Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: artists, soda-fired, textures

Back in September 2016, I did a post about the Saturday metalsmithing class and the wonderful collaboration we did. Each of the students took on the challenge to incorporate one of my textured tile pieces into their metalwork. They all did a wonderful job. Such a great project.

Click here to see the original blog post about the collaboration challenge.

Well, here’s one more entry into the mix. A little late, but well worth the wait.
And to be brutally honest, I got these pictures a LONG time ago… I’ve been a slacker in posting. Sorry.

Anyway, Lillstreet metalsmithing student Erika Novak created this amazing pendant using one of my textured pieces as her “cabachon gem”… so to speak.

And the back side is an amazing “reproduction” done with CAD design and cast in bronze.







Categories: bowls, stamped, textures

Stamped bowl rim with fluted shadows.

Categories: kiln firing, process, production, stamped, textures, vases

So there was a gaping hole in the top layer of my bisque kiln…
I knew that I had to make something quick!

I “threw together” a couple tall slab vases… measured just to fit when the kiln lid closes. I finished assembling them JUST in time to teach my Tuesday night class. I put them on plastic grid and a banding wheel so I could rotate them in front of a fan to dry them quickly. During class, I skipped out (unnoticed) and ran upstairs to add some colored slip details and keep them spinning.

When class was finally over… they had to go into the kiln regardless of where they were at. I had to fill the space, but couldn’t wait any longer to get the kiln started. So they went in a little damp… with a bit of a pre-heat on the kiln… and fingers crossed.




Categories: production, textures, tiles

Putting tiles in their place. Assembling another ClayQuilt of textured tiles.
Gotta love straight lines and epoxy!!!


Categories: rusty, textures

Tons of rusty fun at the Third Sunday Flea Market
in Bloomington with friends & fellow rust-lovers.

Categories: artists, creativity, textures

You know how much I love collaborations! I think it’s so much fun to see what other artists do when given a challenge and some fun clat pieces to work with. My friend & metalsmith Pam Robinson was given a whole bag of assorted clay “cabachons”… textured ceramic discs that I had made and soda-fired. I thought she might be able to make something out of them as a fun little collaboration. Little did I know that she would share them with one of the metalsmithing classes that she teaches. But I LOVE that she shared and challenged her students to incorporate my clay discs into their work.¬† After the Summer session, they presented their collaboration pieces at their final class. So much fun to see the final results. Wonderful pieces by an obviously talented class of metalsmiths. Huge thanks to my friend Pam for sharing my clay pieces and throwing out this great challenge to her students!

Laura made this wonderful copper pendant.

Sara very gracefully  incorporated the stamped shapes into the design of her pendant.

Katie used some fun silver squiggles to hold her square tile in place.

Debbie added a contemporary contour to her silver pendant.

Katie used mixed metals to colorfully accent my stamped disc.

Dianna went above & beyond with the necklace with stones & gems added into the mix.

Kathy added a touch of whimsy to my clay disc that had a “watery” glaze surface. She did a two-sided pendant with a whale (named Martin) on the front… to a view inside the mouth on the other side. Complete with a dangling uvula just above the tongue.

Pam worked in her trademark style keeping the shine and adding some bling. Pam loves her sparkle & shine!!! Her pendant is two-sided and hangs from a hammered silver necklace.

But then as a great surprise, and a Thank You for giving them the clay discs to play with, Pam also made me this wonderful necklace. One of my favorite textured discs on a fun textured silver background. Thank You Pam… I’ll give you more clay discs whenever you want them!!!

So for now they are all on display in one of the jewelry cases in the Metals Hallway at Lillstreet Art Center. Pam’s students did a wonderful job with these collaborations. So great to see the finished pieces hanging in the hallway… but I really can’t wait to get my new necklace from Pam!!!








Categories: art fair, artists, stamped, textures

Collaboration fun coming soon… see what happens when my textured ceramic discs are shared with metalsmith Amy Taylor and a “challenge” to make something cool out of them. The “Big Reveal” will be this weekend at ART IN THE GARDEN. September 10th & 11th at 1205 Hutchings Avenue, Glenview, Illinois 60025. Stop by early for these “limited edition” collaboration pieces!!!



Categories: stamped, textures, tiles

After a big race day, it was fun to relax in the studio tonight stamping some mugs and making some more textured tiles.

Categories: classes, patterns, stamped, textures

Last Sunday, I subbed for my friend Catherine’s Soda Firing class. We chatted, toured my studio, discussed & solved “all of the problems in the clay world”… and then I told them it could be “Demo On Demand”… and I ended up stamping a large platter!!!


Categories: stamped, summer camp, terra cotta, textures

Today my Summer Campers switched to terra cotta. They threw a bunch of pots, let them set-up a bit and then did some more stamping! Go figure.