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

My students this past session LOVED challenges.
They asked for them!!! One night challenges. Long-term challenges.
So as part of our “throwing with intention” discussion… and trying to plan ahead and make what you want to make with purpose & intention… I challenged my class to a Masterpiece Challenge. I came to class with some sealed envelopes. And told my class that anyone who wanted to take on the challenge could. No details. No information. Just say yes… and you’re in. Almost everyone signed on.

Then they chose an envelope without knowing the contents.
And then I explained the game. Inside were images from random famous artists. And their challenge was to make a piece that was “inspired by, representative of, influenced by or in some other way similar to” the artist inside their envelope. I tried to choose famous artists who had a very identifiable style.

So they’ve been working on their pieces for a few weeks. Some of them made it to the final class, while others just didn’t quite make it done in time. I know there are a couple pieces still waiting to be fired. But… for the ones that finished, they were SPECTACULAR!!!

RENE’ MAGRITTE as interpreted by Catherine.
The photo doesn’t show it, but… the inside of the lidded jar top is a green apple!!!

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE as interpreted by Taylore.
Pretty literal. Pretty darn amazing!!!

ANDY WARHOL as interpreted by Taylore… double-duty, over-achiever..
From the Warhol “Legs & High Heels” collection…

GEORGE SEURAT as interpreted by Emily.
With s little pointillism with colored stains on Shaner Clear glaze.

FRANK STELLA as interpreted by Ryan.
Three different versions bringing Stella’s work to clay.

WALT DISNEY as interpreted by Stacey.
A wonderful rendition of Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” done as a chip & dip set.
Yes, the dip fits inside her belly!!! Brilliant Stacey!!!

And Melissa’s interpretation of M.C. ESCHER
her largest and most elaborate pottery piece yet!!! Unfortunately, timing got away from her a bit and Melissa’s is still in the greenware stage, but you can tell it’s going to be AMAZING!!!


Categories: creativity, inspiration

Hard to stay gray & gloomy when faced with a box full of bright, rubber duckie beach balls!!!
You’re smiling now, right?!

Categories: creativity, inspiration, tiles

Some great patterns & color combinations on these painted tiles that I found
at BoHo on West Illinois Street while downtown this morning.

Might be good inspiration for some new stamps???


Categories: artists, classes, inspiration

So my Tuesday night class has a new “challenge” this session. They each randomly drew the name of a famous artist out of a bowl and were challenged to create a ceramic piece “inspired by, reminiscent of, similar to, influenced by” or in any other way similar to the work of their famous artist. It’s been so much fun to see how they’ve each embraced the challenge… including this one that Melissa was working on last night.

Can you guess who her famous artist is???




Categories: inspiration, television

Okay, so again for the record… I am not at all political.
But regardless of what your views may be, you’ve got to admit that the whole concept of “Alternative Facts” is pretty darn hysterical. I love that even Kellyanne can’t say it smoothly… notice her own hesitation before saying it for the first time. And you’ve got to love seeing a well-renowned, adult male journalist finding the humor in it all… and giggling like a twelve year old school-girl on “Meet The Press.”

Click here to see Anderson’s giggle-fest on “Meet The Press” … kinda.

Sure, it’s clear that this is edited. Kind of a mash-up to make it even funnier. Might have been footage for Anderson’s segment called “The RidicuList.” Which you have to admit this is… Alternative Facts?!!! You can’t make this sh#t up!!!… err, well apparently you can!!!





Categories: inspiration

I’m not at all political…
but for some reason I just couldn’t resist posting this today of all days!!!

Categories: inspiration

I don’t know… I feel pretty darn GREAT in the morning!!!
No chance of a hangover. And always the potential of an amazing sunrise!!!

Categories: holiday, inspiration

This year is quickly coming to an end… and a new one about to begin.
What will your story be in 2017?

Categories: inspiration, special events

By now you may have figured out that I’m NOT political… but THIS is a good one!!!

Categories: inspiration, special events

So I opened my mailbox today… and found the latest issue of Ceramics Monthly.
I knew it was coming, I’ve already received my “sneak preview” issues, but it’s still fun to see the actual magazine arriving in my mail. And knowing that the same issue is arriving in mailboxes all around the world!!! That my little “Tips And Tools” segment is being read by potters everywhere!!! So exciting.

And while I would highly recommend that everyone subscribe to this fine magazine… you can still read my article even if you don’t. It’s the “Tips and Tools” segment on page 100. They contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing about my power-drilled berry bowls. And of course I said “YES”!!!

Originally published in October 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly, page 100. . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society.
Reprinted with permission.