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

This Friday night, the Lillstreet Studio Artists are hosting a BIG STUDIO SALE!!!
We all have a lot of pots, class demos & miscellaneous projects to clear out. So why not
put them on sale and throw a party?! To kick off the Ravenswood Art Walk Weekend,
the studio artists are holding their first  “White Table Cloth Sale”… and no,
we’re not selling table cloths!!!
Basically, everything displayed in the studios
on a white table cloth is on sale! So simple! Great pots at great prices!

Lillstreet Studio Artists – 4401 North Ravenswood, 2nd & 3rd floors
Friday, October 1st from 4:00pm-8:00pm

Since I will be out of town, and up in the Northwoods, this weekend… I set up my
“white-table clothed-table” tonight with over 35 pieces all marked down at huge savings!
And I focused on BOWLS, BOWLS and more BOWLS!!!

So stop by this weekend to snatch up some great deals on some great pots! And take
some time to do the Ravenswood Art Walk while you’re there. There are quite a few
“hidden gem” studios up & down Ravenswood  – all open to the public for the weekend.
Stop by and meet the artists in their own studios!

Categories: blogs

There we have it… today we passed four hundred comments on my blog!
So I guess someone out there IS actually reading it?! I often question if anyone
out there could even be remotely interested in my ongoing dribble… but I guess
this proves it?! Someone is reading it… and sharing their comments!

So keep up the good work and let me know what you think, share an idea,
ask a question or send me some interesting comments to share with the
“two other people” who might be reading my blog!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

This weekend is the Northwoods Art Tour up in Wisconsin. Just in time for Fall colors too!
And my friend Amy Higgason is participating in the tour again this summer. She’s a great
potter who used to work at Lillstreet Art Center with the rest of us. But then she decided
to “fly the coop” and move up to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Since then, the has made
a nice home for herself, as well as a beautiful studio! And she’ll be showing off her studio
this weekend… Amy Higgason at Pigeon Road Pottery.

It’s going to be three days of fun… and a lot of art to boot! Each day from 10:00am-5:00pm.
Friday, October 1st  -  Saturday, October 2nd  -  Sunday, October 3rd.

Amy will be Studio #14 on the big tour. Also joining Amy will be potter Katlyn Koester
as her guest artist. Both of them make beautiful pots, whimsical decorative pieces and
so much more! Too much talent for just one stop on the Art Tour!!!

I will be traveling up to the Northwoods to help Amy for the weekend – and would love
to see you stop by. Amy makes this incredible work that is quite detailed & intricate.
A lot of textures and patterns. Some of it has sprigs & carving, while others are more
slip & sgraffito illustrations! Incredible work. Come check it out.
For more details…

Categories: bike, sunrise

It was a brisk start to the morning ride.
Fifty-four degrees, double layer of sleeves and full-fingered gloves!
Far cry from the sleeveless jerseys I’ve been wearing all summer and  just last week.
I guess Fall is officially here with a vengeance!

Although it was a beautiful sunrise once the clouds cleared and the sun finally
broke through. Pay no attention to the huge “impending-doom-sort-of-cloud-cover”…
Luckily, it was clearing out and making way for the stunning sunrise!

Categories: art fair, artists

Special thanks to everyone who came out to the Barn this weekend to play in the chilly
weather! Perfect for another successful art fair. It was a beautiful Fall weekend – and
great to see so many friendly faces. Some familiar, some not.

Sales went well despite the cold breeze blowing through, the dark clouds overhead…and
the occasional sunshine breaking through. As always, the crowds seem to come in waves.
Slow at times, but packed at others. My favorite of course is when there are a couple people
literally waiting in line to check out. Such a great feeling. Thank you so much to everyone who
waited patiently for us to wrap things up and write a receipt. I’m sure the fundraisers for
the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Auxiliary appreciate your patronage too… as they
received 20% of every artists’ sales!

