen’s set…

Here’s Jen’s set… complete with pink slip & splattered accents, chopsticks and a large ladle to serve!

Here’s Dana’s FIRST PLACE SET… great contemporary lines, both the decoration and the shape of the set… and a couple extra spoons as she found that she kinda loved making them!

Categories: bowls, process, production

Just a little early-morning trimming to start the day!

Categories: bowls, classes

This week in my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, my students brought their homework assignments back to class. They had been challenged to make a set of four “matching” side bowls… or at least coordinating to appear as a set if they didn’t want to decorate them all matchy-matchy. So much fun to see what they had come up with. Some more technically accurate, some beautifully designed & decorated. While others didn’t quite finish the challenge…. mwah, mwah, mwah…

Dana was chosen the top winner with her slip-striped bowls… which were incredibly matched in their shape, size & form… but she earned extra merit for the crisp, clean & colorful slip decoration too!

Melanie went a little lower profile with some layered slip accents.

Tracy threw beautiful terra cotta bowls and added a subtle & beautiful colored ombre inside.

Jen colored her large ramen bowls with color slip, brush strokes & splatters.

Christine made four little dessert cups with a LOT of slip fun going on…
colorful marbled slip inside and colored slip appliques adhered to the exteriors.

Norah continued her minimal design technique that won her rave reviews in the tile challenge!

Molly did some nice stamping on her bowls to tie them all together.

And oh, but wait there’s more…

Our little “over-achieveing” Christine decided to hedge her bets and make three sets of matching bowls! One set had a whimsical floral pattern made with white slip that she color-zed with Mason stains.

While the third set used the same “color-ized” slip to play with some marbled “tie-dye” effects that I introduced them to last week in class.





Categories: bowls, classes

Ready for tonight’s class demo…

Categories: bowls, classes

Okay, so I’ve been trying my best to follow the new “standardized & mandated” syllabus for all Beginning & Advanced Beginning Classes at Lillstreet. So we did the demo for throwing a taller cylinder as listed.

And then we were also supposed to introduce colored slip as a decorative technique.
Maybe the assumption was that we would slip paint the demo cylinder???…
but I think it makes a lot more sense to demo some fun, quick tricks inside bowls.
But with bowls now being the Week One demo… I guess my big “Bowls On Purpose” and multiple rims & decorative techniques demo doesn’t quite fit the new syllabus???!

So I scaled it back a bit… only eight bowls with some slip techniques as “mandated”…
and a couple rim techniques as requested by my students! Which is a shame, because I’ve always thought that demo was one of my best ever… and my students were always WOW’ed by it!!! Hope they liked the shorter, smaller, scaled back version too?!

Bowl A – A simple flared flange rim.. with a thin layer of white slip.

And then there were a couple requests from students who have seen “the full” bowl demo before… and they asked if I could do the split rim bowls again.

And who am I to say “NO”?… even if it’s NOT on the “standardized syllabus?

Bowl B – Ashley’s requested split rim bowl with some quick pinches back together!

Bowl C – Another split rim fluted in and flared out…
kind of a lotus “squared off” bowl as requested by Michelle.

So then I got back on track… and back to the slip demo as “prescribed” by the syllabus..

Bowl D – I was going to paint on a full layer of white slip on the interior… but once I put that one first paintbrush swoosh…. we all kinda liked it and decided we should leave it there! So NOT my normal style, but they all voted to keep it this way! Especially because of that one “perfect” round drop!

Bowl E – This time I did fill the interior with thick white slip,a nd then dragged the rounded end of my wooden knife through the slip as the wheel was spinning… ‘cuz everyone loves a good spiral.

Bowl F – Another bowl covered with a layer of thick white slip…
and then squiggled & wiggled through with my fingertip!

Bowl G – After a layer of thick white slip again, I used a rounded rubber rib for some rhythmic chattering trough as the bowl was spinning.

Bowl H – Another student request… “Can you mix or blend two colors?”… so we did!
A nice ombre blend of white to black… and then a squiggle spiral through it.

After class I brought them all up to my studio and put them under plastic. I want to keep them soft… because there may just be a little stamping & detailing to be done to them still before trimming. Maybe?… Hypothetically?…