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

Finally, an air date…
Saturday, June 9th at 8:00pm Central.
More details to come…

Categories: clay, studio

Remember that big pile of gooey clay I was reclaiming in my studio a couple weeks ago?…

Well, tonight I finally pounded it up and put it into clay bags.
Turns out it was two hundred & eleven pounds of “FREE” clay!!!

Sure, it still needs a lot of wedging before it can be used. But I needed to get it off the big
plaster bat before it got too dry. My next step will be to take my “mixed-up reclaim” clay
and layer it with some “new” clay. I’ll take a new bag and interleave it with the reclaim,
cut it, layer it, squish it, pound it… cut it, layer it, squish it, pound it… repeat. Once the
layers are incorporated with each other, I can start the wedging. I’ll do a bit of wedging
and then put them back into the bag. I’ll so the “real wedging” when I get ready throw
with it. Until then, the bags of reclaimed clay will be sitting in the corner of my studio.
Just waiting…

Categories: classes, lillstreet, summer camp

It’s official… Summer Camp starts on Monday at Lillstreet Art Center.
Another fun summer of playing with kids & art supplies… creating… laughing…
and maybe even teaching them a few things along the way!

Summer Camps at Lillstreet are for the full week. Kids have a choice of taking the
morning session from 9:00am-1:00pm, the afternoon session from 1:00pm-3:30pm,
or putting both together for a full day of fun. There is even an “after camp” option for
those kids who need to stay later until Mom or Dad can get off work to pick them up.

These are the weeks when I’ll be teaching camps…
Besides the first week, all of my camp are “full-day” camps from 9:00am-3:30pm.
My camps are also designed for kids who are 8-12 years old.
There are plenty of other camps for kids of all ages.

Week B – June 11-15 – Wheelthrowing AM, Clay & Multimedia PM
Wheelthrowing basics from start to finish. We’ll wedge, center & throw on Monday
and work our way to glazing on Friday! Clay & Multimedia is a clay handbuilding project
on Monday and other random art projects throughout the week… quite possibly
with tie-dye on Thursday!

Week D – June 25-29 – Garden Camp
It’s a full week camp art projects for the garden. Planters, flower boxes, lawn ornaments
and maybe even a totem pole along the way?!

Week E – July 9-13 – Fire, Forge & Feast
We start the week on the “dirty side of the building” making clay plates, bowls, cups and
handles on Monday & Tuesday. Then we move over to the “clean side” on Wednesday &
Thursday to make metal knives, forks & spoons. Friday we put it all together and have a
great potluck lunch on their finished dinnerware sets! These week I co-teach with
Pam Robinson who is the one in charge of the Metals Dept. at Lillstreet –
and an incredible metalsmith in her own right!

Week F should have been Chess Camp, but I got “pulled away” for a two-week “glitter gig”
in Dover, Delaware. So the camp is still running, but I won’t be the teacher this summer.
Instead, my friend Dave Trost will be taking the helm. His whimsical & satirical approach
to sculpture will really be fun for the kids! Still… no Chess fun for me this summer. Bummer.

Week H – July 30 – August 3 – Wild Things!
It’s a wild week filled with animals every step of the way. All of our projects are
animal themed. Including a Field Trip to Lincoln Park Zoo on Tuesday.

Week I – August 6-10 – Fire, Forge & Feast
So much fun the first time… so we’re offering it twice this Summer!

Week J – August 13-17 – Masters Camp
A little bit of Art History, thrown in with a lot of fun art projects! We go to the Art Institute
on Tuesday for inspiration – and all art projects this week are done “in the style of” a famous
master artist. The week culminates with a “gallery show” of the kids works!

Check out the Lillstreet website for a full listing of Summer Camps.
There’s a lot of Clay & Multimedia Camps, as well as metalsmithing, painting, etc… and
plenty of specialty camps like Movie Making, Cartooning, Sewing, Fashion Design & more!
It’s always a fun summer at Lillstreet Art Center.

