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

There’s been a LOT of glazing going on in my studio lately.
Getting ready to load my next soda kiln. Getting ready for ART IN THE GARDEN.
Lots of liner glazes. Lots of glaze inlay. Lots of wiping clean.
Lots of “tricks” to help make the textures pop more after soda firing!

Categories: collaborations, production, studio

The “original plan” was to make 30 shakers each. But have you met me? I just couldn’t help myself. Once I got started I was kinda on a roll. One more lead to another… and soon enough I had NINETY!!!

Categories: clay, process, production, studio

Holy balls of wedged potential Batman!

Categories: clay, process, studio

After scooping out another huge batch of hydrated reclaim clay, I just finished pulverizing another batch of dry clay to start the process all over again!

Categories: process, studio

So tonight when I came back to my studio, I noticed some sort of random “fuzz” growing on my plaster bat. I use the bat to lay out my sloppy reclaimed clay. It sits on the bat for about a week before it is dried up enough to roll off and wedge up. I took my latest batch of reclaim clay off the bat about five days ago. I decided to leave my plaster bat sitting out so it could dry up a bit before laying out another batch of reclaimed clay slop. The bat is “elevated” on a couple commercial tiles so there is air circulation below it as well. I didn’t notice before… but I assume the fuzz has been “growing” since I took the clay off the plaster bat. I’ve seen little crystal-like build-up before, but NEVER this thick & furry!!!

Any thoughts of what’s going on here?
Should I be worried? Should I be concerned?
How do I fix the situation?… or is it too far gone? And time for a new plaster bat?!!!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Categories: friends, My Talented Friends, studio

A few weeks back when I was in Minneapolis for the St. Croix River Pottery Tour, I finally got a chance to see Sarah Chapman’s new studio space. She’s in the same building as before where she was renting a small space within Quench Jewelry Arts. It was a great place, nice studio and easy access to teaching classes there. But when the opportunity presented itself to move to a larger space with Quench owner Sarah Sitarz, the two of them moved upstairs to a bigger & better space!!! The Quench studio & classroom stayed downstairs… it’s just the two Sarah’s that made the big move upstairs!

QUITE POSSIBLY THE COOLEST & CLEANEST STUDIO EVER!!!

A beautiful display of some of Sarah’s wall pieces… and look…
just a few “unlidded” jars that are part of our collaboration challenge.

Let me just say… I am SO JEALOUS of Sarah’s space.
Makes my dirty little cubicle of a space seem SO small.
Sarah’s studio is groovy cool, with exposed brick walls, great natural light, wood floors and incredible tools everywhere you look. If only I was a metalsmith… and knew how to use any of these tools… and this could be the BEST STUDIO EVER!!!

Until then, I’ll continue to love my own little space… with pegboard, shelves & tools everywhere you look. And a seemingly never-ending layer of clay & trimmings on the floor. Ahhhh… the life of a potter.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Categories: clay, process, studio

After two recent art fairs, it’s time to start up the process again. I’d love to start throwing… but first things first. A little housekeeping with a pile of goopy & gooey reclaimed clay setting up on my plaster bat. A couple days there, a lot of wedging and soon enough I’ll have a LOT of free clay to play with again!!!

Categories: friends, studio

During the frenzy of glazing all day, it was great to have a visit from Gerry & Rosene… my very first art fair friends ever!!! We met several years ago when I was just starting out. It was a small holiday show in Sandwich, Illinois. And they were right across the aisle fomr me. Seasoned veterans of the craft fair circuit… and me just starting out. My very first show!!!

Needless to say, I made all the right mistakes. And they were right there to watch, help and advise. As I quickly overspread my booth space, fumbled all over the floor trying to set up my booth, and getting ready for the show. They were so supportive and encouraging… and we’ve been great friends ever since!

So although I was busy glazing & wadding all day, it was a great diversion to have them stop by. Sure, I was BUSY!!!… sure I was OVERWHELMED at the amount of work I still needed to do. But it was so good to see them stop by my studio for the first time! They were in town celebrating Gerry’s birthday with a studio visit and tickets to “Hamilton.” So we chatted, did a full Lillstreet tour with them, daughter Kristy, hubby Matt and Matt’s mom. I think they all enjoyed their tour of the studio… as they asked a LOT of great questions.

All too soon they were off to dinner so I could get back to work.
Glazing. Glazing more. Wadding. Cleaning. Glazing. Wadding and eventually loading the kiln!!!
I’d rather be eating dinner with them.

Save

Categories: clay, mugs, process, production, studio

Like a bull in a china shop… quite literally. One false move and I just took out one of the new mugs. Note to self: dried greenware is VERY fragile! A great reminder. Luckily, that “set” had five… so now we’re down to four matching mugs!

Categories: bowls, process, production, studio

I LOVE TRIMMING.
It’s so much fun to finish off a piece with a well-trimmed foot. I made a decision early on that I would trim everything! It just doesn’t look quite “done” to me if it isn’t trimmed?! But maybe that’s just me?
And luckily, I have a lot of bowls to trim from class this week. So here we go… trim, trim trim!!!

Save