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

Celebrating the first day of Summer with a great afternoon bike ride to the Chicago Botanic Garden with my biking buddy Chris. We’re both training for our IRONMAN races so we’re always looking for another chance to squeeze in some more miles. It was a great ride up to Highland Park and back with a beautiful stop at the gardens at our turn-around point.

A LOT of beautiful flowers and plants within their special “Brazil” tropical display.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: classes, mugs, process, stamped, summer camp

It’s the third day for my Summer Campers and today they had to “finish up” their stoneware pots. So we did some trimming, some stamping, some adding of handles and colored slip detailing. Never too soon to start stamping, right???

Categories: pottery, summer camp

It’s my first week of Summer Camp… and my kids are doing AMAZING!!!
It’s only their second day of camp and they’re already cranking out some wonderful pots!!!
So much fun for them... and for me!!!

Categories: sunrise

Not a single cloud in the sky to be found this morning!!!

 

Categories: mugs, patterns, soda-fired, textures

Just playing with some new textures, patterns, lines and new ways to make more mugs!!!
There’s definitely some good potential here. Time to push it further!!!

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Categories: photography, sunrise

A big sky show needs big photos!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Another stunning morning with colorful clouds blowing through the City.
A beautiful start to the day with predictions of rain to come this afternoon.

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Categories: friends, My Talented Friends, studio

A few weeks back when I was in Minneapolis for the St. Croix River Pottery Tour, I finally got a chance to see Sarah Chapman’s new studio space. She’s in the same building as before where she was renting a small space within Quench Jewelry Arts. It was a great place, nice studio and easy access to teaching classes there. But when the opportunity presented itself to move to a larger space with Quench owner Sarah Sitarz, the two of them moved upstairs to a bigger & better space!!! The Quench studio & classroom stayed downstairs… it’s just the two Sarah’s that made the big move upstairs!

QUITE POSSIBLY THE COOLEST & CLEANEST STUDIO EVER!!!

A beautiful display of some of Sarah’s wall pieces… and look…
just a few “unlidded” jars that are part of our collaboration challenge.

Let me just say… I am SO JEALOUS of Sarah’s space.
Makes my dirty little cubicle of a space seem SO small.
Sarah’s studio is groovy cool, with exposed brick walls, great natural light, wood floors and incredible tools everywhere you look. If only I was a metalsmith… and knew how to use any of these tools… and this could be the BEST STUDIO EVER!!!

Until then, I’ll continue to love my own little space… with pegboard, shelves & tools everywhere you look. And a seemingly never-ending layer of clay & trimmings on the floor. Ahhhh… the life of a potter.

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Categories: collaborations, friends, My Talented Friends, soda-fired, stamped

So you know how I LOVE a good collaboration project. Imagine my excitement when my friend & fantastic metalsmith Sarah Chapman proposed we tackle another collaboration project. She had a plan in her head… and I was ready to take it on.

So the “theory” is that I would make some ceramic jars, and she would add some metal lids, finials, knobs or embellishments. I’ve made a few batches of jars – some with and some without lids. Some turned out great, some I think might be too small or have a gallery that is too small. I’ve passed all of my pieces onto Sarah, so now the proverbial ball is in her court.

And I can’t wait to see what she does with them!!!
Sure, a couple of them might look like finished lidded jars… but I anticipate that Sarah will work her mojo, deconstruct them, and make some collaboration magic happen!!!

This lidded jar has a couple holes pierced through the lid… giving Sarah some options to add a finial knob. Or maybe even split the jar in two… and make a metal top to go with the clay base, and a metal bottom to go with the clay lid?!

So now the jars are all in Sarah’s capable hands… sitting in her studio waiting to fulfill their collaboration destiny!!!

 

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Categories: flowers, garden, nature

Some beautiful irises have been blooming in my front yard garden. Sadly, they’re all nearing the end of their blooming cycle. I think I might need to find some “late bloomers” to extend the iris season next year?! Any suggestions???

And my favorite little Siberian irises that are blooming well for the first time after re-locating them to a new place in the garden last Fall.

And yes, some of these flowers are HUGE!!!… almost as large as my hand!!!

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