Categories: bike, sunset

It was a warm “sweltering” holiday weekend… so it felt great this morning to get out
for the morning ride and NOT be sweating before I started pedaling!!!
And so nice to see the lifeguard chairs back on the lakefront. A nice harbinger of summer…

And then the sun broke through…


Categories: art fair

Today was a lot sunnier than yesterday… and a LOT hotter…
thankfully we had a wonderful breeze blowing through all day.
It would have been unbearable without the breeze.

Special thanks again to all of my wonderful customers who stopped by to say hello!
Especially three of my students from this current session at Lillstreet Art Center.
Thanks to Laury, Linda and Tracy who shlepped all the way out to the ‘burbs…
each of which have been doing an incredible job in our Wheelthrowing Class.

So, sure I could show you some nice pottery shots… some pictures of my work.
Or, I could show you some of the beautiful flowers that graced my booth this weekend.
Including some purple Queen Anne’s Lace, orange alstromeria, lotus pods, green rosehips,
white tulips, fragrant stock and more! Plus some little glimpses of pottery!

My Textured Slab Vases never looked better than with one of my all-time favorite flowers…
kind of a strange plant with great colors, incredible textures and funky structure.
It’s called Kangaroo Paw – and it’s crazy cool!!!


Categories: art fair

After the clouds moved out, the customers came to shop.
It was great to see so many of my dedicated followers stop by to say hello!
Plus, it was great to get two award ribbons this weekend as well…
not just one, but TWO!!!

The first ribbon was a special Merit Award from the show organizers
Not quite “Best Of Show”… but always nice to be recognized for your hard work & creative
efforts. Plus, the prize is basically reimbursement of my booth fee!                               Sweet.

The second was a Special Sponsor Award from Dr. Bruce & Lynne Peterson.
Apparently, local businesses “pledge” to purchase a certain amount during the fair. Then,
people from the company come to the show and decide who they want to award & spend
their money with. Well, I was lucky enough to be chosen for one of these awards.
So I not only got a cool ribbon & certificate… I also sold more work!!!

Categories: art fair

With storms all around, still trying to set up the booth, and trying not to pay
too much attention to the wind blowing the tent around… it was great to have a customer
stop by early to make a great purchase. She saw some photos of my newest pieces and she
knew she had to have them! She called me prior to the show to make sure they were going
to be there… and where I was going to be. I suggested she get there early as I only had a
limited number of creamer & sugar sets coming to Schaumburg… as well as an equally
limited number of the new Double Spice Pots!… name still pending…

Well, the show started at 10:00am…
and yet it was so great to kick-off the show at around 9:15am with a great sale.
It’s a great feeling to have “covered” you entry booth fee even before the show starts!!!

Special thanks to Karen for making it happen…
and for getting my first art fair of the Summer season of to a great start!!!

Categories: art fair

After last year’s literal “wash-out” flash flood at the Schaumburg Prairie Arts
Festival, I was concerned this morning when I got up to head out to the ‘burbs
and saw cloudy skies. As I got closer to Schaumburg, there were dark storm clouds
all over the place – and huge lighting flashes north of the expressway! Great…
another bad weather art fair weekend?! Not a great way to start the season, huh?

Well, as it turned out, the weather wasn’t as bad as it looked.
Apparently, the real storm passed north of Schaumburg. My parents drove though
blinding rain to get there. My sister in Palatine said they had huge hail storms.
Luckily, we just had dark clouds and wind… the clouds came close, but never quite
made it to the show. Thankfully.

Now I’m okay with dark clouds… I’m even okay with a little rain…
but I’m not so excited about wind. I just hate when the winds blow and the tent shakes.
I understand that my tent is pretty well staked down. It’s not going anywhere…
and if it does, we’ve much got bigger problems going on than just my booth!

As the day went on, the clouds blew out and the storms never materialized.
The sun came out and we ended up having a beautiful day in Schaumburg…
and a lot of great customers made it out to see us at the fair!

Categories: Chicago, seasons

The beaches in Chicago are officially open starting today!
I can always tell a few days before when the lifeguard chairs re-appear
and get a fresh coat of white paint! Summer’s on its way…

Categories: bike, sunrise

While there are still far too many things on my “To Do” List for this weekend’s
art fair, I couldn’t resist… and just “had to” go for a bike ride this morning!