Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Another day done at the “One Of A Kind Show” with my friend & master metalsmith Sarah Chapman. This is one of her sterling silver rings with embossed texture, oxidation and an amazing piece of turquoise.

And a beautiful necklace with beads & stones clustered in a sterling silver “boat.”

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Categories: artists, My Talented Friends

This weekend I added another wonderful ceramic piece to my collection. I’ve known Corinne Peterson ever since I started taking pottery classes at Lillstreet Art Center. She’s been a staple amongst the Lillstreet Studio Members. She’s currently in the process of condo-downsizing, and had a wonderful “Moving Sale” which included a lot of her masterpieces. I got this great twosome with great colors & textures… part of what has made Corinne such a “celebrity” on the Chicago Art Scene!!!

Categories: friends, holiday, My Talented Friends, ornaments

We’re inching ever closer to Christmas… days away now…
and we’ve finalluy made it to the end of the Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge.
The plan was for each of us to make a new ornament each month of the year. And we’ve finally done it. Four of My Talented Friends joining me for a year of holiday ornaments… and crossing the Finish Line with another festive batch of ornaments!!!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory’s ornaments for December are literally “out of this World!!!” Cory’s last entry in this year’s holiday ornament challenge is a collection of spaceships fresh out of a B-Movie!!! Charming. Adorable. Like they’re straight out of Flash Gordon!

And a splash of color like they’re flying through the Galaxy!


My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah went with a hydraulic pressed copper puff reminiscent of a pear!
Almost a partridge in a pear tree?!?


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta decided to ring in the New Year this season with festive Christmas bells.
Each a small, hand-carved porcelain bell… ready to grant some angel their wings!

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
Amy went sterling again this month with three curvy & hinged pendants each with a sterling silver bezel. Beautiful scrolls dangling from your Christmas tree… or on a chain around your neck? Or the perfect gift for that special someone… maybe even YOU!


My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
My December ornaments kind of went on a “journey ” this month. Each month we tried to come up with ONE idea for one ornament. But somehow, with this being the final month of the challenge, I had trouble narrowing it down to one. First I started with a large snowflake. This was the first prototype. My plan was to do large textured snowflakes (surprising, huh?) but it seemed heavier than I wanted it to be. I still like the idea… but maybe I’ll try again next year!

Next I decided to try out a new snowflake stamp on a concave disk…
but I kind of felt like I’ve done this “trick” before. Different stamp. Different size.
Still too similar.

And then I saw these wonderful stylized peacocks in a window display in Dallas
and they’ve been stuck in my head ever since.

So I went back to my high “quilling” days… and created stylized peacock feathers.
Or maybe too much like a pinched cinnamon roll? Not quite sure how these might be glazed? Another challenge I’ll put off for the New Year.

So I finally landed on some colorful fish for my final ornament.
Each one has stamped “scales” and colored fins, head & tail. I made them out of terra cotta
so I could get them single-fired in time for Christmas. As you may recall, I like to dry thin
flat pieces on plastic grid to help avoid warping.

And then a quick coat of clear glaze sprayed on… and yes,
this odd green color will fire to be a shiny clear!

I kind of loved the residue left on my banding wheel after spraying the fish
while sitting on the plastic grid.

A quick cone 06 firing and we have a shiny school of Christmas fish!

So there they are… December ornaments from My Talented Friends
Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Amazing how the year has come and gone so quickly.
Twelve months of holiday ornaments. And how we’re all wishing you a very
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Categories: art fair, artists, My Talented Friends

A quick reminder that THIS SATURDAY is my final Holiday Show.
It’s the second Holiday Home Show… this time with my friend & Talented metalsmith Amy Taylor. It’s the perfect chance to swing by my condo and cross a few names off your holiday shopping list!!!

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, ornaments

We’re inching ever closer to Christmas… November’s gone… and here’s another batch of holiday ornaments made by me & four of My Talented Friends.

Remember, we all signed-on for a Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge almost a year ago. The plan was for each of us to make a new ornament each month of the year. We’ve finally made it through the eleventh month… only one more to go!!!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory decided to “top it off” this month with a whimsical top hat. Just like the one that blew off of Frosty’s head! And for size comparison, Cory’s friend decided to take it for a test drive! Looks like a match made in Heaven!!!


My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah’s gone a bit more organic this month! A beautiful, textured copper leaf with a fantastic torch-colored patina.


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta decided to go Christmas thematic this month… but it looks like the partridge was too tough. Ha!! So she just went with the pears! Love the gentle curves and the natural pear coloring.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
Amy’s entry for her November ornaments are these two glass bead pendants. Nifty hinged pendants with a sterling silver bezel.


