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

Clear skies with a cool breeze all the way down for a beautiful sunrise
on Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Looks like Navy Pier is gearing up for a busy Pride Weekend.

While the statue of Bob Newhart looks on… according to the Navy Pier website…
Designed for visitor participation, lie on the couch and pour out your troubles to bronze Bob Hartley, the 1970s psychologist from The Bob Newhart Show. Created by Studio EIS in New York, the life-sized statue was commissioned by nostalgia cable channel TV Land and unveiled to the City of Chicago on July 27, 2004 by the company’s president Larry W. Jones. In November 2004, the statue was moved to Navy Pier.

Categories: glaze, summer camp

It was the last day of Wheelthrowing Camp…
and what better way to finish their terra cotta pots than with some decorative splattering?!!! The kids LOVED IT!!!


Categories: clay, process

My students often ask about spiral wedging. And I quickly admit that I have no technique, no flair, no special way of wedging. I’m more of a straight-forward, push it-muscle it-get it done-kinda guy. But for those of you interested in spiral wedging… this might be a better teacher than me!!! Beautiful to watch the rhythmic wedging… but I think I’ll be sticking to what works for me!

Click here for the video from The Ceramic School.




Categories: bike, weather

ABORT!!! ABORT!!! I just got up for the morning bike ride, got geared up and headed out. Sure, my weather app said 70% chance of rain… but being the eternal optimist, I thought I could squeeze in my ride before it went up to 90% at 6:00am. Wrong. So I pedaled two or three miles. Sprinkles. Another one or two and bit more rain. So I made the wise decision to head home. The winds shifted & picked up. The temperature dropped quickly. More rain… and just as I was walking up my back stairs… DOWNPOUR!!! Guess sometimes those weather apps are correct??? Huh.

Categories: stamped, teapot

After a couple weeks since the class demo, and a lot of spritzing & spraying under plastic, I finally got around to finishing off three more teapots! Ready to start drying… and headed towards a soda kiln down the road!

Categories: classes, food

This week we kicked-off the summer session of classes at Lillstreet with some more new OREO’s!!! I’m still a bit unsure of the “Thins”… you just need to eat twice as many, right?!!!

As for the coconut… tastier than I expected.
Although someone said it tasted like suntan lotion..
let’s just say that still didn’t stop us from finishing them!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

While it was another beautiful cloud-free morning,
it was a completely different story a bit more inland…

… with layers of misty fog hanging low on the golf course & grassy areas
streaking beams of sunlight through the leaves & mist.


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.






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!!!