Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: classes, lillstreet, soda-fired

Last night my “Simply Soda” class got their first pieces back from the latest soda firing… albeit the sets of test tiles they made the first week. Lots of “information” for them to process with different slips, glazes and the variations from hi-soda to low-soda. Lots of organizing, comparing to the “legend”, labeling and admiring… some more than others!!!

Categories: bowls, lillstreet

From Dave, the director of the ceramics department at Lillstreet…

Empty Bowls Update:
Thanks to your contributions, this year’s Empty Bowls event was yet again a success.  The event raised $8648, which equals roughly 2,882 Wednesday Night Welcome Meals at Epiphany UCC.  In spite of the fact that more than 300 bowls were sold at this event, there is a significant number of bowls remaining.   Because of this, our friends at First Slice will take the unsold bowls to use for additional Empty Bowls fundraisers at their other locations.  With these additional events, we will likely see the total money raised increase in the near future.

And here are just a few of the happy folks who went home with one of my donated empty bowls…

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Categories: bowls, lillstreet

Just some of the HUNDREDS of bowls ready to fulfill their destiny…
as they get filled with soup for tonight’s EMPTY BOWLS event at Lillstreet Art Center. Good bowls for a great cause. Stop by tonight to pick out your favorite bowl, get it filled with homemade soup, help the hungry and keep the bowl. Proceeds benefit First Slice as they in turn will be helping the hungry & needy.

And yes, those are some of my bowls at the bottom of the photo…
Yep, the ones with the “shameless self-promotional propaganda” attached.

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Categories: bowls, lillstreet, special events

Just dropped off my bowls for tomorrow night’s EMPTY BOWLS event at Lillstreet Art Center. A great night for a great cause. Lots of bowls being donated by students, teachers and studio members. Stop by Lillstreet tomorrow night between 5:00-8:00pm to pick your bowl, get it filled with soup and make a donation to First Slice so they can continue doing good deeds feeding the needy & hungry. And you keep the bowl…

Click here for more information about EMPTY BOWLS at Lillstreet Art Center.

Categories: classes, lillstreet, mugs

One of my students has been away from Lillstreet for about three years. He finally made it back to pottery… and into my “Simply Soda” class. Tonight we were touring the soda kiln room looking at soda-fired examples on the shelves. When lo and behold… Peter found one of his own soda-fired mugs from YEARS ago!!! Apparently it has been “floating around” Lillstreet for years and tonight finally found its way home! A beautiful mug, complete with the prerequisite layers of dust!!! Crazy, right?!!!

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Categories: classes, lillstreet

As posted on Facebook this morning…
Looks like one of my Facebook Fans will be joining my Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing Class tonight at Lillstreet. If she’s been a “fan” for seven years, I hope I don’t disappoint?! That’s a lot of pressure to live up to. I may need to step up my game a bit?… and bring a LOT of Oreo’s?!!!

Categories: classes, lillstreet, soda-fired

It’s amazing how fast a ten-week session can go by. This past Tuesday was the last class for our Winter session of classes. And my students out-did themselves once again!!!

Each session I like to challenge them with a class project. We all work on a similar piece and then we do some sort of White Elephant Trading Game. They each bring in their finished piece and we all admire & trade… then everyone goes home with someone else’s piece. So much fun for everyone… and great motivation for everyone to make something that they’re “proud enough of” to share and trade in the end.

So this session’s challenge was to make an oval. My brand new beginner’s had it a little bit easier… whereas my Advanved Beginners were challenged to make a lidded oval!!! And they all took it on with wreckless abandon!!!

Emily made this sweet little oval with carved vertical lines a temoku glaze.

Ryan made his oval glazed with Shaner White glaze and blue brushstrokes.

Lily went for a two-tone glaze dip with a beautiful overlap in the center.

Kerry missed the oval a bit, but made a great lidded round casserole with Reitz Green glaze.

Tony‘s oval casserole has a great rustic glaze to it.

Katie went for a two-tone Shaner White and Aviva’s Blue contrasting oval casserole.

Stacey used Reitz Green glaze to finish her oval, giving her a nice metallic finish on the lid.

Taylore used a color accent in her gallery, and a great pop of red inside the knob. A great contrast to the Shaner White glaze finish. Even better, and sadly no photo, but the inside has the same red pop of color too!!!

Melissa emphasized her oval and handle with a cobalt stain on Matte White glaze.

Rachel went with a traditional Shino glaze and got some wonderful variations.

Catherine went perfectly white on her perfect white porcelain.

Grace did a wonderful combination glaze on the outside of her casserole…

But it’s REALLY all about the inside of Grace’s oval that has me enamored!!!

And now you see why… my little stamping prodigy….

Susan, one of my class TA’s, offered up her graphic black & white porcelain oval.

Patty‘s oval didn’t quite turn out to her liking…
so she offered up a set of three bowls in place of her oval casserole!

Steven‘s oval casserole came home with me after the trade!!! And I LOVE it.
With a subtle matte glaze combination and a graphic stamp pattern…

But it’s the “surprise” pattern stamped on the inside that slays it!!!

And you know I’ve got to play along with the game, so I made an oval casserole for the trade as well. Surprisingly, mine is stamped and soda-fired!!! Ha!!!

And a few more “glamour” shots…
with a colored slip on the lid, and a few sprays of Josh Green glaze before soda-firing…

Huge thanks to my students for playing along. And for always embracing this little class challenge I like to throw at them every session. We’ve done bowls, mugs, plates, more mugs, and now ovals. I’m gonna need to think of something cool to top this one!!!

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Categories: artists, flowers, gallery, lillstreet, vases

Last night was the Lillstreet Gallery Annex Opening Reception for a vase show featuring the ceramics faculty. So many great vases with different styles & techniques showcasing the teachers at Lillstreet Art Center.

FLOURISH : Lillstreet Ceramics Faculty Showcase
Lillstreet Gallery Annex : March 3 – April 9, 2017

Catherine Tweedie & Lisa Harris

Sharon Hartshorne

Les Orenstein & David Bromley

Sam Hostert

David Todd Trost & Nolan Baumgartner

Corinne D. Peterson & Kyle Johns

Mary Drabik & Susan Messer-McBride

Robin Power

Chris Chaney & Catherine Schwalbe

David Hartshorne

And my blue stamped vase…
next to a vase by Jason Lawfer with some VERY dramatic greenery…

Special thanks to Brian who coordinated this gallery show and furnished the flowers…
and even MORE flowers at the very last minute!!! The show looks great Brian!
Thanks for showcasing the Lillstreet ceramic instructors!!!

Okay, back to me… one more shot of my stamped & soda-fired blue vase…
finished off with some very last minute flowers from Brian – Thanks!

March 3 – April 9, 2017

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Categories: lillstreet, sunset

Yesterday was pretty gloomy… yet surprisingly warm again for the middle of February. It wasn’t until I got to Lillstreet that I finally got treated to a beautiful sky show. Another amazing sunrise from atop Lillstreet just before class started last night.

Categories: classes, lillstreet, soda-fired

Registration for the Spring Session at Lillstreet Art Center has just opened.
I will once again be teaching my Tuesday night Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing class. But NEW this Spring, I will also be teaching a Simply Soda class on Monday nights! An beginner’s introduction to the atmospheric soda firing process!!! Sign-up quickly, as hopefully both classes will fill fast!!!

Click here for the Lillstreet Art Center website to register today!!!
The new 10-week session of classes begin March 27th, 2017.

SIMPLY SODA – Mondays 7:00-10:00pm
BEGINNING & ADVANCED BEGINNING WHEELTHROWING – Tuesdays 7:00-10:0pm