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

While driving the official Pottery Tour route, you’ll pass this great sculpture park on the side of the road between Conne & Guillermo’s studios. I’ve driven past it many times, but this year we finally decided to stop. We had pretty much “closed out” the Tour at Guillermo’s after playing with Delores Fortuna. The weather was great, the sun was slowly setting and we decided to take in even more art. So we stopped off at the Franconia Sculpture Park.

Of course, some of it is better than others. I’ve tried to capture some of my favorites. Trust me, there are a LOT more pieces out there. But my thought is that just because you throw a bunch of stuff together, and weld it in place, doesn’t necessarily make it “ART.” Some times I wonder if I just don’t get it?! If there’s some¬† concept or message that I’m missing.But I know what I like… and these are a few of them.

This one is actually a boat filled with the large wooden balls. I was especially drawn to the textures & woodgrain of the balls… especially how they’re cracking and the way the shadows played against them.

Then there was this crazy playhouse. Yes, they encourage you to go up inside it. Stairs, slides, swings… and a LOT of colorful pieces all welded together. Kind of made me think of a whimsical take on an post-apocalyptic shelter. Enter Mad Max.

This one was pretty cool. It just looked like clear acrylic triangles arranged in the mulch bed. But as the sun continued to set, the prismatic surface of the pieces started to glow in a rainbow of colors.

I think this one was my favorite of them all… a great metal contraption of a Fibonacci Spiral. Not so bad that it’s all rusty either!!!

Oh… what to do with a bunch of logs???…

I loved the silhouette of this contraption. Again, they encouraged you to climb up inside of it. But it was really the strong silhouette and the really cool dot of blue glass glowing in the top center.

And speaking of rusty metal… another favorite. Basically it’s rebar & wire mesh.

I also loved this one – a combination of weathered wooden crates and classical columns. The balance and precariousness of it was pretty cool.

One last one on the horizon as we were leaving. It was a lot of “art” today – what with the Pottery Tour, Continental Clay, Northern Clay Center and now Franconia Sculpture Park!!!

For more information about Franconia Sculpture Park, click here for their website.

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