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

Hoping to crank out one last batch of hybrid mugs… quick, quick, quick!!!
Fingers crossed that I can get them done in time for next weekend’s soda kiln?!!!

Categories: clay, summer camp, wheelthrowing

Of course it wasn’t all fun & games in camp… as Isla didn’t quite pull her hair back far enough while throwing at the wheel! Her hair dangling too close to the spinning ball of clay. After several warnings… she ended up with a glop of clay tangled up in her curly locks!!! I gave her three options…

1. scissors

2. wash it out in the gross slop sink

3. let it dry completely and crumble it out later that night at home.

She chose option three… so this chunk dangled in her hair all day!!!
A good reminder for the other kids with long hair… listen to Gary!!!

Categories: challenge, summer camp, wheelthrowing

Because I had such an amazing group of summer campers this week, I decided to go a little further with them… as they “requested” to do the Blindfolded Wheelthrowing Challenge! Turns out that Isla was one of the kids in the hallway that saw us doing a couple weeks ago. She brought it up.. and everyone jumped on the chance to try it out!!! So much fun to watch them throwing… and they all had a WONDERFUL TIME giving it a whirl. Most with good success & plenty of giggles!

Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

This week in summer camp, I had a great group of “first-time” wheelthrowers! However, one of them was struggling a bit the first day and kept opening the ball of clay too wide and kept ending up with a “doughnut” of clay in their hands. Over & over again!!! I made a deal with Avery… that if they could figure it out and stop “ripping off doughnuts” I would teach them how to throw doughnuts on the wheel on purpose!

Avery figured it out… and many of my summer camp kids made clay doughnuts to celebrate Avery’s sweet success!!!

Categories: classes, friends, wheelthrowing

After the party, as we all got back to pottery class & projects, I invited Nirali & Sarah to stay and try their hand at the wheel. Sure, they can bake up a storm, but can they throw a pot?!!!

Turns out they can… even with a silly party hat on!!!

Categories: challenge, classes, summer camp, wheelthrowing

After they knocked out the lidded jar project, I knew they would be up for an even bigger & better challenge! So I pulled out the blindfolds (and towels?) and I challenged Summer Campers last week to wheelthrowing while blindfolded. I think they were a little anxious at first, but quickly realized it’s not as hard as it sounded. As long as you take it step-by-step, you realize that you can throw just my touch & muscle-memory. And they all did a GREAT job… and had so much fun that they asked if they could do it AGAIN!!!

Of course I said YES!!!

Categories: classes, lidded jars, summer camp, wheelthrowing

Last week at Summer Camp I had a group of teenagers. All of them had wheelthrown at last once before… so I knew it was going to be a fun week. They re-learned & practiced throwing on Monday & Tuesday, trimmed & decorated on Wednesday. But it was Thursday when I challenged them to making lidded jars! Yep, full-on lidded jars… complete with caliper-measured lids AND throwing off-the-hump. And they totally rocked it out!!!

Categories: summer camp, wheelthrowing

This week I’m teaching a Wheelthrowing Summer Camp with a bunch of teenage girls! They’re all doing a great job & have already made a LOT of pots!!! Not bad for two days of camp… for today we switch to trimming, handles & detailing… and editing their “collections” keeping only the “good” ones! And who knows… there may even be a stamp or two used tomorrow?!

Categories: bowls, production, wheelthrowing

WHEW!!!… A bunch of mini bowls thrown & ready to be covered with plastic for the night. I wouldn’t want them to dry out tonight while I teach my class.

Categories: process, production, wheelthrowing

Just a quick morning of wheelthrowing… but it’s FAR too nice outside to work in the studio all day. So… wrapping them up because my bike is calling me again… gotta go play outside!!!