Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: summer camp, terra cotta

Today was the last day of Chess Camp. With the deadline looming, the kids did a wonderful job staying on task all week. They created all of their Chess pieces, painted them with underglazes & painted a chess board with acrylic paint. It was a great week for me with great Summer Campers!!! I just wish I knew more about the video games their chess sets were based on… whew, I must be old?!!!

It’s always so fun to watch the kids paint their pieces. To see them really come to life. And more “apparent” as to what character they are in their themes. Of course I’m still struggling with some of these video game characters!!!

By the end of the day we had quite a few pieces all lined up. Worksheets checked off. Pieces labeled with initials. A few “spares” made. And ready to go!!!

Rows & rows of little “soldiers” ready to go into battle…

And now all of the pieces are “safely” set aside on a rolling kiln cart… waiting for a sprayed coating of clear glaze and a trip through the kiln!

Categories: summer camp

Yesterday my Summer Campers “finished” building all of their Chess pieces. Today they’re going to paint them all with underglazes to bring them to life with colors & details. At this stage, they’re incredibly fragile… so I hope we don’t need to re-make too many if they “paint too hard” today?!!!

Categories: artists, My Talented Friends

A wonderful “teaser two-fer” from Cory McCrory today!!!

Categories: family, Mom & Dad

Here are some quick details about the specialized pottery aprons:
* Durable & washable heavy broadcloth fabric
* Lower section splits into two panels to cover each leg as you sit at the wheel
* Patch pockets on the back of each hip
* Straps actually go over the shoulders to avoid neck strain & fatigue
* Three buttons for height adjustments
* Three buttons for width adjustments
* One size fits all….for the most part

Listed below is the current pottery apron inventory.
If you are interested in purchasing an apron please send me a quick e-mail
to “secure” your choice…

They are $50 each which includes shipping & handling in the contiguous United States.
They are first come, first serve! Don’t miss out.

Navy blue with a small pattern of green, red & light blue across the apron.

A mind bending pattern of black and white.
SOLD to Cyndi in Grand Haven, Michigan.

A retro-vibe with a musical flair.

Green background with geometric pattern and multicolor striped accents.

Striped navy and green with contrasting bib and pockets.

Waves of rust and gold with a touch of brown.

Green, yellow and light blue fireworks on a deep blue background.

The name says it all!

Again, just let me know if you would like to purchase an apron.
Send me a quick e-mail to “claim” your apron…
First come, first served!!! Grab’em while you can!!!

My Mom would be thrilled to  sell some more of these custom pottery aprons…
which then means she can make some more!

Categories: artists, blogs

You know how I love to hear from my blog followers…
especially when they have such great stories to share!

Another satisfied apron customer, fellow potter and friendly blog follower…
“I have scoured the Internet for aprons that are wide enough to really wrap around and long enough to cover knees when sitting at the wheel. Finally found a special chef’s apron but it still doesn’t quite meet my needs.”

Then she purchased one of my Mom’s aprons, and seemed to like it…
“Great apron. I particularly like the ingenious overlapping slot on the front. I’ve also figured out a way to “crawl” into it so I only button once. I’m afraid to wash it, don’t want it to shrink. It’s my Mother’s Day present. Very special.”
By the way Verna, you can totally wash it…
the fabric was pre-washed & pre-shrunk before sewing!

And then she continued with her kind words…
“Please know again how much your musings, photos, updates about all topics are appreciated, learning the Cup Game too!  I am a retired kindergarten teacher and university adjunct professor. Dealing with chemo every couple of weeks for lung cancer. Making pots joyfully on recovery weeks.  Selling in shows and galleries. Formerly owned a gallery/studio in Idaho and decided to return to teaching, a 20 year educational hiatus from pottery.  So after that time away from clay, I’m so grateful to be back in the mud. My fly fisher, ice fisherman, upland bird hunter husband is loving the new creations. Your adventures and skills are valued. Pretty tricky using the trim tool handle for the depression on the platter edges. Love it!  How do you find the time to record, write, pot???????”  -  Verna, Great Falls, Montana


Categories: bike, sunrise

This morning was still cool & windy. Not your “normal” summer day in the middle of July, huh?! The water wasn’t as splashin’ crazy as yesterday… too choppy for a morning swim and yesterday’s “puddles” were still on the beach!!!

Normally these beach access “boardwalk” ramps lead you to a nice sandy strip of beach… NOT right into the water?!!!

Categories: artists, clay, creativity, patterns, YouTube

Last night in class, one of the students brought in some Bulgarian pottery that demonstrated their traditional slip decorating style. We had discussed this traditional Bulgarian technique of slip decorating in class. I saw a YouTube video and decided I would try it for my class. If I’m going to mess up, why not do it in front of my students for a good laugh?! So we discussed it, did the demo and I posted it on my blog and Facebook page. Marina had seen the posts, and since she’s Bulgarian.. who better to bring in some actual pieces from Bulgaria???

Click here to see my original posting about this process
including the original video that inspired my class demo on slip “dripping” decoration!

So here are a few colorful examples of the Bulgarian style of slip decoration. It’s a pretty amazing technique of dripping, banding, squirting and dragging through layers of colorful slips. These examples were gorgeous… and more colorful than I expected?!

Look close. It’s all done with colored slip. Drips. Bands. More drips. And dragging through…

Click here to see the original blog post about the video I saw online that started this whole thing. And special thanks for Marina for bringing in these beautiful samples. So fun to see this Bulgarian pottery story come full circle. Video. Demo. Gorgeous.

Categories: artists, My Talented Friends

More clay fun from my friend Cory McCrory…
she’s definitely doing HER part of the collaboration!!!
Guess I need to get may act together too?!… and soon!!!

Categories: summer camp

Passed out. Knocked out. Cranial fracture.
When bad things happen to good Chess pieces.

Categories: summer camp

Chess Camp is moving along quite nicely. The kids have been creating pawns, knights, bishops & more. All in their own crazy themes – mostly from video games I know nothing about!!! Nintenedo… Legend of Zelda… you get the drift…

Luckily, I do know a “little” about the Peashooters from “Plants vs. Zombies.”
But a quick Google Image search never hurt anyone…