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

Generally my morning ride keeps me on the North side of the city.
But today, I got to go further south… all the way down to Northerly Island.
Which I realized ironically that Northerly Island is South of the city?!!!
Even if the name doesn’t make sense… at least the view was incredible!

Categories: Chicago, sunrise

Heading south, I made it through the city and stopped off at Monroe Harbor
as the sun was just cresting the horizon. It was stunning. So quiet. So beautiful.
So glad I got up a little earlier and go to pedal further down the lakefront.

Categories: bike, sunrise

So I realized today that if I get up just a bit earlier… I can ride a little bit further!
So I did today… and packed a LOT of fun into my morning.
And got to see a beautiful crescent moon sunrise combo for a change!

Categories: lillstreet, masks, summer camp

Back to camp, and a room full of fun, creativity, craziness & energy.
This week I have fourteen campers focusing all week on “all things animals.”
Today we got to know each other and then set out to make clay animal masks.
This being our only “clay” day, they all had to finish our terra cotta masks, paint
them with underglaze and set them to drying overnight. Tomorrow we’ll put on a
layer of clear glaze… and then head out for a fun-filled day at Lincoln Park Zoo!!!

So first I did a little “clay basics bootcamp” discussing some of the basic skills &
techniques they all need to do. And the huge importance of scoring & slipping.
Or “scratch & attach” as I sometimes call it with the kids. Plus slabs, coils, air bubbles,
and all of the other important things to the success of their project. And the fun began!

Once we had the basic creatures assembled… then we added
color underglazes to bring them to life!

Categories: bike, sunrise

After a wonderful weekend ride yesterday out in the western farm fields…
okay, it was a double metric Century = 200 kilometers = 124 miles!!!
But who’s counting, huh?!
I knew I had to get up this morning to ride before work
and loosen up those stiff legs. Unfortunately, when I stepped out on to the back
porch, I found out right away that I had a flat rear tire! Bad start to the morning.
So I fixed it as fast as I could so that I didn’t miss the sunrise. It was a little darker
and windier than I would like… but it was worth it… and my legs feel better now!

Categories: television

Special thanks to TV Land cable station and last weekend’s Season One “marathon”…
because I now have a new favorite TV sitcom. With all of the past season’s episodes
back to back, keeping my TiVO very busy… I’m now all caught up and ready to go
with Season Two of my new favorite… and soon to be yours too…

Okay, so it’s not the classiest… or the smartest… but it is very funny & witty.
And you know how I LOVE WITTY!!! And with these four classic funny ladies
at the helm, how can it not be funny?! It’s got Betty White after all.

Here’s the basic premise… three jaded & superficial girlfriends from Los Angeles
are on an airplane bound for Paris when they need to do an emergency landing in Cleveland.
And instantly find out that they men there find them “hot” as they are. No need for their
superficial ways, they normal guys in Cleveland find them irresistable. So they decide to stay.
One of them leases a house for the three friends in Cleveland that comes with a housekeeper
in the sarcastic form of Betty White!!! And hilarity ensues…

We’ve got Valerie Bertinelli, post Jenny Craig, as the grounded, level-headed one.
Wendie Mallick, as an aging & very self-centered former soap opera actress.
Jane Leeves as an English aesthetician looking for a Green Card.
And the incredible Betty White hurling slurs & witticisms at all of them!

Let’s not forget some of the other guest celebrities either…
Carl Reiner, Tim Conway, John Schneider, Wayne Knight, Joe Jonas, Amy Sedaris,
plus Susan Lucci and the cast of “All My Children”!

So check out your cable programming and find “Hot In Cleveland.”
You’ll be glad you did…

Categories: art fair, inspiration, special events

One of the highlights at the Art Detour this Fall… besides the fantastic artwork,
incredible fall colors & friendly artists who toot their own horns…
there will also be the gourmet s’mores!

Yes, it’s true. While we would all like to think that our artwork is enough of a draw
to get people to stop by… it’s never a bad idea to “sweeten” the deal and offer up
some marshmallow gooey-ness on the side! So yes, there will be a campfire going
all weekend and all the supplies you’ll need to make your own gourmet s’mores!

In preparation for Art Detour… I’ve decided to do some “product testing” and some
“quality control” to make sure we have some good marshmallows. I know, it’s a tough
job but someone has to do it. So I found these wonderfully HUGE marshmallows
that have a lot more gooey goodness inside. And I tasted them… one after another… until…

That was the last one.
Maybe I need to find another bag?… and do another taste test?… and toast them first?

