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

This month has been a tough month for both me and Sarah Chapman.
More so for Sarah than me. I was out of town for three weeks working the Firefly Music Festival. Long days of putting everything together. Lots of rain, mud, mulch & sweat. Getting everything ready for the onslaught of 65,000 concert-goers. Very little time to work in the pottery studio.

Meanwhile, Sarah’s Mom lost her battle with cancer. Always smiling, always chatting, Nancy was known to many of Sarah’s customers who met her on the art fair circuit. Our thoughts & well-wishes go out to Sarah, Julie and their family on their loss. And to remembering better times. Like this wonderful portrait of Sarah, her brother and her mom Nancy.

Cherishing the memories… remembering the good times… reflecting on the past… and giving Sarah a well-deserved “pass” on her June ornament entry. She’s been understandably distracted. And suddenly, a little holiday ornament challenge is not quite so important.

My ornament for June is a small porcelain fortune cookie. I’ve been making a lot of textured fortune cookie rattles over the past few months, and I decided to try a smaller ornament version. I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to finish them. I’m leaning towards a light iron oxide wash to “toast” them a bit and help accent the textures. But then again, pure white porcelain is pretty darn sweet too?! Maybe a few of each…


Categories: special events
Categories: bike, nature, sunrise

Since my last trip to Bombay Hook was so cloudy, I decided to give it another try this morning. Headed north of Dover. Fewer clouds gave me a completely different sunrise. Clearer, brighter and a lot more sunrise reflections!

While the sun was rising, all around me the snowy egrets were fishing in the marshes. Hundreds of them. They were everywhere. Slowly stalking their prey. And a little skittish when I would get too close to take a picture. Still pretty cool.

So it was another beautiful ride through Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. And once again, not a single car or another person anywhere to be found. Just me, the sunrise… and hundreds of snowy egrets!!!

Categories: inspiration, textures

After my sunrise at Port Mahon, I was riding back to the hotel and I passed the same cemetery I had seen a couple weeks ago. This time, the wheat had just been harvested… so I didn’t feel bad walking in to take a closer look at the headstones. And it turns out that I was right… some of them are VERY old!!!

Love the old, weathered stone with moss growing over the carvings.

Categories: nature, textures

Ready to take a long walk off a short pier?! So serene. So calming.

And you know how I love rusty metal… and weathered wood is a very close second! So I especially loved the textures of the wooden pier and the green algae-moss growing on it.

Categories: bike, sunrise

Riding south towards Port Mahon, I went past several farm fields. One of them had a great irrigation sprinkler which looked kind of “prehistoric”... kinda like an industrial praying mantis!!!

Once at the beach, the sun was just rising and creating some beautiful glowing colors!

The finally popped over the horizon with wide open skies… and beautiful water reflections!


Categories: nature

Along the shore of Pickering Beach, I found a lot more horseshoe crabs.
And with these signs along the road… it wasn’t so much of a surprise this time!

Again, for some reason, most of the horseshoe crabs were lying on their backs, feet sticking out and tails pointed up!?

This time, maybe because they were on the sand, you could also see where marks where the crabs were trying to flip themselves over. It kind of made me feel bad that you could see how they were struggling to flip back over.

As I was taking pictures, I heard some very faint clicking sounds. And then noticed that there was some very small movement. A leg moved. And then another. It was still alive!!! Oh… what to do?! So I flipped it over with my foot… and it started to move! And VERY slowly, worked its way back towards the water.

I felt pretty good knowing that I had helped a crab get back to the water. And since it worked for one, I took some time and flipped over a couple dozen of them!!! My good deed for the day. And just for reference… these horseshoe crabs are HUGE… so here’s one of the crabs and my gym shoe.

Categories: bike, sunrise

This morning it felt great to be back on my bike for a morning sunrise ride. We’ve been so busy with the Firefly Music Festival that I just haven’t had the time to ride in the mornings. But today was the day… so I’m back on the bike and went further south this morning to Pickering Beach. A small little resort town with about two dozen beach houses… and nothing else!!! Except a very private little stretch of beach!

While returning to my bike, I ran across these really sweet little cactus plants growing on the side of the sand dunes. Looks like they’re just about ready to bloom. Who knew that these cuties could survive the winters here on the beach?

Categories: special events
Categories: bike, nature, sunrise

This morning I decided to go further north of Dover to find another spot for a morning sunrise. I went north of Leipsic, and found the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. It was pretty cloudy as I was headed in, with beautiful red clouds low on the horizon.

Once I made it into the park, I rode around the circle trail and found that they clouds were kind of “winning” over the sunrise. I loved the huge, open marshy areas… and the starkness of the trees. It was very moody this morning. And a little odd as I didn’t see a single person all morning long. No one in the park besides me and a bunch of migratory birds!

Soon enough, the sun was up behind the clouds. The color may have been gone, but the clouds were still beautiful… as well as the reflections on the water.

As I was leaving the park, I took one quick look back and saw that the sky was covered in a blanket of clouds. Okay, so I had to stop for just one or two more photos!!! Shoot me.