Plus, it’s always a great show to see a lot of my fellow “art-fair-friends.” Over the years,
you develop these friendships with other artists who share the same art fair experiences.
Everyone is so supportive, sharing and ready to help. Some of the friends that I got to
“play with” this weekend…

Beautiful hinged, silver jewlery by Amy Taylor –
Whimsical silver & leather jewelry by Molly Bitters –
Organic oil paintings by Cheryl Holz –
Incredible photography by Brad Pogatetz –
Handbuilt ceramic forms by Dorothy Hughes –
Realistic wildlife watercolor paintings my Anne Gilna –

My biggest complaint, once again this year, is having an artist (and I use that term loosley),
in the booth right next door to me who I believe is not making her own artwork. If you ever
see spectacular artwork that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Sure, she had the
whole story down pat. But after hearing it over & over again all weekend, you start to realize
that the story doesn’t add up. Far too much detail work, for far too cheap. Plus, anytime
you see artwork, pressed perfectly flat, in perfect shrinkwrapped celophane wrapping,
coming out of  brown cardboard box, being sold at virtually wholesale prices… you start to
question the validity of the whole artist credibility. Don’t get me wrong… the work is beautiful,
but I doubt that she’s making it by hand. My vote is a computerized, embroidery machine!

Otherwise, another good weekend playing out in the Barn!?
And thanks again to everyone who ventured out to say hello and see a lot of great art!

Categories: art fair

Final score at the end of “Art In The Barn”…

Skulls: 9   -   Monsters: 1  -  Pumpkins: 0

Luckily, that’s all that was left! I think the Monsters were a big hit!!!
I’ll definitely need to make more of those… and maybe add another
character or two to the collection next year! Vampire? Zombie? Suggestions?

Plus, my “Skull Necklaces For The Kids” campaign worked well too.
I went with 63 skull necklaces… and ended up with just three left in the end.
It was so much fun to see the kids buying their own “piece of art” for a dollar!
And then seeing all the kids wearing them all over the art fair. Plus, there were
plenty of “over 10” adults who paid the full $10 for their own skull necklace!

Categories: art fair, holiday, process

This morning I got up early and went back to the studio to unload my kiln.
Okay, it was still a “bit” warmer than I would have liked it to be. Whatever – it was hot!
But I needed to unload it and get them ready for the weekend’s art fair. So I put on the gloves
and started unloading right into boxes to bring them home. Then they were added to the rest
of the boxes, packed into the van and they were headed off to the art fair set-up!!!

And I was quite pleased to see my kiln full of adorably cute monsters staring back at me!

We worked all afternoon, and into the evening, setting up my booth in the Lower Barn.
It’s always a lot of work getting it all put together – so we LOVE the Friday set-up. Although
it always feels odd to set up and leave… with it all there sitting wide open. luckily they have
security guards all night. And it is always SO nice to show up tomorrow morning and be
pretty much ready to go. And I’m hoping that my new little “monsters” are a big hit!!!

Categories: process, studio

I stopped in to the studio to check on my kiln… and it was still above 600 degrees!
I pulled the peeps – and now I’m hoping that the kiln cools quickly overnight.
My plan is to go back early in the morning to unload if possible?! I’d like to get it
emptied and bring all of the new “monsters” home so I can price & pack them
for this weekend’s art fair!

Categories: Chicago, special events

Tonight I went to the Chicago Theater with my friend Nancy for a great concert.
Okay, I will admit that it was an odd evening. And that’s putting it nicely…

The concert was Jackson Browne, with special guest David Lindley. So my friend Nancy
tells me that Jackson Browne is her all-time favorite pop star. And that she’s seen him
in concert over 50 times!!! Now I’m not sure I even know who he is?!

The concert started with an acoustic set with Jackson Browne & David Lindley.
I could tell right away that they are very talented, but I didn’t recognize a single song!!!
After intermission, Jackson Browne returned with his full band behind him. Again…
I could tell that they were all very talented. Again… didn’t recognize a single song!
It was very weird being in a sold-out concert where everyone is “totally into it” –
and me, kinda lost, not knowing anything?!

But then very close to the end, he did play a great rendition of “Running On Empty”…
finally, a song that I knew!!!

Categories: art fair

A quick “testimonial” e-mailI received from a customer… so nice to hear from
my customers, and to see their enjoyment for the objects I’m making!

Dear Gary,

I’m sure there are pieces you create that you love – it came out exactly or better than
you envisioned. It must tug a little to give them up and never see them again. Well,
I thought I’d let you know that I am really enjoying the mug I purchased at the Evanston
Lakeshore Art Fair. It is the perfect size for my morning coffee and the warm colors,
especially the Fall tones, are a welcome site. The texture makes it quite distinctive and
interesting. So, your mug is enjoying its adopted home.

Can’t make the show this weekend but I hope it is a good show for you.

Best Regards,