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

To finish off one of my favorite weeks of Summer Camp… I showed my kids how to do bubble glazing. And they LOVED IT!!! Such a fun way to top off an amazing week with a great group of kids! Most of them had never thrown on the wheel before. They struggled a bit on Monday, but with some practice they were making cute pots soon enough. They were all so focused, talented & entertaining. So helpful & willing to pitch-in all week long. They made such great progress… and bubble glazing was a great finale for them!

But the real quote of the week was from Luca at the end of Friday…
“The was the best week of my life.”

Categories: glaze, summer camp

Another summer camp mishap… but they all learned another valuable lesson! This is what happens when someone doesn’t put the lid on correctly! Luckily, it’s just wax… and even better… it splattered so close to the floor drain!

Categories: clay, summer camp, wheelthrowing

Of course it wasn’t all fun & games in camp… as Isla didn’t quite pull her hair back far enough while throwing at the wheel! Her hair dangling too close to the spinning ball of clay. After several warnings… she ended up with a glop of clay tangled up in her curly locks!!! I gave her three options…

1. scissors

2. wash it out in the gross slop sink

3. let it dry completely and crumble it out later that night at home.

She chose option three… so this chunk dangled in her hair all day!!!
A good reminder for the other kids with long hair… listen to Gary!!!

Categories: challenge, summer camp, wheelthrowing

Because I had such an amazing group of summer campers this week, I decided to go a little further with them… as they “requested” to do the Blindfolded Wheelthrowing Challenge! Turns out that Isla was one of the kids in the hallway that saw us doing a couple weeks ago. She brought it up.. and everyone jumped on the chance to try it out!!! So much fun to watch them throwing… and they all had a WONDERFUL TIME giving it a whirl. Most with good success & plenty of giggles!

Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

This week in summer camp, I had a great group of “first-time” wheelthrowers! However, one of them was struggling a bit the first day and kept opening the ball of clay too wide and kept ending up with a “doughnut” of clay in their hands. Over & over again!!! I made a deal with Avery… that if they could figure it out and stop “ripping off doughnuts” I would teach them how to throw doughnuts on the wheel on purpose!

Avery figured it out… and many of my summer camp kids made clay doughnuts to celebrate Avery’s sweet success!!!

Categories: food, lillstreet, summer camp

While spending many of our Summer Camp lunches up on the Lillstreet Rooftop… it’s been fun watching the beekeeper take care of the rooftop bee hives. He’s been great & very informative with the kids. And some of the freshest homegrown honey is available at the Lillstreet Front Desk! YUMMY!!!

Categories: summer camp

This past week of Summer Camp was wheelthrowing & handbuilding with the kids! One of them came in on the first day wearing this shirt… “Together We Grow.” Nice thought… but I felt as though I just had to update it a little bit!

Categories: summer camp

You know you’re “in for a day” when it starts like this!
Sure, I would love to say it was one of my Summer Campers who spilled the bucket of slip.

But it wasn’t.

It was just me rushing around this morning trying to gather all of my supplies for the last day of this week’s camp. WHOOPS!!! Luckily, I scooped it all up & the kids used it anyway… and were none the wiser!!!

Categories: summer camp

This may look like a pile of garbage to some… but for my Summer Campers this week it is a pile of POTENTIAL!!! Another week of my “large sculptures camp” and the kids started today to work their “sculptural magic” with these empty boxes! More to come…

Categories: challenge, classes, summer camp, wheelthrowing

After they knocked out the lidded jar project, I knew they would be up for an even bigger & better challenge! So I pulled out the blindfolds (and towels?) and I challenged Summer Campers last week to wheelthrowing while blindfolded. I think they were a little anxious at first, but quickly realized it’s not as hard as it sounded. As long as you take it step-by-step, you realize that you can throw just my touch & muscle-memory. And they all did a GREAT job… and had so much fun that they asked if they could do it AGAIN!!!

Of course I said YES!!!