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

Another pile of slop! This time it’s a creamy blend of porcelain reclaim sitting on my plaster bat. Should be ready to wedge in a day or so… and then it’s FREE CLAY ready to go!!!


Categories: artists, studio, tools

Swung by my friend Pam’s metalsmithing studio this afternoon.
She’s working on a bunch of pieces… but I’m not quite sure where?!
Quite a different set-up from a potter’s studio.
The one thing in common?… lots & lots of tools!!!

So what does YOUR studio look like?


Categories: studio, tools

Just a “small collection” of wire tools in my studio. You know. Just in case.

And thanks to Jon aka “Joe Bowl-a” for the photo…
and for not mocking me too much!

Categories: clay, process, studio

My latest batch of goopey reclaim clay has finally settled up after about a week on the plaster bat. So today I pounded it up a bit with just a smidge of wedging. Full wedging will take place when I’m actually ready to use the clay. Until then it will be bagged up for storage. Storage of FREE CLAY that is!!!

But it seems to never fail, that as soon as I finish up with one batch of reclaimed clay…
it’s already time to start the next batch! So here are some dried scraps ready to go.

And I pulverize them as fine as possible with a rolling pin before putting them into my reclaim bin. Once the clay is in the bin, I add enough water to cover the clay scraps. I let it sit for a few weeks with some occasional stirring & mixing up. Eventually the clay slakes down, the water evaporates and I’m ready to pull out the reconstituted clay onto my large plaster bat… and another cycle begins…


Categories: clay, process, studio

Sometimes reclaiming clay seems like a never-ending process. Just as soon as I empty out the “big bucket of goo” onto my large plaster bat… the big bucket gets filled up again with dried clay awaiting its turn to slake down.

Categories: studio, tools

Now I’ve got to say how much I LOVE my pegboard… always have, always will
but methinks it might be time for a big cleaning to kick-off the New Year.

Is there such a thing as too many pottery tools?!

Categories: friends, studio, wheelthrowing

Did a bit of “touch-up” on some of my friend’s wheelthrown pots!
They were all brand new beginners that stopped by my studio one night last week for a “quick” visit. I think they expected it to be a little sightseeing tour of the studio… but I quickly turned it on them by telling them that “pottery is NOT a spectator sport.” They rolled up their sleeves and threw a few pots… okay, so I made a few demo pots as well. So now they’re drying in my studio, waiting to be bisqued… and then I need to glaze them all with the correct pre-specified glaze choice for each pot!!! Oye-veh!

Categories: clay, process, studio

It’s a New Year and I’m still cleaning up a bit from last year…
taking care of some clay that got a bit too dry.
So I cut it thin, squished it flat, and bent it up so the pile would dry quickly.

Tonight I pulverized it a bit to make it easier to reclaim the clay.
So for now everything is in my reclaim bucket saturated with water.

Categories: family, friends, pottery, studio, wheelthrowing

So much fun last night with the Krenz clan playing with the clay & getting all muddy at the studio last night. As always, some were better than others… but all of them had a great time!

Suddenly not as easy as it looks…

“Maybe if I watch him doing it… it might make more sense?”

Uh… Kel’s bowl is flopping… save it… save it…

But it looks “someone” found the Mystery OREO’s a bit more enticing than throwing on the wheel.




Categories: studio

Big thanks to everyone who came out tonight for the Lillstreet Holiday Open House Party. Fun to meet a lot of new people, chat with old friends… and see some pots head off to their new homes! Thanks for appreciating handmade & supporting local artisans.

We all appreciate it