Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: glaze, kiln firing, mugs, production, stamped

A quick glimpse at some of the mugs that came out of my most recent cone 6 glaze kiln LATE Friday night… just in time to make their way to ART IN THE BARN. Some might have still been a bit warm?!

Categories: kiln firing, process, production

Always a good sign. Just one last kiln done and cooling for this weekend’s
ART IN THE BARN. Not so bad… my third kiln this week!!!



Categories: bowls, glaze, holiday, kiln firing, mugs

With ART IN THE BARN getting closer & closer…
and so many “Ghouls” still to make… I decided to squeeze in one more kiln firing just because I can. So I threw together some quick replenishment pieces that will get a quick cone six glaze firing early next week… just under the wire. Sure, it’s not my best packed kiln. But it does have a lot of mugs & bowls for ART IN THE BARN. As well as a little holiday surprise on the top layer!

Bisque Kiln Layer #1my favorite thing to make... mugs, mugs and more mugs!!!

Bisque Kiln Layer #2 – some stacked bowls and small trays for salt & pepper shaker sets.

Bisque Kiln Layer #3 - more bowls, more trays, and some ikebana vase tops.

Bisque Kiln Layer #4 – which in this case turned out to be a low-fire GLAZE kiln layer!!!
The green glaze is actually a low-fire clear glaze. After firing, these little pumpkins will show their true colors… warts and all.





Categories: kiln firing

Always a good sign…


Categories: kiln firing

All too soon my deadlines are creeping up on me… and I’ve got to get my act together if I’m going to have everything ready for ART IN THE GARDEN. So I’ve fast-dried a few things and they’re going in for a bisque firing. Layer by layer… a LOT more to be glazing!!!

Layer #1 – bowls, platters, mugs and more.

Layer #2 – mugs, mugs, more mugs… and some fun filler stuff.

Layer #3 – soap dispensers, mugs, fortune cookies and some collaboration pieces!

Layer #4 – more collaboration pieces… and some collaboration trays to go with them!

Layer #4-1/2 – pretty much the same… just more trays and some clay “rubble.”

And you know I love a well-packed kiln…
especially when it all piles in and comes so close to the top.
It kills me to leave empty space in a kiln… NOT this time!!!

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Unloaded my soda kiln last night. Lots of bright colors…
not all browns & grays much to the chagrin of my soda students.
See, a soda firing CAN be colorful!

Now to pack it all up for this weekend’s art fair in Schaumburg!


Categories: kiln firing, process

So I’m rushing towards my next soda kiln. Lots of new pots in the studio. Some of them not quite dry yet… but I’ve got to get them bisqued tonight or they won’t make it into the soda kiln!!! So it may not be my best & tightest kiln loading ever… but luckily my soda students had some greenware that helped fill my kiln. So we shared some kiln space… and loaded carefully so as not to stack or nest any pots that were still damp. No explosions here!!!

Layer #1 – flower pots, mugs and some student mugs & cylinders.

Layer #2 – bowls, mugs, flower pot water dishes… and some student plates.

Layer #3 – stamped vases, bowls, mugs… and more student work!

Layer #4 – half a layer with a couple more bowls, and just a “few” stacked & tumbled to fit.

Categories: artists, friends, kiln firing

A potter friend of mine up in Minnesota announced on Instagram today that he had a not-so-”little” kiln incident. Everyone is okay… the pots not so much. It could have been so much worse. A good lesson in kiln safety for us all to remember. If you’re headed up to Minneapolis this weekend, be sure to stop by the Rogue Potters to offer some support. Just don’t expect any “new” pots from Randal. Sorry buddy!


Categories: kiln firing, production

Working in the studio trying to build enough new work to fill the soad kiln! It just seems so weird to me that my Summer Art Fair schedule is barreling towards me. And as always, I’m rushing to the finish line. Sure, I had months of cold winter months that I “could have” been working in the studio more. But somehow, I didn’t… and now I’m paying the price and cranking it out!!!

Kiln Layer #1 – a nestled tight layer of wall pocket vases.

Kiln Layer #2 – more wall pocket vases, mugs and a few mini vases.

Kiln Layer #3 – soap dispensers, mugs, ikebana vases and some mini vases.

Kiln Layer #4 – Flower pots, flasks, spoon rests, stars and ikebana vases.

And you know how I like to fill the kiln to the top… stacked high… flush to the top!
I figure as long as the kiln lid closes, I’m good. Right?!


Categories: classes, kiln firing

Did a quick studio “drive-by” this morning to unbrick the top of the kiln to cool it a bit quicker. My soda class will be unloading the kiln later tonight… but here’s a sneak peek of the beauties inside!!! More to come…