Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: mugs, process, production, wheelthrowing

Okay, so I know I said that those flower pots would be the last thing before my soda-firing deadline… but I’m pretty sure I can squeeze in a quick batch of mugs too!!! You know they’re my favorite thing to make!!! So what’s another dozen…

Categories: process, production, wheelthrowing

Freshly thrown… soon to be made into little flower pots. I finally scheduled my next soda-firing, so these might be the last “new” things I can crank out to get into that kiln?! We’ll see… you know I love a deadline… and a good challenge!!!

Categories: pottery, totem pole, wheelthrowing

So after playing hooky all day on my bike while it was gorgeous outside…
I finally made it into the studio for a very productive evening!
Throwing LOTS of parts & pieces for another big project!

Categories: process, production, vases, wheelthrowing

Just another fun night of making mini vases… even more fun when you’re thowing off-the-hump!!! Making more cutie-patooties!

Categories: production, wheelthrowing

So my berry bowls are now cleaned-up & drying… but I think a good berry bowl needs a little plate to go with it. That way you can wash some berries, let them drain, and then serve them in the same berry bowl… with the plate under it to keep the water from dripping on your table. So tonight I made some little drip plates…

Categories: bowls, process, production, wheelthrowing

Another quiet & solitary night in the studio… no one around to divert my attention from throwing some more bowls. Just getting started on a fresh batch of new berry bowls. More to come!

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, studio, wheelthrowing

Yesterday was another great Instagram Live with Steve Lee from the Archie Bray! He’s doing weekly “shows” every Friday… this time from his own shelter-in-place studio in his basement. It was great to see him doing some throwing demos again, this time on the treadle wheel he built for himself back in college! Crazy, right?! Be sure to tune in next week on the Archie Bray Instagram Feed for more with Steve Lee!

Categories: bowls, production, wheelthrowing

My students all know how much I LOVE a good spiral…
too bad they’re “not around” these days for me to play with…
err, teach.

I miss them… and I kinda miss them making fun of my spiral bowls!!!

Categories: platters, process, production, stamped, stamps, wheelthrowing

Still staying safe… still social distancing… still trying to get some work done. I’m hoping that when all this craziness passes… people will be flooding to the art fairs to stock-up on some new pottery… and I want to be ready!!! Until then, I’m gonna keep making pots to help keep my own “sanity.” I hope everyone out there is staying safe, staying strong & staying healthy!!!

Categories: classes, wheelthrowing

Towards the end of our final LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, there was a twist!!! My students had “ganged up on me” and created their own set of challenges & contests for ME!!!… you know how I love a good twist & a good challenge!!!

Starting with blindly weighing clay, and then throwing two pots. You can see that I didn’t do so well on the blind “guessing” of weight. The ball on the bottom was my guess… everything on top of it is how far off I was!!!

First up was the throwing tall challenge… where I had to throw a cylinder over 12-inches tall with the five-pound ball of clay.

When I got the cylinder to the necessary 12-inch height… I decided to cut it in half right there in front of my students to see how even my walls were. I didn’t have a wire tool handy… so I just used the side of the ruler to cut with!

My next challenge was the three-pound ball to throw a bowl… oh yeah, blindfolded!!! I kinda knew that this challenge I did to them would somehow come back to bite me!

Since I had a little extra time left to my challenge, I decide to “show-off” just a little… and try a split rim pinched back together which is one of my standard bowl demo tricks. The split rim worked okay, but the pinching was a bit harder to do while still blindfolded!

And then I had to decorate my bowl with just one tool…
and their choice of tool???… another challenge I had thrown on them earlier in the season… coming back to bite me yet again!

And quite fittingly, for my single decorating tool… an single OREO!!!
So I started by blending my split-rim back together. And then started texturing the rim, and then adding curved lines in the interior!

So much fun! You know how I LOVE a good challenge. And the fact that my students came together and planned this whole “game” in advance… so touching & impressive. All the way down to typing out the challenge instructions & placing them in envelopes for the Big Reveal!