Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, teapot

For those of you saw Cory’s amazing teapot in process a couple days back… and were wondering what the final teapot looked like AFTER the final firing??? Well, here you go… and it’s AMAZING!!!

And while you’re at it… be sure to go see more of her work and follow Cory on Facebook!!! Click here!

Here are a few detail shots… all whimsically crafted by Cory!
Some great details & accents that have come out of the COVID-19 lockdown & quarantine. Just a few more signs of the times!!!

While “documenting” the whole concept of Shelter-At-Home… of course Cory had to pay homage to the whole face mask situation! So many people making masks of their own… and Cory making even more, but now on such a small scale!

Notice the clothesline hanging between the teapot & spout…
and the wonderful masks hanging out to dry!

Hopefully there’s some days in our future soon where we won’t need those darn masks any more!!!

Categories: artists, creativity, friends, handbuilding, My Talented Friends, teapot

So my friend Cory McCrory has been working on a new teapot for an upcoming show. And don’t for a moment think it is a “normal” teapot thrown on the wheel like I would make. Oh no… that’s NOT how Cory rolls!

Instead, Cory makes these elaborate, handbuilt sculptures with paperclay that have made me smile for YEARS!!! We first met at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Fair when our booths were one row away from each other. I could see her work, she could see mine… but we didn’t have a lot of time to go over and look as we were both busy in our booths. But I could already tell from a distance that I was enamored already!!! I finally made it over to her both and instantly fell in love with Cory AND her amazing work!!!

So if you’re NOT following Cory on Facebook or Instagram, you definitely should be!!! She’s been working on this amazing teapot for the past couple weeks… and graciously been sharing photos every step of the way. I’ll post a “teaser” of the finished underglazed version as it goes into the kiln here. But for the full “start-to-finish” Photo Album, click here for a link to her Facebook page.

Categories: art fair, pottery, soda-fired, stamped, teapot

Things are getting festive around here!
With just over a week left to get all of your holiday shopping done…
make your list and head over to my place this weekend for
MUD & METAL : My Second Holiday Home Show!

It will be a great chance to mark a few people off your gift list!
Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm and Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm. C’mon by!!!

1353 West Rosemont #3, Chicago, Illinois 60660…
the one with the green totem pole in front!!!

Categories: art fair, soda-fired, stamped, teapot

Okay, so Day One of the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival was a bit on the soggy side. Rain all morning to dampen everyone’s spirits. Luckily, pottery only looks better when it’s wet, right?! And when the clouds moved out, the afternoon was much better!

Categories: soda-fired, stamped, teapot

And a couple soda-fired teapots fresh from the kiln…
err, well okay, in the photos they’re still IN the kiln. Technicalities.
Pretty pleased with these regardless of where they are now!

Categories: glaze, process, production, teapot

My studio cart down in the kiln room ready for loading. The bands of masking tape are just “safety belts” so everything survives the trip down in the freight elevator. WHEW… made it. Including the teapots glazed & wadded… wouldn’t want to lose another one of them!!!

Categories: classes, teapot

Last night was the final class & final challenge for my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class! While we had a few people struggling to find time for this final & largest challenge, we still ahd quite a few amazing entries. Especially amazing as this was the very first teapot for many of my students!!! And just two weeks to finish putting it all together is not a lot of time!

Katie’s sweet little teapot and cups. Her first teapot ever!!!… and as of right now, she’s claiming it might be her last. We’ll see… maybe I can get her to tackle another one next session???

Ryan’s structured slab constructions kind of took on a life of their own… especially when the teapot literally “jumped” off the table and fell om the ground. Luckily, it was still wet enough that he could do a bit of reconstructive surgery in it. We’ll see how this holds up when it gets fired… so far so good.

Chuck’s wheelthrown set dipped in colored slip for an upcoming soda-firing.

Jon’s unique handbuilt teapot… note: the little bumper at the bottom right is just that, a bumper to keep it from rocking backwards white drying or bisque firing. Unfortunately, Jon wasn’t able to complete his cups in time as some birthday celebrations got in the way… totally understandable… PARTY OVER POTTERY!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON!!!

Richard’s teapot set was very well-constructed with great angles & lines that tied it all together. Very well thought out as you might expect from an architect.

Stephanie’s handbuilt constructions with stenciled slip decorations.

Isabel’s porcelain set… with a smidge of last-minute brilliance of throwing her cups & saucers as one piece and slapping on a handle quick so as to fulfill the challenge in time!

Patty’s porcelain set with sweet cups & saucers.

Taylore’s porcelain teapot & cups… soon to be completed with a handmade brass handle!
My vote for second place!

And the one I chose as best teapot was Catherine’s porcelain precision!

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Categories: pottery, production, stamped, teapot

So my teapots are drying slowly. I wanted to take another photo of the sets as I was moving them onto a raised plastic grid for better airflow and even drying. So here they are gain… my “five” sets of teapots & cups!

TEAPOT SET A

TEAPOT SET C

TEAPOT SET D

TEAPOT SET E

And then there were FOUR!!!
Yes, like a bull in a china shop… quite literally… I lifted the wareboard, spun around and ran right into a stack of clay boxes. Yes, those clay boxes have been there for months!!! Nothing new. Nothing that should have surprised me.¬† I was just moving too fast, not paying attention, And in the blink of an eye, the board hit the top box, everything toppled and I managed only to save a cup. Everything else went crumbling down. At least it’s nice to see how evenly thrown my lid was????

Mwah, mwah, mwah…

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Categories: pottery, process, production, stamped, teapot

For the final challenge of my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, my students were tasked with making a teapot with matching cups & saucers. They have also learned that I love a good challenge… so I’m now making the same.

But you know I can’t make just ONE… so I’m doing FIVE!!!
All assembled and freshly slip painted with colored flashing slips for the soda kiln.

TEAPOT SET A

TEAPOT SET B

TEAPOT SET C

TEAPOT SET D

TEAPOT SET E

Categories: classes, lillstreet, process, production, stamped, teapot

So we’re now in the final week of classes for this session. Which means my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students are working frantically on their final challenge… okay, maybe a “double” challenge?! A week and a half ago in class they got the assignment of a teapot for the last class. So they all started out making their best renditions… although several of them had never made a teapot before!

Then last week in class I surprised them with one last twist of a challenge. Now that they have a teapot started… now they need to make two cups & saucers to go along with that teapot! All to be “finished” greenware by this Thursday’s last class. SURPRISE!!!

And of course, I too was challenged to make a teapot along with them… so I am! You know I love a good challenge. So I’m working on my teapots…. yes, plural… you know I can’t do just ONE of anything!!!

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