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

Apparently, the folks out in Hinsdale think I’m somehow “honorable.”
Who knew???

Categories: art fair

Day Two at the Hinsdale Art Fair. I’m all set-up, shelves have been replenished and the sun is shining! All ready for the start of another great day… with ten minutes to spare. Whew.

Categories: art fair

It’s so refreshing to see that the Hinsdale Art Fair organizers are checking to see that the artists here are actually MAKING their own art on display. Apparently, not all of the “jewelers” here at the art fair are making their own jewelry. And therefore, they now have this this big “Scarlet Letter of Shame” posted in their booths! Well, chartreuse. And not just one… there are four, count not them four, signs in their booth!!! The actual artists who make their own artwork are so thankful to have organizers looking out for them. And making an example of those who are not. We love Jan and the Hinsdale committee!!!

There has been a lot of discussion about this. Some people think they should have been forced to pack up & leave. I actually think it was a good idea to make an example of them. Shame on them for trying to pass themselves off as actual artists. I know that the Hinsdale organizers actually spoke with legal council the night before to make sure they could proceed. So they came in this morning with the signs when the “artists-in-question” arrived and opened their booth. They placed one on each of the inside side flaps, and two in sign holders actually sitting on their display tables right smack dab next to their “product.” If they were just forced to leave the customers would not have gotten the message either. We all think it’s important for the customers to learn about the difference between handmade art & “imported-wholesale-products-being-disguised-and-resold-as-art.

It’s a matter of principle. They just want to make sure that the items in the art fair are actually being made by the artists presenting themselves as “artists.” They have no issue with people who use accessories with their art – as long as the majority of the stuff they are selling in their booth is handmade.

They would never disqualify a painter who didn’t make his own paint or the wire that the painting hangs on. As long as the painter is actually painting the paintings.

They would never disqualify the jeweler who uses purchased stones & cabachons that they didn’t drill, grind & facet themselves. As long as the jeweler is actually designing, creating & making their own jewelry pieces.

They would never disqualify a potter who doesn’t make their own clay, mix their own glazes, or attaches pieces & parts to their ceramic-fired creations. As long as the potter is actually making the pots.

But when the “product” is being pulled out of boxes, removed from the cellophane wrappers, repriced and sold off as their own creations there’s a problem. There’s a HUGE difference. And the second sentence just covers them from those people who think it’s “okay” to buy pieces wholesale, and then maybe add a bead or something to it, and then try to pass it off as a fully handmade piece of art.

I’m sure everyone who has done juried art fairs has seen this happen more than once. We all have horror stories to share. I’m just glad that the Hinsdale organizers actually stepped up and took a stand. They are there to protect the actual artists and the quality reputation of their art fair. They do a great job. And if it takes a big “Scarlet Letter of Shame” to do it?…
well then so be it.

Categories: friends, music, special events

After a long & fun day at the Hinsdale Art Fair, I had a very enjoyable evening under the stars at Ravinia Festival with Sting… and my best college friends Kel & Kelly. Sting sounded wonderful & sang almost every song… along with my own vocal stylings of course. It was a great day from start to finish! And more fun at the art fair tomorrow. Guess I need to sleep fast???

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Not only did I score a great teapot… but my friend & metalsmith Amy Taylor also made a special bracelet just for me!!! So much fun to play with her in Hinsdale today… but even better when she makes cool things for me!!! Made of oxidized sterling silver. Seven links. Each with a different pattern & style. And two of Amy’s “trademark” hinges! Such a wonderful surprise… from a wonderful friend!!!

Categories: artists, My Talented Friends, pottery

You know I’ve said it for years… I LOVE HAVING TALENTED FRIENDS!
Seeing them & playing with them at the art fairs is a lot of fun. So this weekend is playing out to be extra fun with some many of “My Talented Friends” participating in the Hinsdale Fine Art Fair along with me. So imagine my surprise & excitement when I “walked away with” one of Cory McCrory‘s incredible teapots to add to my collection?! And the real kicker is that she recently told everyone on Facebook that she might be done making teapots for quite awhile. She’s kind of burnt out on them, and ready to focus on making some new fun pieces! So color me thrilled with my new whimsical masterpiece by Cory McCrory!!! She’s a sweetie… and so is my new teapot!!!

Categories: textures, tiles

After setting up in Hinsdale, I made it home in time to put some finishing touches on a few more new ClayQuilts. Arranging my handmade tiles onto boards to hang on the wall. Glueing them down so they’re dried and ready to take to the art fair in the morning. You know how tough it is to make them look so random???

Categories: art fair

So we went out to Hinsdale this afternoon to set-up my art fair booth.
We’re in the same space as always right there under the best shade tree in the park!
And it’s so nice to set-up on Friday to take the pressure off a rushed Saturday morning.

Even better, while setting up, we actually sold some pottery! Off to a good start…
and hopefully a good sign of things to come if they can’t even wait until we open tomorrow?!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival. I will be in Booth #101. But if I alone am not enough to drag you out to the ‘burbs, you’ll also see a bunch of “My Talented Friends.” Whimsical potter & sculptor Cory McCrory, hinged jeweler Amy Taylor, watercolorist Anne Gilna, precious painted pots by Nancy Gardner, stained glass windows by Richard Diens & crystalline glazed pottery from The Pottery Boys!!! And over a hundred more artists to boot. Plenty of art. Plenty of fun. Come on out this weekend!!!

Categories: pottery, production

This morning I’m finishing up some new wheelthrown & stamped ikebana vases for this weekend’s art fair in Hinsdale. Just in time for a couple stems of Spring flowers to make a special splash of color on your table!