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

Some new textured & soda-fired vases ready for this weekend’s Holiday Home Show. Especially when each side of the vase has a different pattern. Get tired of one pattern, just flip it around to the other. Like two vases for the price of one!

Categories: process, production, soda-fired

Matching up lots of sets of salt & pepper shakers! All textured. All soda-fired.
They’re code-lettered and banded together for convenience…
and who doesn’t LOVE orange rubber bands?!



Categories: food, friends, soda-fired, textures, tiles

Weren’t we all told as a child to “not play with your food”???
Well, my friend Allison has been playing with her food on top of one of my textured tile trivets.
And boy am I glad she is… too much fun!!!

Categories: art fair, mugs, soda-fired

Prepping, cleaning & pricing… getting ready for this weekend’s Holiday Home Show.
Starting the weekend with well over a hundred mugs on the shelves!!!
Now THAT’s a lot of mugs!!!

Categories: flowers, mugs, soda-fired, stamped

Okay, so I don’t drink coffee… or even tea…
so I’m always looking for new ways to use my mugs. So here’s a fun floral alternative.


Categories: bowls, soda-fired, stamped

Small bowl stamped & soda-fired. Ready to fill with ice cream & hot fudge!!!

Categories: flowers, soda-fired, stamped, textures, vases

I’ve been working on adding some new “square” slab vases into my repertoire. Two different sizes, each with two different patterns on the two different sides. Textured, detailed with colored slip and/or glaze and soda-fired to help show off Nature’s beauty.


Categories: bowls, soda-fired

Here’s a quick glimpse of the class demo bowl I did for my class awhile ago!
It’s a simple bowl with a carved pattern with a great Zebra Carving tool. But before the carving, I painted the bowl with wax so that the slip wouldn’t get smudged all over the bowl… I only wanted it to stay inside the carved pattern. With the waxed surface, the excess slip was so easy to wipe-off… leaving only the slip-filled pattern. After soda-firing, the color contrast became a bit more predominant. I like how the decoration is “part of the bowl” and not just slip sitting on top of the bowl. What I don’t like?…. there was some cracking and shrinking of the slip. So the drying & shrinkage rate must be off a bit from the clay body. Definitely a fun demo. I’ll have to try it again. Maybe another demo opportunity for this session’s class?

Click here to see the steps that lead up to this!

Categories: classes, garden, pottery, soda-fired, stamped

Tonight was the final class for my “Simply Soda” students. Ten weeks of classes and soda-firing fun with mixed results. They’ve enjoyed the challenge and learned a lot about the variables of soda-firing. To finish off our final class, we had a fun potluck feast along with our “Plant & Planter Trading-Exchange Game.” So each student brought in some food… and the planter they made during class with a plant they chose to coordinate with their flower pot.

So here are the plant participants in our fun little trading-exchanging-stealing game!

A beautiful orchid & flower pot by Stacey…

A charming small duo of an African violet & succulent twosome by Taylore…

A ponytail palm and ridged planter by Katie…

Some “unknown plant” in a beautiful flower pot by Jackie…

A round disc succulent and soda-fired flower pot by Ed…

A recently pruned, and soon to bloom? plant in a flower pot by Cecelia…

A sleek wall vase with a miniature mum plant inside by Emily…

A small orchid in a water-erosion-relief pattern flower pot by Patty…

And my stamped & soda-fired planter with beautiful variegated low-light plant…

And then Ryan, Taylore’s better-half, didn’t want to be left out of the fun. So even though he’s not really part of this class (he’s actually in my Tuesday night class), he decided to bring his own “plants” to trade in the game. So he worked up a batch of “dirt” for the potluck! Yummy gummy worms in chocolate pudding and chocolate cookie crumbled “dirt.”







Categories: classes, garden, soda-fired, stamped

Tomorrow night my “Simply Soda” class is wrapping up and we’ve got a little challenge going on! For our final class this session, we decided to do a “White Elephant” trading swapping game for handmade planters. So the plan is that each student had to make a soda-fired planter during this session, bring it to the last class and trade it for another one. It was my students who went one step further and decided we should add a plant our planters BEFORE the trade!!! So I just planted mine for tomorrow’s class…