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

Today back at Summer Camp, my kids started building their large sculptures. First they designed their concepts, sketched it out and then began building the armature to hold it all together. A lot of mixed media & creative problem-solving along the way! More work tomorrow…

Categories: architecture, artists, Chicago

Sure, the art collection inside the Art Institute is pretty darn AMAZING. But outside is pretty cool too… with a great mix of modern architecture on the Modern Wing juxtaposed with the vintage Chicago Stock Exchange arch by Louis Sullivan.

Categories: artists, summer camp

So sure, this week of Summer Camp may be all about Sculpture.
But what my little campers may not have realized is that they are going to learn a LOT of art history along the way! Make it a game and they’ll never know what hit them!

I started them with some flash card of famous artworks by famous artists.
I chose some of the bigger names with very identifiable styles. They loved it. And then it was especially fun to see them get excited when they saw some of the same artists on the walls of the Art Institute. Room by room, gallery by gallery, they were excited when they recognized an artist.. and I gave them a “Pop Quiz” along the way to have them name the artist before they could read the placard on the wall.

So here are a few of the artists they saw at the Art Institute…
and THEY can name they all!!! Can you name them all???

By the end of the week, they will have all memorized about 35 different artists and their most famous artworks. And they still think it’s a game?!!! Ha!!!


Categories: artists, sunset

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my Summer Campers to the Art Institute for some artistic inspiration. I love watching their little faces light up when they see artworks they know, love or are surprised by for the first time. Like this Jackson Pollock that Max asked about & waited all day to see! He was mesmerized… and I LOVED seeing that in him!

Categories: textures, tiles

With some new textures & patterns thanks to my new Stodola rolling pins!

Categories: masks, summer camp, terra cotta

My summer campers this week are focused on sculptures… with a bit of art history along the way. Monday they made terra cotta masks painted with colored low-fire glazes. ADORABLE!!! For now they’re painted, drying and most likely in a kiln… the kids will get their masks back on Friday!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

What a difference a day makes! After yesterday’s crazy-cool calico cuds, this morning’s lack of clouds was a beautiful change of pace! Nary a cloud in the sky!!!

Categories: bike, sunrise

More clouds in the sky this morning, but they didn’t seem to be in the “right” places for a good sunrise? Nothing seemed to be “lighting up” like a good clouded sky should… and some low-flying clouds blocking the others.

I had pretty much given up on getting a beautiful sunrise…
and THEN it happened. Well worth the wait.

Categories: summer camp, terra cotta

So this week at Summer Camp we’re focusing on “Sculptures Small to Big.” Today was our day for a clay project, so I had the kids make clay masks to hang on their wall at home. They got to choose their theme, and then we set on to building them and painting them with colored low-fire glazes.

And then they added color…


Categories: Chicago

Turns out that the morning haze over the City’s skyline lingered throughout the afternoon… along with more clouds as the afternoon moved in to evening.