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

Tonight we spent the night singing our ABBA favorites from The Eighties.
Yes, those of us old enough to remember know all of the words to all of the ABBA songs. Sure, the original members of ABBA are no longer together, but luckily we have a great cover band “Arrival From Sweden” to fill the void. We had a great night, albeit unusually chilly, at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. A fun night with Pam & Susan snacking, chatting, singing & dancing under the stars. Oh… Mamma Mia… here we go again…

Part of the fun of Ravinia is the “fun in the park” & picnic time prior to the show. And what better way to makeour time a little “brighter” with some special blinking LED bling I brought with for the girls! Pam & Susan never looked so sparkly!!!

Categories: sunrise

Beautiful reflections across the rippled water.

Categories: summer camp

Today my Summer Camps kicked it in gear and finished their sculptures. We worked on painting final details and adding metallic accents. A Hershey’s Kiss just isn’t a Kiss without an aluminum foil wrapper, right?!

And here they are… our finished sculptures ready for their Gallery showing!!! I wish…

Baseball Hat & Baseball Batby Samara

Frozen Yogurt Cupby Cecilia

Rainbow Coca-Cola Canby Stella

Hershey’s Kissby Greta

Converse Hightop Shoe & Basketballby Hannah

Bowl of Cheeriosby Dierdre

Starburst Fruit Chewsby Isabel

No. 2 Pencilby Nicole

Hershey’s Chocolate Barby Rebecca

Starbuck’s Iced Coffeeby Isabella

Traditional Parking Meterby Isaac

Dr. Who Dalekby Sophieor at least that’s what she “told me” it was?!!!

Sophie also made this Dr. Who Tardis at least I recognized THIS one.

Hershey’s Kissby Natalie... and I especially LOVE the mis-spelling!

Movie Popcornby Audrey

Green Gummi Bearby Ainslie

Converse Hightopby Emma

And there it is… the end of our “Pop Art Sculptures” Summer Camp…
as well as the end of my “Tour of Duty” as this was my last Camp for the Summer!

Categories: photography, sunrise
Categories: bike, sunrise

Beautifully dramatic colors this morning. Rich, saturated hues. Layers of color.


Categories: friends, special events

Tonight was the annual “Elvis Is Alive” 5K Race down in Lincoln Park. It was my first time doing it. I love Elvis… and I need to get some more miles in… so why not combine them for a night of fun?! The park  in front of The Nature Museum was set up for the race, and started to fill in with a lot of people dressed for the occasion – adults & kids alike!!!

A little less conversation… and a little pre-race music by Elvis himself!!!

It’s a quick 5K race… so it’s more about fun, and less about endurance. Can’t wait to see those hairdos running down the path!!!

The starting “wave” of the race is the All-Elvis Wave!!! Instead of the professional “Elite” runners starting it off… it’s all about ELVIS!!!

My friend Tracy was in full stride AND full costume… including her very own version of her “Blue Suede Shoes.”

At the Finish Line, it was still fun to seem more & more Elvises… or would that be Elvii?!

Another Finish Line delicacy… Elvis’ favorite Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches!!!

After the race, I had some time to hangout with my “favorite” Elvis… and me with my gold sunglasses and Elvis sideburns!!!

Another Elvis sighting… and a fun Concert Encore with Elvis in the park.
A fun race… with a fun theme… with fun friends… and fun music!!!

Categories: Chicago

Headed toward Diversey Harbor for an evening run… crossing at Fullerton with one of the most beautiful views of Downtown Chicago. Looks like a great night for a fun run!!!

Categories: glaze, kiln firing, textures, tiles

After camp I unloaded my kiln full of tiles for my collaboration project with Cory McCrory… yes, 724 tiles to be exact!!!

I was very pleased when I opened the lid of the kiln. Subtle variations & shades of my new cone 6 green glaze. I really like how the glaze pools well, and breaks even better on the textures & patterns. So here’s a pretty BIG teaser reveal… and a LOT of green tiles!!!

Categories: summer camp

Today my Summer Camp kids started painting their “Pop Art Sculptures”… in addition to memorizing their 23 Pop Artists.  The white plaster will be covered with acrylic paints as the campers bring their sculptures to life with acrylic colors.

Okay, so some of the kids had more fun painting their hands than their sculptures!!!

Categories: kiln firing

My started out pretty normal… plus a few waves! I went for my bike ride. Took some pictures. Showered. Changed. Breakfast and off to Summer Camp. We were on the third floor for “Pop Art Sculptures.” The kids were starting to show up and we could smell something burning. I assumed it was something coming from the First Slice Cafe kitchen on the second floor. But after a couple minutes, it continued and it didn’t smell like burnt pie. So I excused myself from Camp and went exploring.

What I found was a board of test tiles sitting on a firing kiln in the second floor kiln room. And yes… it was smoking. Not just smoking hot, but actually SMOKING!!!

So here’s a newsflash… A FIRING KILN GETS HOT.
Whoever left this board here apparently wasn’t too smart???

I grabbed some gloves, pulled the boards off, and put them up on top of a rolling cart. And you could see where the underside was all singed & smouldering. So the boards was ruined, and the top of the kiln was a bit scorched too!

I ran downstairs to tell Karen what was happening. She came upstairs with me and we dumped the tiles & smoldering boards into the sink to get them to stop smoking.

So now there are some soaked test tiles, and a note from Karen…
and trust me, you NEVER want to get a note like THAT from Karen!!!

And more importantly, I HEROICALLY SAVED THE DAY!!! …or at least that’s MY story!