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

So excited to be using the new Bison Tool I bought while at NCECA.
I love my other Bisons… so I knew this slightly smaller one would be PERFECT!!!
You know I love trimming… now even more with great tools!!!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped, stamps, wheelthrowing

Another batch of cylinders on their way to becoming MUGS!!!
Of course they needed to be stamped… soon to be trimmed and have their handles
attached. Until then… they’re just kinda pretty cylinders!!!

Cylinder #1 -

Cylinder #2 -

Cylinder #3 -

Cylinder #4 -

Cylinder #5 -

Cylinder #6 -

Cylinder #7 -

Cylinder #8 -

Cylinder #9 -

Cylinder #10 -

Cylinder #11 -

Cylinder #12 -


Categories: art fair, glaze, mugs, process, production

Cleaned & waxed… ready for a quick night of glazing.
Just one final glaze kiln before this weekend’s art fair in Naperville…
this Friday night & all day Saturday!

Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

Finishing up the latest batch of pitchers & mugs… stamped, trimmed and handled.
Now just finishing some colored slip accents… which will change color when soda-fired.

First another set of mugs ready to dry & bisque… before soda-firing!

And jugs… or in this case, medium pitchers… also painted with colored flashing slip accents, now drying and ready to bisque fire.




Categories: classes, process, production

It was the last night of class, and we had already critiqued & judged the final project…. but I still had one more trick up my sleeves. With two of my studetns getting married this Spring, and wanting to make ceramic vases to share with all of their guests… I figured what better way than with a THROWDOWN assembly line?! So we all buckled down and started cranking out as many vases as we could during the remainder of class. Everyone had a great time working & chatting together. A perfect way to end our class!

And our lovely “hand model” Susan…

And here’s Jacob, the Groom-To-Be, putting some final touches on a cylinder by carving some patterns into it with our favorite DiamondCore Carving Tool.

And here’s Molly, the Bride-To-Be, who “apparently” didn’t get the memo that they were all making small vases out of extruded tubes?! What’s with that???

And here they are by the end of class… approximately half of what they’re hoping to get finished in the next month or so… as the wedding is later this Spring!!!



Categories: classes, process

NOTE : This should have been posted a few weeks back, but I didn’t want to reveal
t0o much too soon for my students! I didn’t want to ruin the surprise!

Well, we’ve been having a great session of classes & challenges in the Second Annual LILLSTREET THROWDOWN!!! And since we were nearing the finish… I knew that I had to have a prize for the winner, right. You can’t have a competition class with a bunch of great people working hard and paying all of your silly games without a trophy for the winner!!! So I made one…

And then I went out and bought some gold spray paint… thank you Rust-oleum!!!

And since I made this a month or so ago… during The Polar Vortex…
it was SO COLD out that I had to turn on the flame throwing heater to make sure the spray paint would dry correctly. It’s always better when you have access to great power tools!!!

Sure, the gold paint was pretty, but… every trophy should “sparkle” a bit, right?

So there it is… the trophy for onw lucky winner in the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN!!! Now we just need to find out who will have accrued the most points throught the session to win this distinction!!!



Categories: process, production, stamped

Yep, it’s been a BUSY day… and all went well in the studio this afternoon.
All pitchers stamped, trimmed & handles attached. Under plastic for the night,
as I still want to add a layer of colored flashing slip accents on them all tomorrow!

Categories: clay, process, production, wheelthrowing

Now that all of the berry bowls are stamped, trimmed and drilled with holes…
now they need drip plates to catch the water after washing your berries!
Here we go… giddy-up!

Categories: process, production, tools

A bowl is just a bowl… until it gets HOLES.. . and becomes a Berry Bowl.
So I start with my MKM Decorating Disk to help divide the spacing evenly.
I stick my needle tool through the holes on the disk to mark the bottom of the bowl.

And then I pull out the POWER TOOLS!!!
A power drill makes the holes so much faster & cleaner than trying to punch them out by hand. And having a few different sizes of drill bits on hand helps with the design.

Plus… I’m hoping that the clay shrinkage will help close up those big holes…
don’t want to lose any blueberries!

And then after drilling all of the holes, there’s a just a little bot of clean-up om the inside.
These little burrs are very easy to wipe off with my fingers…
but look how clean those holes are!!!

And then



Categories: bowls, process, production, stamped

Lotsa bowls… LOTSA trimming!!!
Good thing I love trimming… almost as much as I love stamping!