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

Still weaving… still focused… still surprisingly excited about weaving?! Who’da thunk?
And now that they have their hanging looms dressed – the actual weaving has begun!
Tomorrow we’ll continue weaving, focusing on colors & patterns… back & forth, back & forth…

Categories: bike, sunrise

With a layer of cloudes on the horizon, the “first” sunrise was so fast & bright red.
Sadly, it was there and gone before I could snap a photo!

Luckily, when the sun finally broke out “over” the cloud mass, the sky lit up
with a golden glow… and a beautiful “second” sunrise!

Categories: classes, lillstreet

Registration is currently open.. and spots are filling quickly – only 7 spaces left!!!
I will be once again teaching my Beginner & Advance Beginner Wheelthrowing class
on Tuesday nights from 7:00-10:00pm. The summer session will be eight weeks long
beginning on Tuesday, July 13th. It’s the perfect class for anyone who has always wanted
to try wheelthrowing for the first time, return to the wheel… or refine their current skills
and push themselves a bit further. And if you want to see my hyped up on sugar and
“post-day-at-summer-camp-kid’s-adrenaline”… this is the session for you!
Kids camp all day. Adult class at night… guaranteed fun for everyone!

Sign-up today. Call Lillstreet Art Center or register online at

Categories: summer camp

As the morning kids finished their clay projects, it was time to start their next project.
This time… we switched to weaving! Which requires a LOT of focus & determination as
they each need to create their own loom before they can start to weave. We spent much
of the morning cutting strings and attaching them to their dowel rods. Tomorrow we’ll
continue by hanging them from the ceiling, attaching a bottom rod and adding a brick
at the bottom to help add some tension to the strings. Once their loom is strung,
the fun of weaving can begin… until then… focus, focus, focus!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

Like ships that pass in the night… or at least sit in the harbor every morning…
it was another beautiful sunrise along the lakefront this morning.

Categories: summer camp

After a hectic week last week with the younger kids… energy, enthusiasm, excitement…
it’s nice to be back to the relative calmness with my slightly older kids. It’s amazing what
a difference just a year or two can do?… plus the fact that I only have five kids in my
morning camp! With a smaller group, we can focus on slightly tougher projects and
push ’em a bit further! But… in the afternoon camp, I still have the 8-10 year olds –
but almost three times as many kids!!!

So this week, my kids focused on making slab plates, vases & mugs decorated with leaf
impressions & outlines in underglaze. After creating their projects, we needed to glaze them
with a crazy green glaze we use for kids projects that will turn clear in the kiln. Vibrant, huh?

After the clay projects were glazed, the kids were ready to move on to their next project.
Clay projects on Monday, other Multimedia craft projects the rest of the week.

Categories: bike, sunrise

After another morning of crazy thunderstorms yesterday,
it was nice to have a quiet ride along the lakefront this morning.
Calm… Relaxing… Serene…   perfect before I start another hectic week at Summer Camp!

Categories: Mom & Dad

1. Demo piece for my summer campers… slab-built, terra cotta flower boxes.
2. Birthday present for my Mom… the big day is today!!!
3. Plants for my parent’s deck table… as they don’t water plants too well?!

Seriously, I think I may have scored the best birthday gift ever for my Mom.
She keeps getting plants from my sister-in-law that promptly dry – frying in the sun.
Let’s just say my Mom is not known for her green thumb. She wants to have the plants,
but doesn’t always remember to water them. So… I’ve decided to go for the succulent
planting – hoping to resolve the issue. No need to water, huh?! Hope she likes it…

Shhh… but keep it to yourself…
Her birthday may be today… but she won’t be getting her present until Sunday
evening when we all get together for dinner.. and hopefully, a LOT of cake!!!

Categories: bike, friends, sunrise

A beautiful sunrise over Northerly Island.
A little known, and rarely visited, natural prairie park in downtown Chicago
hidden nicely next to the Adler Plantarium along the lakefront.

And thinking of my friend (and fellow summer camp counselor) Karen Mansfield
who loves Northerly Island and all of the the birds who live & migrate there.

And oh, but wait there’s more…
Karen has also just started the “adventure of a lifetime.”
She’s starting up in Maine… and hiking the entire Appalachian Trail by herself!
She’s estimating it to be a 5-month journey to make the entire trek from Maine to Georgia.
So we’re wishing her luck for great travels, great weather and great memories!
all said with more than a touch of envy & jealousy…

Categories: bike, sunrise

Enough of the crazy storms!
The past couple days have been a random mix of sun and CRAZY storms!
storm… sun… storm… sun… beautiful… humidity… storm… lightning… wind… ugly!
Last night it rained so hard & fast that the parking lot at the health club was flooded
with about 5″ of water. I had to take my shoes off just to get to my car!

And then this morning it’s yet another “red sky morning.”
Luckily, the forecast doesn’t show any storms today?! we’ll see…
the old adage has in fact held true for the past couple days!