Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: lillstreet, porcelain, soda-fired, vases

Here’s a quick peek at the porcelain vases I made and donated for the Lillstreet ArtReach Fundraiser. They had asked for a couple tumblers, but I wanted to do more for the kids. So I offered up some vases for the floral centerpieces… each to be sold off at the end of the event. So if you were one of the lucky folks enjoying an evening of “Art Under The Stars” you would have your choice of one of these vases. A great chance to donate to a great program AND come away with a beautiful “souvenir.”

 

So hopefully by now, people are enjoying their evening on the Lillstreet Rooftop.
A special evening to support the efforts put forth by the ArtReach Chicago group.
Bringing creativity to the community. Sharing clay, paint and other supplies.
Making art happen all around the City… in places that need a little extra inspiration!

Categories: porcelain, soda-fired, vases

My donation vases are all packed up for the ArtReach Fundraiser. I had hoped for a couple more, but they didn’t quite make it into the last soda kiln. So seven porcelain vases it is!!! All for a good cause… and more art for the kids!!!

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Categories: food, friends, inspiration, soda-fired, stamped

My friends Gerry & Rosene are going through a lot of construction at home after some storm damage, and today made everything a lot better when they made a lemon verbena cake with lemon frosting! Which I’m SURE was so much better with fresh lemons hand-squeezed on a handmade citrus juicer!!!

Categories: mugs, porcelain, soda-fired, stamped

A small, stamped soda-fired porcelain mug to celebrate Mugshot Monday!

Categories: mugs, patterns, soda-fired, textures

Just playing with some new textures, patterns, lines and new ways to make more mugs!!!
There’s definitely some good potential here. Time to push it further!!!

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Categories: collaborations, friends, My Talented Friends, soda-fired, stamped

So you know how I LOVE a good collaboration project. Imagine my excitement when my friend & fantastic metalsmith Sarah Chapman proposed we tackle another collaboration project. She had a plan in her head… and I was ready to take it on.

So the “theory” is that I would make some ceramic jars, and she would add some metal lids, finials, knobs or embellishments. I’ve made a few batches of jars – some with and some without lids. Some turned out great, some I think might be too small or have a gallery that is too small. I’ve passed all of my pieces onto Sarah, so now the proverbial ball is in her court.

And I can’t wait to see what she does with them!!!
Sure, a couple of them might look like finished lidded jars… but I anticipate that Sarah will work her mojo, deconstruct them, and make some collaboration magic happen!!!

This lidded jar has a couple holes pierced through the lid… giving Sarah some options to add a finial knob. Or maybe even split the jar in two… and make a metal top to go with the clay base, and a metal bottom to go with the clay lid?!

So now the jars are all in Sarah’s capable hands… sitting in her studio waiting to fulfill their collaboration destiny!!!

 

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Categories: flowers, soda-fired, vases

Always fun to see one of my new vases gracing the table for a 21st Birthday Dinner! Love the purple flowers… good to see that the “grid” insert works well to keep the flowers arranged. Thanks for sharing Matt.

Categories: process, production, soda-fired, stamped

So flasks seem to be all the rage these days?!
So many potters are tackling this trendy topic.
o I decided I needed to jump into the pond… afterall, all the cool kids are doin’ it.

I started by throwing bottomless cylinders… trying to keep them pretty thin so the flasks won’t weigh too much. When the stickiness had dried off of them, I stamped them and then squished them into tight ovals. I always find it interesting to see how so many cylinders that take up so much table space can be “squished” down onto one board in such a short amount of time.

I then made slab tops that domed over the tops.
Score & slip… score & slip… scratch & attach… repeat… repeat… repeat…
And then I attached some thrown spouts to finish them off.

When they were all assembled, I added some colored flashing slips to the tops and small details in the stamped textures. These “colors” will be a LOT more apparent & colorful after the soda firing.

After bisque and soda firing…. we now have finished flasks with some rubber stoppers to close them up. So for now they’re price, packed and ready for their BIG debit tomorrow at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival.

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Categories: soda-fired

Here’s a crazy cool surface I got on one of my slip class demo tumblers.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take good notes, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on here?!…
or how I could do it again? Unfortunately, the “other” side of the tumbler is just pretty dark & toasted. Trust me… this is the better side!

Categories: classes, lillstreet, mugs, soda-fired

This past Tuesday night was the last class for my Simply Soda class for the Spring session. My beginning soda-firing students did a great job working through some of the “difficulties” and “unpredictabilities” of firing in the soda kiln. But after ten weeks, we made it to the end and everyone learned a LOT… including me!

To celebrate our last class, we had a little class challenge to finish with. At the beginning of the session, I had challenged each student to make enough mugs to trade one with everyone in class. So each student had to come with ten mugs for the trade… Peter already moved away, so nine… and then we played a little game. Going one person at a time, each student got to pick one of their group to call their won. By the end, everyone’s mugs had found a new home… and they were going home with one mug from each of their fellow students… and me!

So here are MY mugs that were up for the taking! Stamped and soda-fired B-clay.

And then AFTER The exchange, these are the mugs I came home with!!!

This sweet porcelain mug with subtle flashings and two white glaze stripes by Catherine.

A shallow “diner cup” with some great carved details at the bottom by Taylore.

A beautiful tankard mug by Cecelia with butter yellow slip and gray carbon trapping.

A sweet little mug made with B-clay and a Tom’s Purple glaze liner by Patty.

A fun little mug with indented dots across the surface with a Tom’s Purple liner by Katie.

A beautiful grooved mug by Stacey with a wonderful flashing on the mustard slip.

Unfortunately, Ed’s mugs were still in the soda kiln cooling. Just a day short of making the deadline. He participated¬† in the exchange and promised to fulfill his “trade” end of the bargain soon!

So all in all, I’d say my beginner soda students knocked it out of the park!
A great session… and a great exchange… and great additions to my Mug Collection!!!

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