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

With a chill in the air, it was nice to not have the wind this morning.
Just a clear sky and quiet ripples on the lake. Beautiful… yet still chilly.

Categories: holiday, nature

Make a difference. Plant something green today…. like a TREE!!!

Categories: art fair, artists

We’re just one month away from the “official” kick-off of my Summer Art Fair schedule.
Mark your calendars now.

I still have a lot to make, glaze, fire and prep for these hectic times.
But I’m really looking forward to getting back out there to see everyone again, show off some new pottery… and to make a few new customers & friends along the way!

Schaumburg Prairie Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center
201 Schaumburg Court in Schaumburg, Illinois

Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, June 13th, 2015 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, June 14th, 2015 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Burlington Park on Chicago Avenue between Washington & Garfield Streets
in Hinsdale, Illinois

Evanston Lakeshore Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, August 1st, 2015 – 11:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 – 11:00am-6:00pm
Along Lake Michigan’s shores at Dawes Park on Sheridan Road at Clark Street
in Evanston, Illinois

Art In The Garden : A Grassroots Art Fair
Saturday, September 12, 2015 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 – 10:00am-5:00pm
1205 Hutchings Avenue, Glenview, IL 60025
One block west of Waukegan Road, between Lake Street and Glenview Road.
It’s a special weekend to play with some of My Talented Friends!!!
We’re at the home of metalsmith Amy Taylor, with our other artist friends…
including paper clay artist Cory McCrory, glass bead jeweler Donna Sauers,
and stained glass by Alison Fox.

Okay, at this point it’s pretty much Fall… but here’s a few more shows…

Art In The Barn
Saturday, September 26th, 2014 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, September 27th, 2014 – 10:00am-5:00pm
Located on the grounds (and in the barns) of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
on Route 22 in Barrington, Illinois – Lower Barn E4 & E6

Then a couple to get you through the holidays with some wonderful handmade gifts!

“My Home For The Holidays” Home Show
Saturday, November 21st, 2015 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Contact me for invitations & complete address information…

My Second Holiday Home Show
Another Home Show opportunity for those who need some last-minute gifts!
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Contact me via e-mail for invitations & complete address information…

Categories: Chicago, theater

Tonight we went to see “The Book of Mormon” downtown.
The 2011 Tony Award winning Best Musical is back in town for a limited time.
And since I somehow missed it the first time it came through Chicago, there was no way I would miss it this time around!

It was a great show. So funny. So witty. So offensive to many?!
When a show is written by the same guys who write “South Park”… you kinda know what you’re in for. It’s so funny… and always an “equal opportunity offender.” No topic, group or stereotype is off limits. And with the main focus on the Mormon religion, there’s a LOT of ground to cover!!!

Click here for a YouTube video of the show’s opening number (and my favorite)
as performed at the 2012 Tony Awards.

And if you want more…
Here’s another video - “I Believe” performed by Andrew Rannells at the 2011 Tonys.
“I believe… that plan involves me getting my own planet.”

Categories: holiday, nature

Make a difference. Take care of something green today. Like the Earth.

Reuse instead of buying new every time.
Repurpose turns old junk into new, functional objects.
Repair instead of replacing.
Return Only buy from companies with take-back programs.
Refill instead of buying disposable bottles and paper cups.
Refuse to buy overpackaged, disposable, single-use junk.

Categories: process

Trimming done.
Handles… not so much.
And it’s already time to go teach class! Giddy-up!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Not overly cloudy this morning. Not much sunrise drama.
Guess it was maybe those GUSTY WINDS that took care of them?!

As I was pedaling home, you could see the next wave of clouds blowing in. Too late to make it for sunrise fun!!! So instead of a beautiful sky show, I had crazy winds swirling all around & fun little “wind-waves” fluttering about on the lake.

Luckily, the less-than-stellar sunrise was “saved” by a really cool weeping willow silhouette!

Categories: pottery, production, stamped

Tonight I stamped a few flower pots. Gotta make the water dishes tomorrow.
Sure, you could get one of those plain, old terra cotta pots from Home Depot… but why?!

Your plants would love SO MUCH BETTER in a little bit fancier flower pot.
I can guarantee it.

Flower Pot #1 -

Flower Pot #2 -

Flower Pot #3 -

Flower Pot #4 -

Flower Pot #5 -

Flower Pot #6 -

Flower Pot #7 -

Flower Pot #8 -

Flower Pot #9 -

Categories: mugs, production, stamped, stamps

Another night. Another batch.
Stamped and waiting to be trimmed & “handled.”

And some of the stamps that did the “magic”…

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

My Talented Friend Barb Duro was one of my “connections” to the cute little town of Sandwich, Illinois. Besides my other Talented Friends whimsical paper-clay artist Cory McCrory, and the now-moved-to-Missouri potter Steven Hill. Barb used to run a wonderful store on Main Street called “Moon & Star.” It is there that I first learned about the beauty of beads and so many other things. I’ve now known Barb for several years, always a dear friend & caring soul. She has since moved to Arizona and has just launched her jewelry website. It’s full of beautiful, handcrafted beaded necklaces, earrings & bracelets. Each with their own personality & story.

Click here to go to her new website!
Even the names of her product lines are wonderful & thoughtful…
Spiritus In Materia : Soulful offerings for an inspired life.

Conscious Treasures :
Unique creations re-purposed & re-imagined from past items & artifacts.

Invitation to Intention : Personal prayer and meditation tools.

Here are some more of her handcrafted beauties.
Each made with a wonderful collection of materials, colors and textures.
Each one-of-a-kind… handmade with loving attention & top-quality materials.

One of her more touching product lines…
Essentia : Memorable, personal art respectfully holding loved one’s cremains.
Fused glass pendants that are lovingly handcrafted to honor & remember.

Click here to go to Barb’s new jewelry website.
Click here to go to Barb’s ETSY shop.

One quick story first…
which will tell you a LOT about Barb and her personality.

During one of my holiday visits to “Moon & Stone” as a featured guest artist, Barb had made me a Christmas Gift. A couple necklaces that hosted a small, hollow African glass bead that she inserted a piece of muslin into. The idea is you add some scented essential oil to the muslin before you wear it. And then the heat of your body warms it up and releases the scent. Great idea, right? Well, anyway, she told me I should choose my favorite scent from her huge assortment of oils she was selling in the store. So throughout the course of the day, I continued to sniff scents and narrow down my choices in between customers during her Holiday Open House. There were a lot of bottles to smell. And it get’s to be a little nasal overload after awhile. So I did it in small groups. Eventually narrowing it down to 10… then five… then three… and finally the one!!! Keep in mind that Barb was busy running her store & chatting with customers… unaware of my sniffing & choosing. But when I had that final one chosen, as I turned around to approach the counter, she told me what scent I had chosen. What?! Yes, without even seeing the bottle, smelling the scent, or in any other way cheating, Barb told me that I had chosen Bergamot. And she was right!!! Little freaky. Especially since I had never even heard of Bergamot?!!! She said she had guessed that I would choose that one even before I got there. And then she pulled out a “personality traits by scents” book and had me read the description of Bergamot… and it was ME!!! The personality description seemed to fit me perfectly. Even parts of me that I keep inside and don’t share much. Fears, dreams, desires. All there. On paper. In the book. Who knew that my scent would be Bergamot?… well, Barb Duro apparently!!!

And it’s with that kind of love, caring & compassion that she lives her life.
And each piece of jewelry she makes has a piece of her in it.