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

As the snow continued to fall all day today…
it’s somewhat “encouraging” to know that some people are already planning Summer Camps for their kids!!!

I know I for one can’t wait to get back to Summer… and  SUMMER CAMP at Lillstreet!!!

Categories: inspiration, mugs, summer camp

One of the cutest cups I’ve seen in awhile…
warm fuzzies thanks to another adorable Summer Camper!!!

Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

We’re just three days in, and my new batch of Summer Campers are well on their way. We’ve already centered, thrown, trimmed, stamped, slip painted & decorated a LOT of stoneware pots. All labeled and drying for a quick overnight firing so we can glaze them all on Friday! Things move fast around here during Summer Camp!!!


Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

Looks like one of my Summer Campers didn’t quite get the memo…
that the clay is supposed to become a pot, and NOT fill the splash pan?!!!
At least Olivia is having some good goopey, sloppy fun!!!


Categories: stamps, summer camp

Yesterday was the last day of Wheelthrowing Camp. Some kids finished decorating & glazing earlier than others. I offered to let them handbuild with terra cotta for awhile… and for the first time EVER, one of them asked if I could show them how to make their own stamps!!! What?… of course I can. Potential prodigy?

Categories: animals, summer camp

Kathryn’s adorable cat cup in the works! Ya’ gotta love Summer Camp creativity!


Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

Yesterday was “hump day” at Summer Camp as my kids finished their first batch of stoneware pots in Wheelthrowing Camp. A lot of fun new pieces in all different shapes, sizes, colors… and a few animal faces!!!

Categories: stamped, stamps, summer camp

It’s another week of Summer Camp and my wheelthrowers are working hard on their new pots. It’s so much fun to see them working so intently as they decorate their pieces… some with stamps (go figure) and colored slip accents!

Categories: summer camp, terra cotta

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s Summer Camp… we’re doing “Fire, Forge & Feast.” Where the kids are designing & producing their own thematic placesettings in clay & metal. These are a few of our combo utensil samples shown to inspire the kids!


Categories: sculpture, summer camp

After a week of fun, my Summer Camp kids finished their sculptures yesterday just in time for a “gallery” showing for their parents and other campers. They truly took it to heart when I challenged them to go LARGE… the only “rule” was that they had to be able to get it home!!!… somehow.

VIVIAN’s life-sized sea turtle and colorful squid taking a ride

LILY’s 5-foot tall phoenix… based on Fawkes, the phoenix from Harry Potter.

McKENZIE’s 5-foot long flying dragon beast

LAUREN’s squiggly branched 5-foot tall tree designed to hold her necklaces and stick into a corner of her bedrooom.

ISAAC’s armadillo

ROSI’s shooting star complete with sparkling glitter

SAUL’s 5-foot tall alien creature… inspired by the ALIEN movies

CLOELLE’s 4-foot tall flowering cactus.

SASHA’s clock with black widow spiders on the front, and a bunch of gears on the back.

MARTHA’s 5-foot tall light blue tree complete with mail slot, functioning mail box, swing, cat and bird.

SYLVIA’s five-foot tall weeping willow tree.

BEN’s sculpture…. hold on… wait for it... 4-foot tall standing potato man with marshmallow arms and fish tail. Yep, his idea.. not mine!

So the only one that is missing is MAX’s six-foot long snake! He had to finish his on Thursday as he had to miss Friday’s big show! Family trip to St. Louis… I get it. But he was pretty darn stoked that his snake measured out at OVER six-feet long!!!

So there it is… another week of Summer Camp in the books,
Next week I’m up for another great week of camp… it’s FIRE, FORGE & FEAST.