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

My Tuesday night pottery class for next session at Lillstreet Art Center is already filled…
WHOO-HOO!!!… so if you were hoping to sign-up later, sorry!!!

There are still SIX spaces open for my Wednesday night Pottery Challenge class.
Think “The Great Pottery Throwdown” with challenges, races, projects and a LOT
of good-natured pottery competition for slightly more advanced potters!
Click here to register online… but be FAST… only six spaces left!
Categories: art fair, lillstreet, pottery, studio

Fun night at the Lillstreet Holiday Opening tonight. So many fun people to chat with.
Many of them doing some holiday shopping. Some getting gifts for others…
many getting gifts for themselves!!!

Categories: art fair, lillstreet, ornaments, soda-fired, stamped

Kickin’ off the Lillstreet Holiday Open House with plenty of wheelthrown stamped & soda-fired ornaments!

Categories: lillstreet, sunrise

After loading the soda kiln Friday night and “celebrating” with ice cream… I made the normally unpopular decision to pull an “all-nighter” and start up the kiln for the firing long run! It’s normally about a 13-hour firing, so I knew it would be a LONG night into morning.

Upside?… I got to see a nice sunrise from the rooftop deck at Lillstreet.
A nice little pick-me-up part way through!!!


Categories: classes, glaze, lillstreet

As Part Two to Tuesday night’s glazing demo… I challenged my students to glaze sixty cylinders in all different glaze combinations & techniques. They’re always talking about how they get overwhelmed when glazing, that each pot is too “precious” to experiment, and that they don’t see enough finished results to really make an informed decision. I’m taking all of that out of the way and I provided them with sixty bisqued cylinders to glaze… none of them “precious”!

We’re looking forward to seeing the results and comparing them to the notes we took for each one! Even if half of them turn out as a good combo I’ll be excited. They all embraced the challenge as they dipped, double-dipped, bubbled, splattered and glazed all of the cylinders. We’ll see soon enough how they all turn out!

Categories: lillstreet, mosaic

The sun finally came out today!!!
And a new garden of flowers has started blooming in the back stairwell at Lillstreet Art Center… thanks to the mosaics master Rochelle Borrett and the kids of ArtReach Chicago.

And still a work in progress…

Categories: kiln firing, lillstreet

Well, the soda kiln has been re-built at Lillstreet. So excited to get it back in action with a first “christening” classroom firing this weekend. Always fun to see the “clean” bricks become soda-glazed after that first firing. Huge thanks to everyone who did the work to make this kiln re-build a swift reality!

Categories: artists, lillstreet, porcelain

It was so much fun to see one of my current pottery students showing off a bit! Tonight was the Opening Reception at iD Chicago in Bucktown for new ceramic pieces by Shannon Steele-Knuckles. It was great to see the pieces she’s been working on – all thrown on the wheel and then altered, glazed and altered again. Using layers of glazes, underglazes & some sandblasting to get her beautiful finishes. She was so passionate & inspiring when she talked about her work it was contagious. Beautifully done Shannon!



Categories: kiln firing, lillstreet

SO glad I squeezed my last firing in before they tore down the soda kiln at Lillstreet.
Just another kiln rebuild for our faithfully fired, fired and fired again for years.
New & improved soda kiln coming soon in just a couple weeks!



Categories: classes, lillstreet

A huge Thank You to all of my students who made The First Annual LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class a success!!! I was so impressed by the group’s bonding, camaraderie & healthy competition. So helpful & supportive of each other along the way. Not to mention their creativity & determination with every project. Thanks to each of you for putting up with my crazy games & challenges. You guys ROCKED IT!!! Thanks for being such a good group. You were so much fun to “play with” each week… you made my job easy!