My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
My November ornament is a textured scroll pattern with a gentle curve! They’re made with soda clay… and some of then have been painted with colored flashing slips. Looking forward to seeing how the soda firing process affects the colors & textures of the scrolls.

So I made the ornaments first and let them set-up a bit.
And then a quick layer of flashing slip…

And set to dry on my plastic grid racks…

So there they are… November ornaments from My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Hard to believe we’re just one month away from finishing the year. Just one more batch of ornaments to go!!!

Be sure to check out everyone’s websites. They’re all in the LINKS section in the far right column. And they all have fun Facebook pages too. Find your favorites & follow them everywhere!

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Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Another fun day down at “One Of A Kind” with the uber-talented Sarah Chapman. So many great pieces of oxidized sterling silver with textures, patterns and spots of gemstone colors!

To see more of Sarah’c amazing work, click here for her website.

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Spent the day with “My Talented Friend” Sarah Chapman at the One Of A Kind Show today. Such beautiful pieces. Wonderful designs. Fun shadows. And Sarah is pretty darn sweet too! Stop by tomorrow to see Sarah, fondle her jewelry and maybe take home a piece or two! Booth #2118 on the seventh floor of the Merchandise Mart.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, visit Sarah’s website by clicking here.

Categories: art fair, friends, My Talented Friends

Now that we’re into December and thinking about holiday gift giving, it’s time to mark your calendar for next Saturday. It’s another Holiday Home Show with my friend & guest artist Amy Taylor joining me for the day. Looks like it’s pottery and jewelry for everyone on your holiday gift list!

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Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, ornaments, stamped

Hard to believe we’re just over a month away from Christmas!!!
How did THAT happen??? So now it doesn’t feel so weird making ornaments, huh?

So here’s another batch of holiday ornaments made by me & four of My Talented Friends.
Remember, we’ve all signed-on for a Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge.
The plan is for each of us to make a new ornament each month of the year.

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory has knocked it out of the park again this month!!! How cute are these little Elf Shoes?!!! Friggin’ adorable… that’s how cute! And you can bet they’re going to be even cooler after they are painted & glazed!


My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah’s gone with a twist this month! A lovely pierced spiral ornament in shiny brass.


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta has stuck to her roots this month by making these flowering pod shapes that she’s known for. This time they’re a bit smaller than normal to make wonderful carved ornaments.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
After a rough month in September, Amy returned to The Challenge with a vengeance. Simple, yet elegant. Beautiful sterling rings that will shimmer and shine on any holiday tree.


My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
My October ornament is pretty simple this month. I’ve been SO busy getting everything ready for my latest soda kiln. Not to mention raining & doing my first IRONMAN. Regardless… I made a lot of these textured heart ornaments to add to my “bargain box” of ornaments. They’re all textured, slip painted and ready for the soda kiln to work its magic!

So there they are… October ornaments from My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Be sure to check out everyone’s websites. They’re all in the LINKS section in the far right column. And they all have fun Facebook pages too. Find your favorites & follow them everywhere!

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Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, ornaments, production

Another apology for being delayed in posting again this month.
Life has just been slipping by… and some of us had an IRONMAN to tackle!!!
So now that that’s over… yay me!!!… it’s back to the studio. Back to ornaments!!!

Here’s another batch of holiday ornaments made by me & four of My Talented Friends.
Remember, we’ve all signed-on for a Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge.
The plan is for each of us to make a new ornament each month of the year.

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory made adorable little mittens! So cute with their little thumbs. Their little textures. Can’t wait to see the pairs of mittens colored & glazed in time for the holidays!


My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah’s has embraced Fall moving into the Minneapolis area. Her September ornament is a copper leaf… complete with veins & textures. When set amongst actual Fall leaves, they’re kind of hard to discern from the real things?!!! Nicely done Sarah!!!


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta made these wonderful textured & carved porcelain pod-horns for September. I love the subtle textures and how the light & shadows play on them.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
Uh oh… Amy had a rough go of it this month. Too many art fairs, commissions and other commitments keeping her too busy to make ornaments this month. So we’ll give her a “one-time pass”… and really expect great things, and great ornaments, for her October entry!!!

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
My September ornaments are cute little Christmas presents with textured “gift wrap” and a fun little bow. I painted colored slip on the box so that there is some color contrast with the bow. The “presents” are destined for my next soda kiln – and I can’t wait to see how the flames created some wonderful flashings on my September ornaments.

So there they are… September ornaments from My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & whoops… NOT Amy this month?! Hopefully everyone’s schedule will settle down a bit and we can get everyone back on track with their October ornaments?!!!

Be sure to check out everyone’s websites. They’re all in the LINKS section in the far right column. And they all have fun Facebook pages too. Find your favorites & follow them everywhere!

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