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

I’m sure some of you may be wondering what is the “glitter gig”???
I refer to these cool projects I get to work on, show a few photos now & again,
but have never really discussed the “glitter gig” in detail. So here goes…

In addition to pottery, teaching, summer camps, biking and everything else…
I am also the Creative Director of a special events & production company in Chicago.
It all started about ten years ago when a fellow potter friend of mine asked if I wanted
to work a couple days down at Navy Pier decorating a few Christmas trees for
Winter WonderFest. Of course I said yes, who am I to turn down a paying job?!
So I decorated a few trees, organized a lot of ornaments and unknowingly,
worked my way into a wonderful job position! Over the years, everyone at the studio
could tell when I was working on holiday projects as I would show up covered in glitter.
Hence the name… the “glitter gig.”

So now, a few years later, I’m the Creative Director… which means I get to design
really cool parties & events. We’ve done some really fun parties for individuals, holidays,
corporate events and so much more! We do a lot of projects around the Chicago area,
but occasionally get to do a “gig” outside of Chicago. I’ve been to Grand Rapids, Las Vegas,
and now Dover, Delaware for some really cool events! I get to come up with cool ideas,
doodle, brainstorm themes, sketch, design, shop, work with fun clients and put together
pretty incredible thematic events & parties.

I never planned on working with a special events company.
I never even applied for the job, or even looked for a job.
It just kind of happened.
It hits so many of my skill sets and I get to be creative every day!
So that’s the “glitter gig” in a nutshell.

Categories: special events

Finally back from a two-week “glitter gig” in Dover, Delaware.
Photos & stories to come once I sort through the hundreds of photos I took
during our preparations & decorations for the Firefly Music Festival.

For more information about the Firefly Music Festival, click here.

Categories: summer camp

Sadly, my trip to Dover coincided with the last day of “Fire, Forge & Feast.”
So I didn’t get to FEAST!

I also missed out on the final day of putting everything together. The kids finished
all of their projects, put all of their parts together and finished their pieces! Thanks to my
co-teacher Pam for covering the last day. For making sure everything came together…
and for sending me these photos from the last day of camp!!!

Here’s the final tally of how many saw blades were broken during the kids’ three days
of metal work. Of course, the goal was to have a low number… apparently, some of the
kids didn’t quite grasp that concept?! And no fingers were lost…

Sadly, there was a kiln malfunction while firing their clay pieces. Apparently, one of the
electric element rings decided to not work, which resulted in an under-fired kiln. No biggie.
The pieces can easily be re-fired as soon as the elements are replaced. Unfortunately, it also
means that the kids didn’t get their finished pieces back. But they will… just a little later
than we all expected! Although, here’s one that made it through…

Luckily, the metal work stayed within Pam’s control… so everything turned out great.

Even the pieces that were inserted into the clay handles that they had made. A true marriage
of clay handles and metal cutlery. A great summer camp combination for the kids!

Categories: special events

An ironically perfect day to fly to Dover, Delaware, huh???

Categories: bike, sunrise

A little bit earlier. A little bit darker.
But still a beautiful morning around North Avenue Beach.

But now it’s over… and I’m off to Dover!

Categories: clay, process, studio

Pile it on… pounds of possibilities! Here’s the first half of the reclaimed clay
that I got from Amy Higgason from the Northwoods. It’s been slaking down
for awhile now, and tonight I turned it out onto a large plaster bat to help it
set up a bit. The other half of her trimmings & scraps are now in my bin,
covered with water, slaking down for the next batch. My understanding is that
this is a mixture of white stoneware and B-clay. We’ll see what comes of it.

I love reclaim. I love free clay!!!

Categories: lillstreet, summer camp

So the fun of “Fire, Forge & Feast” continues… with another day of metals fun!
The kids have been working so hard, keeping focused on their projects, and trying
to get everything finished. They’re picking patterns, adding textures and making
some extra pieces to add to their dinnerware sets!

Categories: bike, sunrise
Categories: bike, sunrise

And if that weren’t enough…
It kept getting better… and better… and better…

Which meant even more photos…
Which meant more time enjoying the sunrise…
Which meant I might even be late for summer camp. But I just couldn’t stop myself!

Categories: bike, sunrise

But then it happened…
As the sun made it past the first layer of clouds,
It splashed across the upper layer with the drama I was anticipating.
The colors popped and sparkled across the sky. Everything I had hoped for!