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

Had a little extra time during the Lillstreet Holiday Opening to add some wires to another batch of ornaments. More ornaments finished off just in time for next Saturday’s “MUD & METAL” Holiday Home Show!

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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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Categories: ornaments

Another apology for being delayed in posting again this month.
Kinda scary how fast the year is passing by. We’ve all been so busy!!!
Busy in our studios making art. Busy at the weekend art fairs.

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 had a hectic schedule. She recently married off her son, and became a grandmother by her eldest daughter. And yet she still had time to crank out these adorable little stars!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah’s had fun playing with copper wire this month. Twisting & turning. Forming this little Christmas tree out of hoops, rings & wires.

My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta created these wonderful “pod” ornaments by shaving & faceting the surface for these wonderful textures.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
For August, Amy has sort of “cheated” and is offering up these collaboration pieces as her entry into the Ornament Challenge. We worked on these pieces together and they will “revealed” at ART IN THE GARDEN this weekend in Glenview. I made the textured clay cabachon discs, and Amy made the sterling silver cages that hold the discs. Not sure if these are really Christmas ornaments.. but more like “ornaments” for your neck!

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
For August, I went with the traditional star ornament. And yet I gave them some texture and dimension. Each quadrant of the star was treated differently… some textured, some plain, some painted with flashing slips. They are destined for my next soda kiln – and I can’t wait to see how the flames created some wonderful flashings on these stars.

So there they are… August ornaments from My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Hopefully everyone’s schedule will settle down a bit now that we;re headed into Fall.

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, ornaments

A quick apology for being so delayed in posting this one.
Kinda scary how fast the year is passing by. We’ve all been so busy!!!
Busy in our studios making art. Busy at the weekend art fairs… SUMMER CAMP!!!
And hopefully busy having more than a little fun playing this summer!

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.
And now we’re over half way done! Whew… 2016 is just flying by!!!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory has had an incredibly busy time this summer preparing for her son’s wedding…making vases & mini cups! Looks like that theme has continued with a few more mini cups to celebrate her Scandinavian heritage. A few tiny Glogg cups to hang on the tree... maybe after a few sips!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
Sarah’s ornament for July is a twisted take & fun with copper wire. For those who know Sarah’s jewelry line, this style of wrapped wire & twisted knots might be familiar. I’m thinking she might “need” to add these to her product line… maybe some large hoop earrings???


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta is makes wonderful little teapots everyday in her normal work. Beautifully carved & sculptural mini-pots. Normally not this small… possibly the smallest tea set ever. The cutest cup of tea for your Christmas tree!

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
For July, Amy has been working on her “Heavenly Desserts” collection. They’re adorably whimsical… but now I kinda want the real treats too?! Especially the OREO’s!!!

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
For July ornaments, I went with textured porcelain “icicles.” My plan is to fire them without glaze to keep them white… and then “maybe” paint one side of the spiral with a metallic silver paint, plus some ribbon to hang them from.

So there they are… July ornaments (a little bit late) of My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Hopefully everyone’s schedule will settle down a bit in these last few days of summer. I know mine definitely will slow down a bit now that Summer Camp has finally come to an end.

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, porcelain

We’ve been doing this Monthly Holiday Ornament Challenge for six months now. It’s a little tough for the ceramic folks to show finished pieces in a timely basis. What with needing to glaze and fill a kiln and all. So we frequently just show the greenware versions of the ornaments and hope that people can “visualize” the finished outcome. Well, Roberta has been busy glazing & finishing some of her ornaments from previous months. No more “guessing”…. now you can see the real thing. And how incredible they all look!!!

To see more of Roberta’s ceramic work, click here for her website.

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Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, ornaments

Six months in. Six months to go!!!
And 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.
And now we’re half way done! Hard to believe 2016 is already half way over???
When did THAT happen?

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
After last month’s fish ornaments, it’s not too surprising that Cory stayed aquatic… err, amphibian… close enough… and went with some adorable frogs for June! And as usual, Cory supplied us with a piece-by-piece, part-by-part photo story. Sorry, no tadpoles to start with, but…

Legs…

Body parts…

Assemble line…

Sightless frogs…

And here they are…. Cory’s adorable amphibians for June!!!
Can’t wait to see them in color after she glazes & fires them!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
According to Sarah… “The June ornament is covered with snowflakes that were etched into the brass. Very glad that there are no actual snowflakes in sight right now!”


