Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: mugs, porcelain, process, production

Suddenly a batch of porcelain mug forms have shown up in my studio… next up?… stamping, trimming, handles & colored flashing slip accents… in that order!

Categories: porcelain, wheelthrowing

Playing with porcelain this gray, overcast & rainy morning…
doing my best to stay away from the overly crowded lakefront today!!!

Categories: clay, porcelain, process, studio

After pulling my reclaim out of my orange reclaim bin, it was time to re-fill it with some more clay scraps. I’ve had these bags sitting in the corner of my studio for two months now… ever since my trip to Minnesota for the St. Croix River Valley Pottery Tour. And today was the day to get rid of them!

One of my pottery friends lives up in Minneapolis and for some reason chooses not to reclaim her own clay. Instead she bags it up… and luckily for me, it’s waiting for me to take each year when I’m up there for the pottery tour. Sure, it’s a lot of work… but I think it’s well worth it… FREE PORCELAIN?… I’m in!!!

So I dumped out the clay one bag at a time. And went after it with a rolling pin to break it all down to small pieces which will “dissolve” faster and create a smoother reclaim slurry.

But then I found a few bags that much larger chunks in them… so I had to pull out the big guns… and actually break it up with a hammer… before I could rolling pin it!!!

The finer the clay is pulverized, the smoother my reclaim will be… which kinda equates to less wedging later. So it behooves me to do the work upfront before it goes into the reclaim bin.

So now all of the porcelain scraps have been broken down and put into my bin… covered with water, and stirred up. It will sit in there for two weeks or so until I’m ready to pull out the reconstituted clay to put back on the plaster bat to dry it out. Sure, it’s a good amount of work… but FREE CLAY is FREE CLAY… and FREE PORCELAIN is even better!!

Categories: artists, lillstreet, mugs, My Talented Friends, porcelain, soda-fired

So fun to have my potter-friend Mike Stumbras stop by my little Mug Sale today with some of his family! They got a quick tour of Lillstreet… and a couple new mugs… and I got a beautiful porcelain cup from Mikey! Lots of twists, slip trailing & gold lustre! If you’re not following Mike on Instagram… you definitely should be!!!

Beautiful pottery, incredible craftsmanship, historical references & plenty of videos & tutorials. Be sure to check him out. … @mikestumbras

Categories: classes, mugs, porcelain

At the end of the Fall session of my Beginning/Advanced Beginning Wheel class, we did a fun trading-stealing-exchanging game with mugs! We each put in one handmade mug… and came away with someone else’s mug! I got this beautiful porcelain cup with subtle details… and a bright red bottom from Catherine!

Categories: flowers, porcelain, stamped, vases

Looks like another FLORAL FRIDAY!
Beautiful homegrown zinnias in one of my “quite white” stamped porcelain vases. Kinda loving how the crisp “whiteness” really makes the colors of the flowers pop!!! Thanks for sharing the flowers from your garden Mary! They look great… and I think I may need to make more of these all-white pots?!!!

Categories: friends, My Talented Friends, porcelain, sgraffito

And just in case you were wondering… here are a few finished pieces by My Talented Friend Susan Slogoff. She helped with our sgraffito class last night and brought these examples to share with my students. Crazy cool, right?!

Be sure to follow Susan on Instagram @susanslogoff

Categories: classes, porcelain, sgraffito

Here are some of the sgraffito projects that my students created… along with Susan’s demo pieces from last night’s SURFACE DECORATION class. They had a great time playing with their little porcelain plates, as well as our “guest artist” Susan Slogoff. Such a fun night at Lillstreet!

Categories: classes, lillstreet, porcelain, sgraffito

As part of last night’s “Sgraffito Surprise” demo in my SURFACE DECORATIONS class… I brought in my pal Susan Slogoff to show off some of her superior sgraffito skills. She’s one of our best sgraffito artists at Lillstreet and I knew that she would be a welcome “surprise” guest artist for my class! Susan shared info & did some demos before we unleashed my students to do their own sgraffito on some small porcelain plates I had pre-prepped for them!

Susan has been my teaching assistant for years, but with reduced class sizes at Lillstreet, we’ve also lost our assistants. It was so great to have her back in class with me… and looking forward to getting back to larger classes & having Susan back teaching with me!

Categories: classes, porcelain, pottery, process, sgraffito, tools

Tonight in my SURFACE DECORATION pottery class, we’re tackling a little sgraffito!!! I’ve got a couple surprises ready for them… and sharing my collection of DiamondCore Carving Tools for them to play with!!!