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

With a final class THROWDOWN challenge of teapot with matching cups & saucers for Thursday night… gotta make some saucers quick if I’m going to finish my set as well.

Categories: classes, lillstreet, process, production, stamped, teapot

So we’re now in the final week of classes for this session. Which means my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students are working frantically on their final challenge… okay, maybe a “double” challenge?! A week and a half ago in class they got the assignment of a teapot for the last class. So they all started out making their best renditions… although several of them had never made a teapot before!

Then last week in class I surprised them with one last twist of a challenge. Now that they have a teapot started… now they need to make two cups & saucers to go along with that teapot! All to be “finished” greenware by this Thursday’s last class. SURPRISE!!!

And of course, I too was challenged to make a teapot along with them… so I am! You know I love a good challenge. So I’m working on my teapots…. yes, plural… you know I can’t do just ONE of anything!!!


Categories: mugs, process, production, stamped

Attaching handles to freshly stamped mugs.
I always attach the top first, and then “play with” the bottom attachment
to get the size & proportion right… like this one that’s still a bit too big!

Categories: mugs, process, production

Mugs in the making… freshly pulled handles soon to be attached!

Categories: production, stamped, stamps

With Spring pop out all around us, I figured I better start cranking out some more flower pots for my first few art fairs! Throwns & stamped… still need to be trimmed, clip painted and have drainage holes drilled through the bottom.

Oh yeah, and I still need to make their drip plates too!







Categories: patterns, process, production, stamped

Stamped, trimmed and now painting a layer of colored slip accents on these cuties…
little flower pots for my Spring art fairs!


Categories: ornaments, production

So Winter is slowly coming to an end… but it’s still holiday festive in my studio
as I’m trying to finish up this latest batch of holiday ornaments.
I’ve added all of the handbuilt caps & rings to the trimmed tops of each ornament.

And then I painted them with some colored flashing slip accents. My hope is that these colors will “POP” a lot more in the soda kiln. There should be some oranges and mustard yellows in here somewhere when we’re done!



Categories: bowls, classes, lillstreet, production

So last night in my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN challenge class, I surprised my students with another quick-fire throwing challenge. I had them wedge up a large, ten-pound ball of clay much to the griping & moaning of my students. A bigger ball of clay than many of them have ever wedged! I had them all set up a wheel with splash pan, water, tools, etc… all the basics they would need to throw some pots.

The I pulled a small, little mass-produced green bowl from IKEA. And I explained since that is very much a “mass-produced” bowl.. we’re going to mass produce replicas! So the challenge was to throw as many matching little bowls to that sample one off-the-hump as possible in thirty minutes. I did a very quick demo of how to throw off-the-hump for those who had never tackled it before. And then they were off!!! 30 minutes!!! GO!!!

Once they got into the rhythm, and accustomed to the depth, width & technique…
the little bowls just started piling up everywhere! So fun to watch them multiplying.

At the end of the thirty minutes, many of them had come close to finishing the full ten pounds of clay. We brought all of the bowls to the table for a little self-critique, judging and squishing. They were each given points for the number of bowls that were “deemed” matching, or at least close enough. The winner of the challenge was “Tay-Tay Clay-Wedger” with 29 mini bowls!!! Amazing.

Categories: ornaments, process, production, stamped

And now they’re even starting to look a bit like ornaments… as I just did some stamping & trimmed off of the “stump.” Next I need to handbuild caps & rings to hang them from!!!

Categories: production, stamped, vases

These little cuties got even cuter (if that’s even possible)
with mini stamps & tiny accents of colored slip!