Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: blogs, friends, My Talented Friends, photography, pottery

So she’s starting a new chapter… leaving Chicago… leaving Lillstreet…
and beginning the next phase of her “dream plan” up in Minneapolis!
And she will be greatly missed… as a friend, as a potter, as my studio neighbor!



Today was Emily’s official moving date – from Chicago to Minneapolis.
She’s moving up north – along with her boyfriend Ian, sister Nora and her two
little boys. They’ve purchased an old duplex, done some extensive renovations
and are now ready to move in. Unfortunately, her new studio & kiln have not been
built yet… so we’re not quite sure when she’ll be up & running.


Over the past few years, Emily has been “just around the corner” of my studio…
for clay advice, design opinions, business methods, and more. She has been a full-time
potter for several years – and always supportive of my choice to go the same route!
She also taught the soda firing classes at Lillstreet, as well as coordinating the program.
So she was quite influential in my soda-firing adventures. Our emphasis on functional pots
is much the same – but our styles have always been quite different. Emily prefers natural
soda flashings, colored slips layered to create crackling & textures and sprayed glazes.
She has a more painterly style, emphasizing brush strokes & geometric designs.


Emily was also the one who championed the whole “you need a website”
project – and forced, err, “encouraged” me to start this blog. Her own blog has become
quite popular in the pottery circles… and she knew that starting a blog would be right
up my alley. Sharing photos, sharing stories, all about me, me, me!!!

So thanks for checking out MY blog… and thanks to Emily for getting me started…
and now you can check out her blog to see where it all began!!! And see where her
new adventure takes her as she re-establishes herself in the Twin Cities!

Categories: classes, lillstreet, summer camp

As we move forward into the summer… and get “deeper” into Summer Camp,
we start having some “specialty” camps for the kids to keep it fresh & fun.
This week was one of my favorites… Chess Camp!!!


During this camp, the kids each make a complete chess set out of terra cotta and
paint a board to go along with it. No simple sets here… the kids also need to come up
with a theme and decide who is “battling” who! I love to see the natural creativity
of the kids shining everyday through the process. Some of the themes were brilliant!!!
I think my favorite was Luke’s set which portrayed “The Seventies versus The Eighties.”
Complete with Rubik’s Cubes, Ms. Pac-Man, Rocky Horror Picture Show’s logo lips,
Purple Rain, Lava Lamps, Richard Nixon, Pinball Wizards, and much more.
And how strange & sadly untimely that his set also represents Michael Jackson
with his glittered glove… just one day after his death!

Other themes included…
* Freshwater versus Saltwater
* Dogs versus Cats
* Greek Warriors versus Egyptian Warriors
* Foods versus Drinks
* Antarctica versus The Arctic
* Monsters versus Aliens
* Fruits versus Vegetables



So by the end of the day today, everyone had completed their chess sets & boards.
They are now drying and will soon be glazed & fired. That is all except Noah…
who was working so diligently knowing that he would never finish his aquatic set.
He was working with such care & detail, making his pieces the best that he could –
and hoping to come back for the next session of Chess Camp that starts on July 20th.
We all hope he comes back… I want to see his finished “masterpiece.”


Categories: special events

They say bad things happen in threes… and this was a bad week!
Each of them made such an impact on the world – and leave behind great legacies.
Ed McMahon… Farrah Fawcett… Michael Jackson… Gone, but not forgotten!


Categories: bike, photography, sunrise

What a difference ten minutes can make!

Another beautiful morning bike ride along Chicago’s lakefront today.
It is seriously the best way to start your day… especially when you get
to watch “this” unfold all around you!!!


And then ten minutes later…


And another ten minutes…


Categories: tiles

So I’m spending this evening cleaning out old e-mails…
and I ran across this picture which I received quite awhile ago!

But it’s still nice to see that one of my tiled wall pieces has found a home!
My friend Sarah Chapman bought it for her mom as her Mother’s Day gift.
Her mom had seen it the day before during a visit to my studio. Then Sarah
“picked up the hints” and bought it for her mom. Who immediately hung it
up in her kitchen as she “had the perfect spot for it.” And it looks great!


Categories: artists, friends, lillstreet, My Talented Friends

With jewelry that is pretty, bright & shiny – and a personality to match…
Rebecca Zemans is an “up & coming” metalsmith to watch out for!
She first hit my radar last year as the Resident Artist at Lillstreet Art Center.
She then made her “debut” as one of the Emerging Artists at the annual
“One Of A Kind Show” in Chicago. She makes beautiful work…
and will always bring a smile to your face!


Rebecca and I were neighbors this weekend at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Fair.
It was her first “outdoor” art fair… and she successfully survived! Including
a not-so-wonderful Saturday due to the rain! While the weather was a little
dismal – Rebecca’s attitude still shined through! As did her work…


Rebecca works her magic with metals & stones in her studio at Lillstreet Art Center.
She also teaches classes – as well as kid’s summer camp! So check her out…


Categories: art fair

It’s the second “online-only-web-offer” of this summer’s art fair season!
Remember, this coupon is only redeemable at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival.
Another chance to add a piece of pottery to your collection for a little less cash!
A chance for my loyal Blog readers to “really clean up”!

Layout 1

Just copy the image to your desktop – then print it out!
Fill in the information and save some cash at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival
this weekend! It’s just that simple.

Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, June 13th & Sunday, June 14th

Categories: lillstreet, summer camp

So it’s official… Summer Camp has officially started at Lillstreet!
Which then also means that summer has officially begun!
Although you couldn’t tell it by the weather we’re having these days?!



Summer Art Camp has officially begun at Lillstreet Art Center and I’m so excited!
This is the first week – and I’m teaching kid’s Wheelthrowing in the morning…
it’s good to be back at camp! It’s going to be a fun summer!


In the afternoon, I switch gears, switch classes and switch some kids!
The afternoon class is Clay & Multimedia… which really means we get to do a clay
project on Monday, and then whatever we want to do the rest of the week!
I’m sure there will be a few days of tie-dye later this summer!


Categories: inspiration, nature, photography, sunrise

This morning’s sunrise wasn’t too shabby either on our side of the lake…
I just wonder what was going on over in Michigan?!


Categories: bike, photography, sunrise

Nothing to say… it was simply spectacular!