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

As 2008 comes to an end – and people are making plans for 2009…
there are resolutions to be made, resolutions to be broken…
plans to change yourself, plans to improve yourself…
how about making plans to just have some fun & get dirty?!

The new Winter Session of classes starts next week at Lillstreet Art Center.
Mark your calendar – my class starts next Tuesday, January 6th, 2009.
I will once again be teaching my class on Tuesday nights from 7:00-10:00pm.
My class is Beginning & Advanced Beginning Wheelthrowing.
It’s a 10-week class that meets every Tuesday night for three hours. You’ll learn
the basics of wheelthrowing and every step along the way to your finished pots!
So if you’ve never thrown on a potter’s wheel… or are looking to refine your basic skills…
or haven’t touched clay since High School… this is the class for you!

In addition to the Tuesday class session, you also get open studio time at Lillstreet
seven days a week – what a great chance to play inside & practice slinging mud!
So if you’ve ever wanted to play in the mud and make some pots…
or have been forever-enamored by that darn scene in “Ghost”…
it’s still not to late to sign up for classes at Lillstreet Art Center.

Registration is easy – just register online at
But hurry… my class typically fills up quickly. Don’t be left out with clean hands!!!

Categories: studio

Well, Christmas is over… and we’re closing in on the end of 2008.
I spent time in the studio today packing away the Christmas decorations,
rearranging the pots, cleaning up the mess, and getting ready to start
the New Year. I’ve even set up over a 150-pounds of reclaim clay
which should be good to go early next week.

The studio may be “de-decorated”… but the specials are still there!!!
I have a whole cart of reduced pieces – “My Tired of Shlepping Sale.”
Still ongoing – as more pieces are added to the mix weekly.
With most pieces marked down over 50% just to blow them out!!!

I’m looking forward to the New Year…
time to make new work with new ideas & new motivations!!!

Categories: bike, photography

After a summer full of sunrise bike rides and subsequent sunrise photos…
I kept being asked what I was going to do with all of the photos?!
Truthfully, I had no plan. I just love my early morning bike rides and the
photo was just a great way to capture the breathtaking beauty I so love.
Oh… what to do? what to do?…

So this Christmas, after talking with my friends Amy & Emily, I decided to turn my
collection of sunrise photos into a book. And what a great chance to share my book
with family & friends as my Christmas gift of the season!

So I took my summer sunrise photos and created a leather-bound, photo book
thanks to It was a fairly simple process uploading my photos
and designing my book. They offer a lot of different page layout templates, colors,
page backgrounds and cover materials. You can upload a maximum of 1,000 pictures
and use a maximum of a hundred pages in each book. I decided to go with a clean,
simple design to emphasize the natural beauty… with no text to get in the way!
Simple black leather cover and clean white pages… filled with colorful sunrises.
Oh, and of course, my bike is each of the photos too!!!

I would highly recommend The process was pretty painless and their
turn-around time was quite impressive. I will definitely be using them again
in the near future. But keep it quiet… my Aunt won’t be getting her copy of the book
until a week after Christmas!
So if you see her… don’t spill the beans!

Categories: nature

The temperatures have dropped… the wind is blowing…
winter is officially here… and all of Chicago feels like a frozen tundra!

It’s beautiful outside… but warm & toasty inside.
It’s so cold that my kitchen window (above & below) is frozen over
with beautiful crystalized ice formations. Glittery & sparkly when the sun hits it!

Categories: pottery, special events

Once again, the “Empty Bowls” project at Lillstreet Art Center was a great success.
Thanks to the efforts of Joanna Kramer who organized the event, an astounding $10,865
was raised in just one night. I would like to think that my donation of a dozen bowls
helped make a difference.

“Empty Bowls” is a nationwide philanthropic effort by potters around the country
to raise money for the homeless & hungry in the country. By donating handmade
ceramic bowls, the potters are helping raise awareness and money for the cause.
At the event, people can purchase these “empty bowls” for $20 and then get it filled
with soup & bread donated by First Slice Cafe. They then get to keep the bowl
as a symbolic reminder of their generous support of the cause.

Thank you to all the potters & bowl shoppers who make this event a success nationwide!

Categories: pottery, special events

Quickly becoming an annual event, tomorrow I will be hosting
another Home Show – just in time for your last minute holiday shopping!
After the success of the first Home Show which kicks off the season,
now it’s time for another show to help close off the shopping season.

As an added draw, I have invited my friend Molly Bitters to join me for the day.
She’s a wonderful metalsmith who incorporates her metal work with hand-dyed
& embossed leather.

“Mud & Metal” : A Collaborative Holiday Home Show
Saturday, December 13th, 2008 – 10:00am-6:00pm

Please contact me for address, directions & more details…