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

Celebrating EARTH DAY by playing in some goopy-gloppy mud!!! More fun in the studio… more FREE CLAY!!!… after a LOT of work turning my scraps into viable clay again. Ahhh… the fun of reclaiming clay!

Categories: process, production, studio, wheelthrowing

After finishing up some class demo pieces & posting a bunch of THROWDOWN pictures today… it was time to get back at it in the studio with a new batch of mugs now in the works!!!

Categories: glaze, studio

Okay, so here’s the “weird clay & glaze issues” story!
So I made this year’s Shamrock Mugs with a new kind of clay… fresh from the manufacturer. No problems with it. So I glazed the bisqued mugs in a couple different shades of green glaze… that I have used many many times. The dark green glaze on the left came out perfect. The light green glaze on the right came out a bubbly, pock-marked & scratchy?! In the same kiln with the same light green glaze… I also fired some bowls made with a different clay body and they came out perfectly light green! So I’m thinking there’s got to be something about the new clay & this one glaze recipe “not playing well with each other”? Ugh… the glamorous life of a Potter?!

So… I did some strategic sanding & smoothing, and then sprayed a light layer of the darker green glaze that “worked so well” over it. Figured it would either help melt & seal it all together… or they would be ruined even more. I had nothing to lose.

Well, they came out of the kiln today… a little “mottled” looking and not quite shiny-smooth. But they are SO MUCH BETTER than the scatchy un-sellable ones I had before.

So… some of these “seconds” will be in the SHAMROCK MUG SALE tonight… clearly identified & with a good discount!!! Sale starts in just under two hours at 8:00pm central… only on my Facebook page!

Categories: classes, platters, studio

So apparently THIS is what happens when you do a platter demo for your Tuesday night wheelthrowing class… you don’t wire it off the bat… you run it upstairs to your studio to get it out of the way… planning to wrap it in plastic after class… back to more teaching & helping people in class… get busy… get distracted… hoping to remember the platter… but you don’t?!!! A few days later… finding it… and it looks like this!!! HA!!! Who knew?… well, all of us! But it happens… luckily, “it’s just clay”!!!

Categories: studio, tools

In the studio tonight processing my reclaim clay… slicing, layering, wedging, blending in some fresh new clay… then slicing, layering & more wedging! And look what I found… I’ve been wondering where I “lost” that orange scoring tool?!

Categories: clay, process, studio

A quick stop into the studio today to water the plants & turn out some more reclaimed clay. You know how I love “FREE” reclaimed clay… and it will be nice to kick-off the New Year with a fresh new batch of fresh “new” old clay!

Categories: art fair, mugs, pottery, studio

Today’s the day to celebrate SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY! Come out, shop & support the small businesses in your neighborhood. And if you’re near Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago… I will be in my studio selling mugs today until 6:00pm! It’s the perfect gift for a friend, a co-worker, family or even yourself!!!

Lillstreet Art Center – Second floor – 205 West, 4401 North Ravenswood, Chicago

Categories: art fair, studio

So apparently I’ve somehow become the “poster child” for the Chicago Festival Guide?…
or at least the Ravenswood Art Walk this weekend???

One of my studio friends said she saw me on WTTW… err, what?!

It’s our local PBS station and I had no idea what Annie was talking about. Later that night, she sent me the links to prove that she wasn’t making things up!!! And there I was… a photo of me working in my studio in one of my favorite tie-dyed t-shirts! And I have zero recollection of this?! But, I can tell you that the photo was taken back in 2016 when the Zombie was my new Ghoul for the collection. So I don’t feel too bad about not remembering! HA!!! Thanks for sharing Annie… and for the “eagle-eyes” while watching WTTW.

Categories: production, stamped, studio

So while I’m “off my bike” for the day… and it’s killin’ me… at least I’ve been productive in the studio! Plenty of throwing, trimming & lots of stamping! It’s all good… as long as I don’t look outside! HA!

Categories: clay, process, studio

Kicking-off the weekend with a big pile of reclaimed clay! It’s been “slaking-down” in my reclaim bin for quite awhile now… finally time to pull it out, dry it up a bit, start wedging… and then start working with my new pile of FREE CLAY!!!