Categories: art fair, artists, special events

Looking for beautiful Fall get-away weekend?!
Hoping for perfect Fall colors, crisp cool weather and beautiful art?
And if that’s not enough… can we tempt you with some gourmet s’mores?!

Art Detour is a three-day event in the Northwoods of Wisconsin!
October 7th, 8th & 9th from 10:00am-5:00pm each day.

Hosted at Pigeon Road Pottery in Lake Tomahawk on… you guessed it, Pigeon Road!

It’s a big weekend up in the Northwoods area with lots of tourist activities,
beautiful scenery and a lot of original artwork! So I am currently making new work
and getting excited about my trip up north. Not only to add another show to my schedule
but also to play with these other great artists! I think you should come play with us too!

Amy Higgason : Pigeon Road Pottery
Amy makes incredible pots with a lot of texture (my favorite) and imagery. She’s
currently making two different pottery lines. One with a lot of carving, sprigging &
textures. The other is more brown & black sgraffito imagery. Amy is the host of
Art Detour – so we will all be setting up our tents on her front yard next to her studio.
And not too far from the campfire & s’mores!
For more of Amy’s work, click on Pigeon Road Pottery.

Sarah Chapman : Sarah C. Chapman Jewelry
Sarah’s work is primarily sterling silver that has been oxidized to give it that wonderful
patina. She has an uncanny ability to mix her metalsmithing with semi-precious stones,
seashells, buttons & other objects. Her designs & textures are incredible, frequently
two-sided… and I already have quite a collection of Sarah’s wonderful pieces!!!
There’s a good chance I’ll need to add another piece of Chapman-wear during Art Detour?!
For more of Sarah’s work, click on Sarah C. Chapman Jewelry.

Kathy Furda : Northern Light Glass
Kathy does her own glass flamework & beadmaking. She then combines the pieces into these
incredible collections of colors & textures. Her aesthetic choices & combinations make these
wonderful “treasures” you can wear everyday! She also makes wonderful stained glass
creations with beautiful imagery, colorful combinations with a few unexpected additions.
For more of Kathy’s work… click on Northern Light Glass.

Wendy Powalisz : Back 40 Arts
Wendy captures the spirit of the Northwoods in her visual artwork. Her watercolor
paintings reflect the imagery, textures and colors of her surroundings. Her color palette
is vibrant and unexpected. Wendy also makes colorful beaded jewelry that will put
a smile on your face every time you wear it!

So there’s five of us displaying our work during the Art Detour Gary Jackson (me),
Amy Higgason, Sarah Chapman, Kathy Furda & Wendy Powalisz.

“Coincidentally”, there will also be a of of “other artists” in the Northwoods area
also showing their work that weekend. “Alledgedly”, there “may” be another art event
going on that weekend?! “Maybe.” There is a very good “chance” you “might” find
some other artist studios to visit while you’re up North for Art Detour. I can’t promise
anything “specifically”… but I’m just saying that we’ll be “just off the beaten map.”

And we’ll have gourmet s’mores.. and THEY won’t!!!

For more information, follow Art Detour on Facebook for regular updates & photos!

Categories: pottery, process, production, stamps

Tonight I worked in the studio on some new ovals with the stamped & fluted rim.
The last time I showed pictures of a similar piece on Facebook, there were a lot
of comments & questions about it. So not only have I been making more ovals,
but I’ve also been trying to take step-by-step pictures along the way. The ovals
are in mid-production… but still waiting for the bottoms to be added tomorrow!
Once I get them all put together, detailed & finished off – I promise to do a great
step-by-step blog post for everyone to see. But if you can’t wait… here’s a teaser!

Categories: artists, music, special events

Or at least a night under the fast moving, dark grey clouds… with one star!
As it was another fun night at Ravinia Music Festival, this time with k.d. lang
who I still maintain has one of the best voices ever!!! There are times where her voice
is so full, so clear, so resonant that it sends chills through your body. Incredible.

So give her a listen…and a watch with some great video clips of my favorite songs!
Constant CravingMiss ChatelaineBarefootIf I Were You Constant Craving
again, really??? yep, it’s a favorite!!! Plus, an oldie but a goodie… Big Boned Gal

And a couple great duets…
What  A Wonderful World – with Tony Bennett and subtitled in Spanish?!
Crying – with Roy Orbison