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

So I had a little “summer camp” situation in my studio over the summer. My friend Kristen asked if her kids could stop by for a little “private” summer camp experience in my studio. I’ve known the kids forever… so of course I said yes. Although I haven’t really done much with them since they took my Lillstreet Chess Camp a couple years back.

We started with some wheelthrowing lessons, and then they each gave it a try. AJ went first, followed by Lizzy. I think they were both a little surprised that it wasn’t quite as easy as it looks!

But then I also “flipped the script” a bit on them… and told them they would have a handbuilding project as well. They thought they would be able to make whatever they wanted…. but, oh no, that’s not how I play!

I think they had all kinda forgotten about a little drawing that AJ had done back when he was in second grade. He was trying to raise money to buy himself a new set of LEGO’s… and his mom Kristen set-up a little gallery show for him to show-off his artwork. I purchased this drawing at that gallery show… and have had it in my studio ever since.

So I pulled it out… and challenged them each to make a handbuilt “cup” that was “inspired” by AJ’s monster drawing from so many years ago.

On their next visit, they trimmed their wheelthrown pieces, and finished working on their handbuilt monster cups. The final touches were put on with some colored underglazes. Once they dry, I will bisque fire the monster cups and glazed them with a clear glaze. Their wheelthrown pots will be glazed as well… to match their color choices of course!

As you can see, Lizzy went for a more literal approach in building her cup. I especially liked her use of textures to mimic the patterns in the drawing. While AJ went a little off on his own “version” of the monster… with a great triple-eye & vertical mouth situation!

So much fun playing with these kids… they were so much fun. Glad we could work out this Mini Summer Camp this summer… two days of clay fun in my studio with AJ & Lizzy!

Categories: handbuilding, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

So my “Ghoul” Pirates are coming along nicely… looking even more dashing in color! A few different options for bandanas… and some more details still to be painted like earrings & belt buckles. Some even have swashbuckling swords in their belts! Still on track for the “Big Reveal” of the newest addition to The Ghouls Collection this weekend at ART IN THE BARN in Barrington!

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Categories: handbuilding, process, production, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

So the past couple days I’ve been swarmed by pirates everywhere!!! Working feverishly in my studio to get these little “Ghouls” done in time for ART IN THE BARN this weekend in Barrington. I finally got them all assembled. Cute in terra cotta brown… even cuter in color, but still painting!

Categories: handbuilding, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

So today is NATIONAL “TALK LIKE A PIRATE” DAY!!!aaarrgh Matey!!!

So what better day to “reveal” the doodle & the first prototype of this year’s new addition to The Ghouls Collection?! Sure, he’s cute now… but wait until he’s all painted in colors!!! They’ll be “sailing in” to “plunder” ART IN THE BARN this weekend!!!

Categories: handbuilding, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

The first of many “details” added to my new “Ghoul”… and many more pieces & parts added throughout a full day in the studio. A lot of scoring & slipping… but it’s always good to have a plan. I struggle each year to finalize my “Ghoul Plan”… but once I have a sketchy doodle on my work table that I like… I’m all in!

Categories: handbuilding, process, production, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

Moving right along… forty faces done… next up?… character details! The newest addition to The Ghouls Collection is well under way… gotta have them all done by next weekend! Yikes!!! The “big reveal” happens at ART IN THE BARN in Barrington!

Categories: art fair, artists, flowers, handbuilding

Colorful & whimsical… that’s our Cory McCrory!!!

Looks like her flowers have already come out of the glaze kiln… shining & vibrant. Now they need some stems & then they’ll be all ready for ART IN THE GARDEN this weekend…. although quantities are limited, so come early!!! Oh yeah, and one of my wall vases to put them in!

Categories: art fair, artists, collaborations, flowers, handbuilding

With ART IN THE GARDEN less than a week away, we’re all working quickly to get our collaborations done by this weekend! Looks like Cory is still adding bright colors to her flowers…. making them fun, keeping them whimsical. Love them Cory… can’t wait to see people picking some of your flowers to go in my vases!!!

Categories: collaborations, flowers, handbuilding

Looks like a great collaboration plan is coming together… keep it coming Cory!!!

Categories: collaborations, flowers, handbuilding, My Talented Friends

So here’s your first sneak peek at Cory McCrory’s textured beauties for ART IN THE GARDEN! Even without her whimsical colors, these handbuilt flowers are looking INCREDIBLE!!! I can’t wait to see them once Cory adds her fun colors & stains! I’m thinking that maybe these flowers are going to need a fun textured wall vase to hold them… oh wait… I “might” know something about that too?!!!