My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta is for the birds! This month she created these beautiful “two turtle doves.” The holes on the top will be filled with a wire ring for hanging.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
For June, Amy went with a longer hanging ornament… complete with dangles, spangles and a faceted black onyx stone.

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
And for my June ornaments, I went with textured squiggles. These will be destined for my next soda kiln… but I’ve got to add some color to them first. They’ll get a couple layers of different colored flashing slips before they start to dry.

So there they are… June ornaments of My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Be sure to check out their 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: friends, My Talented Friends, ornaments

Here we go…. our fifth month… May.
And 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.
I think it was a little tougher this month for many of us as we were all prepping for the kick-off of the art fair season… but somehow, we all squeezed them in!!!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory went back to her roots a bit… and revisited clay fish! When I first met Cory MANY years ago, we were both at the Hinsdale Arts Festival and she was making fish. I know have a whole school… and a great friend!!! This month Cory also shares a step-by-step photo tour of her ornament production. Starting with a few sketches & maquettes…

And then the fish started taking shape… piece by piece, fin by fin…

Then underglaze colors to really bring them to life!!!

A – DOR – A – BLE – !!! Must have at least a few!!!

And now she’s just showing off… but… Cory went one step even further and glazed & fired her fish for this month’s entry!!! It’s typically tough for we ceramic people to get things made & fired in a timely basis to meet this monthly challenge. But somehow, Cory was an over-achiever this month!!!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
For May, Sarah went a little twisty with her ornament. Holes, twists, curves, beautiful.
THese would look especially cool on one of those Orna-Motions that rotates ornaments.

My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta went a little organic this month. Adorable little cactii and succulents. Like miniature versions of her already “mini” pods & shapes. So cute. Can’t wait to see these after they’ve been glazed.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
Amy continued with her ornate & stunning metal ornaments for May. A beautiful trio of holiday glamour. Each one with a beautiful, swively hinge on the top.

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
And for my May ornaments, I went with textured ornaments. Three sides with three different patterns. I got them built in time, but haven;t quite had time to paint them with colored flashing slips. These will be destined for my next soda kiln… but I’ve got add some color to them first.

So there they are… May ornaments of My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Be sure to check out their 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!

Categories: glaze, ornaments, process, production
Categories: friends, holiday, My Talented Friends, ornaments

Here we go…. our fourth month… April.
And 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.
We’re four months in… it’s hard to believe we’re a third of the way through already!!!

My Talented Friend : Cory McCrory
Cory was a bit “sheepish” about turning in this month’s ornament. She didn’t have time to create a whole flock like she wanted to. She was a baaaaa-d girl. I’m in the days to come she’ll be cranking out a few more… as she wouldn’t want to pull the wool over our eyes with just one!

My Talented Friend : Sarah Chapman
For April, Sarah made a patterned metal ribbon ornament out of copper. According to Sarah, “I needed a break from making earrings for One-of-a-Kind this week and decided hammering some metal would do it! I started by roller printing the floral pattern onto a copper sheet. Then I went to work hammering folds into the piece, letting it be as ribbon-y as it wanted to be!”

My Talented Friend : Roberta Polfus
Roberta made a few “Queen Of Hearts” ornaments by carving & poking some porcelain. A beautiful stylized ornament.

My Talented Friend : Amy Taylor
Amy switched back to her metalsmithing ways and offered up a few ornaments very reminiscent of her hinged jewelry line. Sweet little jewels for anyone’s tree!

My Talented Friend :oh wait, it’s ME again!!!
And for my April ornaments, I returned to a variation of a favorite from two years ago. The stamped star impression becomes more dimensional when the star “puffs up” with a gentle curve on both sides.

I started by cutting out the stars and giving them the gentle curve. I then attached tow of them together… one with the stamp impression for the front, and a plain star for the back.

I then painted the back solid with Nichols Gold Flashing Slip… as well as the front border around the star impression. Once soda-fired, we should see some nice “mustard” gold-ish colorations on the front & back. The star impressions will most likely be inlaid with temoku glaze and then soda fired in my next kiln… in about two weeks! So we should see some results relatively soon!!!

So there they are… April ornaments of My Talented Friends Cory, Sarah, Roberta & Amy. Be sure to check out their 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!