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

I had sort of ” forgotten” how dirty, gooey & gloppy throwing with terra cotta can be!


Categories: terra cotta, totem pole

My friend Claire works with a great group at a local Montessori School. Her students decided to build a totem pole for their auction project. Claire saw one of the totem poles my Summer Camp kids made a few years back… so she’s been using my blog as a reference for her totem pole project. I can’t wait to see the final results by the students at the Montessori School of Lake Forest, Adolescent Program. Their slab-built sections look great so far… even better when they’re glazed, fired and stacked!!!

Slab-built terra cotta sections… rolled into a hollow cylinder with a slab base. Each section will eventually be stacked into the finished totem pole.

To see more about my own totem pole adventures, click on the “totem pole” category in the column to the right.

Categories: art fair, terra cotta, tiles

A beautiful morning to kick-off Day Two of ART IN THE BARN. So fun to be greeted by this smiling face when I arrived to replenish & restock the shelves. Come quick though… there’s only four Jack-o-Lanterns left!!!

Categories: art fair, terra cotta

The latest additions to “The Ghouls Collection” have infested my booth.
This year we have Black Widow Spiders and more pumpkins in new colors & shapes.
Limited quantities going fast… c’mon by ART IN THE BARN to snatch ‘em up!!!

Categories: art fair, glaze, process, production, terra cotta

Looks like these little critters are making their way into the kiln… and then into my booth at ART IN THE BARN. The latest addition to “The Ghouls Collection” will be infesting Barrington early Saturday morning! Sure, they might still be warm from the kiln, but at least they’re almost done… and just in time!

Categories: art fair, production, terra cotta

The first peek at the “official” ghoul being added to “The Ghouls Collection”
this weekend at ART IN THE BARN. They’re a Limited Edition every year…
so stop by early Saturday morning in Barrington.



Categories: glaze, terra cotta

The pumpkins are green with envy… glazed with a low-fire clear and headed into the kiln. Still working on the other new addition to “The Ghouls Collection.”

Categories: holiday, production, terra cotta

When I was a kid we only had orange pumpkins. But nowadays, the specialty hybrid white, green and yellow pumpkins have become all the rage. So what perfect timing to introduce some “hydrids” into “The Ghouls Collection” this year? These have been colored with underglaze, but are still waiting to be glazed & fired.

These pumpkins are almost ready to go… but the “other” real Ghoul addition is making me climb the walls. Gotta get ‘em done quick!!!






Categories: art fair, production, terra cotta

Well, ART IN THE BARN is just one week from today.
So I guess today might be as good a time as any to start making more pumpkins and maybe a new “ghoul” to add to the collection.

Who me?… procrastinate much?!!!

Categories: clay, summer camp, terra cotta

Every Thursday during a typical Wheelthrowing Camp is Terra Cotta Day!
I try to tell them in advance that it’s going to be messy. A lot messier than stoneware.
Generally they scoff at it. And think that I’m exaggerating. And then THIS happens…

Gooey-gloppy messy hands… and arguably the dirtiest wheel EVER!!!
Good thing we have Rule #3… “Whatever mess you make, YOU will be cleaning up.”
And she did.