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

For the end of this summer session, my Tuesday night pottery students have been challenged to make two matching mugs to trade on our last night of class. Of course, I’ve got to make mine too… so I threw the cylinders in class showing them how to make “matching” pieces… and then I did a bit of stamping and now adding handles! I’m making two sets… just in case something goes “wrong” along the way!!! Just hedging my bets….

Categories: art fair, mugs, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Huge thanks to everyone who came out this weekend for the
HINSDALE FINE ARTS FESTIVAL. We had surprisingly great weather both days,
met quite a few fun people and a LOT of pots & mugs found their way off to new homes.
Thanks again!!!


Categories: art fair, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Waiting for someone to snatch ‘em up today at the HINSDALE FINE ARTS FESTIVAL.
We are now officially open for the day. Giddy-up!!!

Categories: pottery, soda-fired, stamped

If that first batch of larger lidded jars was pretty sweet,
then these even smaller ones are even SWEETER ones!!!
Especially when you fill them with M&M’s!!!

Categories: pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Fresh from my soda kiln… a fun batch of lidded jars destined for my next two art fairs in Schaumburg & Hinsdale! Some fun colors & flashing effects… just showing that soda-fired pottery doesn’t always have to be crusty-brown or blasted-gray!!!

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, soda-fired

So you saw all of the prepping, glazing, wadding & loading…
so it only seems fitting to show you the finished results too!

I unloaded my soda kiln Monday night… and it was my quickest & most efficient unload ever… TWO HOURS unloaded, packed, shelves scraped, kiln washed, floor swept, garbage out, all done!!! In. Out. Done… oh, yeah, and a few pictures along the way!

Front stack of the kiln…

Back stack of the kiln…

And a few of the pieces still on the kiln shelves…

Categories: kiln firing, pottery, soda-fired

Stopped in the studio earlier this morning to take off a couple layers of brick so my kiln can cool even faster. Pretty pleased with the first glimpses… can’t wait to see everything as I unload later tonight!!!

Categories: pottery, process, production, stamped, vases

Okay, so one last batch tonight… might be a little “damp”… err, okay WET going into the bisque kiln!!! This time it’s a batch of wall pocket vases “racing” and hoping to make it into Saturday’s soda kiln. Nothing like pushing the calendar a bit… “somehow” it will all get done, right?!

Categories: art fair, pottery

Always a great stop while in Minneapolis, the Northern Clay Center is much like Chicago’s Lillstreet. A great gallery, classrooms and studio spaces. In the special gallery space, they had this great wall piece… loving the textures, patterns, shapes and how well they all work together to make one great piece by Chotsani Elaine Dean!

Also in the Northern Clay Gallery, a fun display of how ceramic pieces have been employed with some hydroponic “farming.” A great use of terra cotta… but who’s going to really eat all that swiss chard?!

And then we went back into the Studio Artist area and I was IMMEDIATELY taken by this amazing chess set made by sculptor Alessandro Gallo. You know I’ll be sharing this with my kids this summer during Chess Camp!

Okay, look closely… that chess set is hanging on the wall… and HUGE!!! Each square is probably a good 7-inches or so! And oh, but wait there’s more... they each have a hook on the backside that slips into the slot on each of the squares! AMAZING concept!!!

And there was a smaller chess set by another artist… this one seems imminently more do-able for my Summer camp kids!

But the thing that made me laugh the hardest while at Northern Clay…
was this sign… this display… this sponge. It’s truly INSPIRED!!!



Categories: art fair, gallery, pottery

With one full day of NCECA behind me… Sarah and I started out our Gallery Tour Day at The Nevica Project Pop-Up Gallery. It was funny that the very first pieces I saw as awe walked into the space was this beautiful trio by my pottery-friend Mike Stumbras. Love his technique, glazes & surface decoration.

At The Norway House Gallery, they had a nice little show of work…
but it was really these large wall pieces by Ben Bates that caught my attention!

Among all of the many gallery spaces we stopped off at, was this space filled with pots made by the potters who put on the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. Sarah and I go to the tour every year… so it was fun to see their work again in a slightly different format!

At one point, we saw there was a gallery listed on the NCECA gallery tour list that featured pottery with a bicycle theme!!! What?!!! So of course we just HAD to go to that one. Turns out it was located inside a actual bike shop right off the side of the Greenway Bike Route. Here’s a cup I picked up while were there… a simple yellow cup with a spare inner tube wrap by Kate Fisher!!!

At Lakes & Legends, we arrived and saw a entire glass window FULL of cups & mugs!!! Turn the corner, and there was another one too! Yep, two full windows FULL of wonderful pottery!!! So much fun seeing so much pottery all in one place.

It was a beautiful day in Minneapolis… and a beautiful day FULL of pottery! Too many stops, locations & galleries to show them all. In hindsight, I wish I would have done a better job capturing images from every stop along our way! Sarah and I had an amazing day of touring the NCECA Galleries!