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

ART IN THE GARDEN is right around the corner…
and some fun collaborations are in the works again this year!
My talented friend Cory McCrory and I are “spicing things up” and working on a new collaboration for the folks who come to the Garden!!! More to come…

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Categories: friends, My Talented Friends, studio

A few weeks back when I was in Minneapolis for the St. Croix River Pottery Tour, I finally got a chance to see Sarah Chapman’s new studio space. She’s in the same building as before where she was renting a small space within Quench Jewelry Arts. It was a great place, nice studio and easy access to teaching classes there. But when the opportunity presented itself to move to a larger space with Quench owner Sarah Sitarz, the two of them moved upstairs to a bigger & better space!!! The Quench studio & classroom stayed downstairs… it’s just the two Sarah’s that made the big move upstairs!

QUITE POSSIBLY THE COOLEST & CLEANEST STUDIO EVER!!!

A beautiful display of some of Sarah’s wall pieces… and look…
just a few “unlidded” jars that are part of our collaboration challenge.

Let me just say… I am SO JEALOUS of Sarah’s space.
Makes my dirty little cubicle of a space seem SO small.
Sarah’s studio is groovy cool, with exposed brick walls, great natural light, wood floors and incredible tools everywhere you look. If only I was a metalsmith… and knew how to use any of these tools… and this could be the BEST STUDIO EVER!!!

Until then, I’ll continue to love my own little space… with pegboard, shelves & tools everywhere you look. And a seemingly never-ending layer of clay & trimmings on the floor. Ahhhh… the life of a potter.

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Categories: collaborations, friends, My Talented Friends, soda-fired, stamped

So you know how I LOVE a good collaboration project. Imagine my excitement when my friend & fantastic metalsmith Sarah Chapman proposed we tackle another collaboration project. She had a plan in her head… and I was ready to take it on.

So the “theory” is that I would make some ceramic jars, and she would add some metal lids, finials, knobs or embellishments. I’ve made a few batches of jars – some with and some without lids. Some turned out great, some I think might be too small or have a gallery that is too small. I’ve passed all of my pieces onto Sarah, so now the proverbial ball is in her court.

And I can’t wait to see what she does with them!!!
Sure, a couple of them might look like finished lidded jars… but I anticipate that Sarah will work her mojo, deconstruct them, and make some collaboration magic happen!!!

This lidded jar has a couple holes pierced through the lid… giving Sarah some options to add a finial knob. Or maybe even split the jar in two… and make a metal top to go with the clay base, and a metal bottom to go with the clay lid?!

So now the jars are all in Sarah’s capable hands… sitting in her studio waiting to fulfill their collaboration destiny!!!

 

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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.