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

Let’s do the Time Warp again…
or better yet, maybe some classics should never be toyed with.
We’ll see how this one plays out as I attach handles and sing-along
with the new “re-imagined” Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Not as much fun without all of the props to throw at the screen…

Categories: special events, television

Look what showed up in the mail today. Who would’ve thought
that I would ever get a real paycheck from 20th Century Fox???

Categories: television, vases

And so the Battle Begins… and it sounds like my handmade vases
will make their brief appearance on “EMPIRE” Episode 8 before they get smashed!!!
Watch closely… it might be quick?!

My understanding is that Episode 3 airs this week. I’ll keep you posted.



Categories: process, production, television, vases

So the past couple weeks have been CRAZY!!!
Far too many projects going on. Throwing new pots.
Stamping. Trimming. Drying. Firing. Glazing.
Times two with my recent soda kiln and the cone six firing.

Not to mention all of the terra cotta “ghouls” that I’ve been working late nights just to get them done. No time to sleep. No time to breath. I’m stretched beyond belief yet again. Not even sure if I would be able to get everything done for ART IN THE BARN this coming weekend?! And did I mention teaching Tuesday night too?! Okay, you get it right… over-committed, over-stretched.

And then this happens…
I get an e-mail Thursday mid-morning. Basically it’s a request from the TV show “EMPIRE” to make some vases for them. My Wisconsin potter friend Amanda is friends with the Props Manager on “EMPIRE” and she’s the one who connected all of us. My understanding is that they need some identical vases for them to film in a scene. Sounds like the vases are going to smashed in the scene… and they’ll have 16 times to get it right for all the necessary angles. They just need them bisque fired… as one of their Props Crew will be painting them to look like they’re expensive antiques. All sounds great… except for the fact that I still don’t have time!!!

But you know I can’t say “No” to a great opportunity like this.
So I said yes… and then I started to freak out. How can I get this done???

I made it into the studio about 4:30pm Thursday night. The plan was to throw all of the vases as fast as possible. They said they wanted the vases between 14″-16″ tall. So I started by wedging up my sixteen balls of clay.

After throwing one tall vase, I realized quickly that it was going to be too much time & effort to throw all of the vases that tall. With the incredibly fast turn-around time, I decided it would behoove me to throw them as two-part vases. So I set off to throw all of the bottom halves.

Followed by throwing all of the top pieces.

It was late by the time I finished, so I went home for a couple hours of sleep… and then returned very early in the morning to start assembling them.

After a few hours I had them all assembled, cleaned up a bit with a definitive “foot” flange and set out to dry.

Here’s the real kicker…
they wanted the vases bisque fired and ready for pick-up by Monday!!!
Yep, normally a project like this would take a week or two… not a day or two!

So I set them all on a raised plastic grid covered with a few sheets of paper. I figured the paper would help soak up & disperse the water from the clay. And then being raised up, air can get under the vases to dry more evenly. So I set a fan on them and hoped for the best. As it was, I had to get home to start packing to get to ART IN THE BARN. Good thing I could squeeze these in under such tight time restraints. I just hope the client from 20the Century Fox Television is happy with their new vases!!!









Categories: artists, teapot, television

Looks like a great PBS episode of CRAFT IN AMERICA this evening.
This episode is focused on “TEACHERS”… artists as teachers and teachers as artists. The extra special role that an artist needs to become a great teacher and to carry on the legacy for the up & coming artists in their field. Navajo weavers. Hawaiian glassblowers. And functional pottery!!! Linda Sikora has been making beautiful pots for years. She was one of the first potters I remember seeing displayed in the Lill Street Gallery back in the day when I first started taking pottery classes there. Now if only they would do an episode about her husband Matt Metz too?!!!

Click here for a quick teaser video excerpt from tonight’s broadcast on PBS.
And then check your local listings for CRAFT IN AMERICA.




Categories: television

So while there’s some wacky convention going on this week, I think it’s only fitting to share this little video nugget with quite possibly the best First Lady ever!!! And trust me, that’s about as political as I’ll EVER get!!!

Click here to see First Lady Michelle Obama and her Carpool Karaoke.

Categories: creativity, ivan carlson, television

You know I love a good Jamba Juice now & again…
and have a comedy crush on ELLEN… who doesn’t?
Adele’s carpool karaoke kinda won me over… but this latest video pretty much seals the deal bringing all three of them together. I love Adele when she shows off her funny side!

Click here to watch Adele at Jamba Juice… as the mouthpiece for ELLEN.
Adele was wearing an earpiece and had to follow all of Ellen’s directions
and repeat everything Ellen told her. And of course… hilarity ensued.




Categories: holiday, television

Generally not a huge fan of “colorized” classic Christmas movies. I’d prefer them in black & white if they were MADE in black & white. Yep, I’m kind of a purist. But I must admit I did just enjoy a little Christmas flashback fun with the “I Love Lucy” gang… even though they were in color!

And then, as if I needed yet another holiday procrastination diversion...
The colorized Christmas Special was followed by arguably the BEST Lucy sketch ever!!!

Far and away my favorite Lucy skit. Laughing out loud. Tears running down my face…
That first taste-test swallow gets me every time!!! The face. the swallow. The grimace.
It’s so tasty too. Just like candy.”

Click here for the full episode.. which includes Lucy in a box… and then the commercial!!!
If you want the shorter version with just the commercial, click here.
And then feel free to play along… after more than a few swigs of Vitameatavegamin

“Well, I’m your Vitavigavegivat Girl. Are you tired, run down, listless?
Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular? [pause] Well, are you?
The answer to all your problems is in this little ol’ bottle, Vitameatavegamin.
[Checks the bottle label]  That’s it.
Vitameatavegamin contains vitamins, meat, megetables and vinerals.
So why don’t you join the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big
bottle of Vitaveatyvemeanyminimoe. I’ll tell you what you have to do.
You have to take a whole tablespoonful after every meal.
It’s so tasty too. It’s just like candy.
[Takes a bit of time, if not too much, trying to sample the liquid. Finally... ]

So everybody get a bottle of…   [pointing at the bottle]… this stuff.”

Categories: artists, pottery, television

So what would happen if two of my favorite things came together???
Pottery AND Reality TV.

Well, it looks like it’s about to happen over “on the other side of the pond.”
Seems like there’s a new Reality TV show brewing with potters as contestants.
Not sure of the details, or if we can see i there in the States, but… I’m in !!!

Click here for the preview commercial on YouTube!


Categories: television

We get a new season of SURVIVOR later this month!!!
And this season it will be all audience-chosen returning castaways
all playing for their Second Chance!!! Can’t wait… begins on September 23rd.