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

Tonight I worked in the spotlight. And not in a good way.
Once again, the fluorescent lighting in my studio is on the fritz. They’ve changed the bulbs, but now apparently it’s the ballast that needs to be fixed?! So I’ve been working in the dark now for about a week… waiting to see the light!!!]

Until then, I’m working in the warm “glow” from my task lighting mixed with a bit of annoying flicker from the fluorescent lighting. Fun, huh?!

Last night I trimmed my cylinders, so tonight it was time for handles!!! I start by making these little “carrot-shaped” pieces of clay. One for each handle. One for each mug… and usually, at least one extra in case I goof up somewhere along the way.

Then I pick them up from the fat end and start “pulling handles” the traditional way. Wet hand sliding down the “carrot” with a bit of friction to help “massage & stretch” the clay into a strappy handle. Then I loop them over and stand them up on themselves. so they can stiffen up a bit with the curved-handle-shape already started.

Loved the shadows being thrown through the handle loops from my “moonlight” task lighting.

Once they’ve stiffened up, I start to attach them to the cylinders. Cutting out the section of the strappy handle that I want, bending it a bit more to fit the mug and then attaching. Score, slip, attach, repeat. Score, slip, attach, repeat…. repeat… still in the yellow “moonlight” glow…

Eventually I had them all done…. a couple dozen new mugs ready to be wrapped up for the night. When I come back, I’ll do a few minor touch-ups, add some soda colored slips and then let them start drying.

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Since I can’t quite show you “The Big Picture” yet… cuz’ that would be no fun…
It’s another TEASER of my collaboration project with Cory McCrory – close-up this time!!!
She’s been working hard on these wonderfully whimsical pieces. You’re gonna luv ‘em!
Now I need to add my part of the collaboration. Coming soon… I’ve got one week!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, garden

So I couldn’t resist last night… that green bin was sitting in my dining room FULL of the collaboration tile pieces that Cory had given me on Wednesday night. I kept telling myself that I had to get all of my own stuff done BEFORE I could open it up to see her pieces. Well, that didn’t work. And once I peeked… then peeked some more… soon enough they were all pulled out and spread out on the table. So much fun… and another fun teaser for you!!!

Remember, to see the full collaboration project come together, you’ll need to come to Glenview next weekend.

“Art In The Garden : A Grassroots Art Fair.”
Saturday, August 30th & Sunday, August 31st – 10:ooam-5:00pm

A group of artistic friends rallying together for a weekend of Art In The Garden… literally!
Jewelry by Amy Taylor & Carole Axium.
Ceramics by Cory McCrory & Gary Jackson.
Photography by John Caruso.

At the home & gardens of my friend & wonderful metalsmith Amy Taylor.
1205 Hutchings Avenue,  Glenview,  IL 60025
One block west of Waukegan Road between Lake Street & Glenview Road.
More specifically between Grove Street (at a light) and McLean Court.

We hope to see you there… and bring your friends!!!

Categories: glaze, patterns, textures, tiles

Collaboration close-up… getting ready to assemble…

Categories: artists, creativity, tiles

Okay, so I couldn’t wait any more…
I was trying to get all of “my” work done before I opened up the bin of Cory’s collaboration pieces that she gave me last night. But temptation got the best of me… and YOU get another sneak peek too…

Categories: process, production

When I got home from the studio tonight, I added one last layer of stain to the boards that will host our collaboration project. It’s been a long process… staining each side twice with a good amount of fumes & drying in between. My dining room table hasn’t been used this much in a long time. But now, when these are dry, I can start assembling my pieces with Cory’s pieces to see our collaboration come together.

Categories: mugs, process, production

I stopped into the studio tonight to do some trimming. These cylinders are now ready for handles to be added… maybe tomorrow night?

Categories: family, food, friends

Special thanks to my friend Cory McCrory and my cousin Kim Wicks for giving me a lot of beautiful vegetables. They each have wonderful gardens that are producing a lot of vegetables… and this “City-kid” doesn’t have room for a garden. But definitely more than willing to accept “donations” from those who do!!! Yummy, and good for me too!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, food, friends

Tonight was great food with a great friend, as well as the big “pass-off” of the collaboration pieces that Cory McCrory has made for “Art In The Garden” next weekend. Everything is now in my hands to put it all together. Cory and her daughter came into the City for dinner at my favorite restaurant. We ate, we chatted, we laughed, we solved all the problems of the world… and we’re both very excited about next weekend’s art fair. We hope some of you can join us to see what we’ve been working on together!!!

I still have some work to do on my end of the collaboration… and I’m going to try to “force myself” NOT to look into Cory’s crate of whimsical wonders until I get my act together .We’ll see if I can resist the temptation of peeking…

Categories: artists, bowls, classes

Last night was the final class for my Beginning Wheelthrowing Class.
Hard to believe that 10-weeks has flown by already?!

In addition to a great potluck, we also did a fun “White Elephant” trading-exchanging-stealing game with bowls they each made. Everyone put in a bowl, and left with someone else’s bowl. I came home with this beauty by Catherine Walker… a porcelain bowl with some “slightly-dehydrated” black slip layered in for a beautiful marbled effect. She was all concerned about the slight oval-ness of the bowl. But that’s part of what I liked about it… it fits in my hand perfectly!!!