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

My students never cease to amaze me… once again, going above & beyond!

They were challenged to make a tulipiere using the extruder as their primary tool. They not only embraced the challenge, but they surpassed my expectations. It’s always amazing to see how a goroup of people can take on the same challenge – and end up with such different pieces. Such wonderful creativity. And so much fun to see the camaraderie that this group is forming. So supportive & helpful with each other. What a great class!!!

Dave tackled the challenge by extruding very skinny coils of porcelain.
And then continued to create his first coiled pot… ever!!! Really?…
Simply amazing for his first coil pot, right?!

Taylor worked with slightly thicker coils to create her tulipiere – complete with tubes for the flowers and bees for a little whimsy!

Teresa kept is simple and to-the-point… she didn’t have a ton of time for the challenge this week, but she succeed by streamlining her design.

Ryan took his tulipiere to a whole different ecosystem… welcome to Cactus World!
Such a wonderful twist on the project – making the vase a plant to hold plants!!!

But Ryan’s was one of the few tulipieres that I actually preferred without flowers!
I love the structure, the cubist-ness and the balance of it all without flowers!

Donna started with her plan to make a full basket, but along the way came up with
three “cantilivered ladders” to hold her flowers!

Patti’s tulipiere was a rounded tube to hold the water and more tubes propping up
to hold the flowers. Truth be told… her hubby did most of the actual construction
of the piece
… and Patti did the decorating!

Susan used extruded coils to build her “hive” shaped tulipiere. Simple and clean… with three tube openings and additional “openings” in between to help hold the flowers in multiple layers & places.

Claire was the only one who added a bit of serious functionality to her tulipiere… with a removable lid so you can get in to clean it out after having flowers in it for awhile. Brilliant plan!!!

Jacob had been out of town for business examining factories & warehouses… and when he got back you could see that he had been deeply influenced.

Tatiana went organic… with her tulipiere made of extruded & alterd tubes. We all loved the addition of the lily pad tray.. and the adorable frog that came along for the ride!

I was especially enamored by the tulip leaf in the bottom right corner
that completely mirrored the clay leaf in the vase directly below it.

And our TOP TWO winners…
It was such a tough choice this time as they were all AMAZING!!!

Jon extruded his tubes and combined them in a organic tubular sculpture!
Beautiful layers, flow and gentle curves.

But the real kick… which made me actually gasp out loud…
was when he lifted the center out to reveal a smaller tulipere inside the bigger one!

With a beautiful “cup” receptacle in the center to hold it upright.

But put back together… it was easily in the TOP TWO!

Molly went totally geometric… stacked… layered… modular… perfect!!!
Balance, depth and great smooth craftsmaship all came together for Molly…
and her first time extruding… and practically her first time handbuilding too!!!

And even a bonus “single stem” tulipere mini vase!… extra credit???

So there they are – all twelve tuliperes!!!
Each and everyone AMAZING!!!

Huge thanks to my amazing students for accepting my challenges
and playing along with my crazy games.

They make teaching so fun & rewarding!!!
Thank you all.







Categories: classes, flowers, vases

On Wednesday night, my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class was all about TULIPIERES!!!
And what’s a tulipiere, one might ask?! Well, we tackled it and they all made their version.
They came into class… thinking they were done.

And I still had one last TWIST in the game for them!!!

But seriously… a vase isn’t really a vase until it has held some flowers, right?
So I brought in some flowers for them to accessorize their tulipieres! So much better!



Categories: classes, flowers, lillstreet

I’m so excited about my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class tonight!!!
This week’s homework challenge was to make a TULIPIERE with the extruder as their primary tool. These are the example photos I showed them… and I know that they’re going to knock it out of the park! Several of them were in the studio last night trying to finish… and I resisted the urge to go see what they were doing. Instead I want the “Big Reveal” surprise in class tonight!!! Can’t wait!!!

Categories: flowers, seasons, weather

Sure, we might have a dangerous ice & sleet storm headed our way tonight with big weather advisories going on… but the second stalk on my amaryllis is in full bloom so at least it seems like Spring “might” be on its way at home?!

Categories: flowers

Beautiful flowers blooming on a gray Winter’s day.
Thank you Kimberley Sue for the holiday amaryllis!

Categories: flowers

With sunlight streaming into the studio on a snowy day…
some roses in a neighbor’s space made it feel extra cozy inside.

Categories: art fair, flowers, soda-fired, textures, vases

Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by my place today for
MUD & METAL : My Second Holiday Home Show!

It was a beautiful day with sun streaming in lighting up the place…
and smashing it on some flowers!!! Don’t forget that we’re doing it again tomorrow
from 10:00am-4:00pm!

But don’t look too close… these flowers are fake!!! Looking pretty good for silk, right?

Categories: flowers, nature

Protected by a wall, it was fun to find a small patch of colorful fall flowers still hanging on.
With the cold weather moving in, this might be the last of them?!


Categories: flowers, soda-fired, stamped, vases

What’s better than a stamped & soda-fired oval vase???
One that has fulfilled its destiny and has beautiful FLOWERS!!!


Categories: Chicago, flowers, food, nature, special events

So I had to go downtown to renew my Driver’s License today. As I was leaving I noticed the Farmer’s Market across the street at Daley Plaza. So I just “had to” stop by for some Fall fun at the Farmer’s Market. Who doesn’t like fresh vegetables, colorful flowers, LOTS of pumpkins & gourds… and “quite possibly” some pies, cookies and other yummy baked goods!!!