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

One of the highlights of ART IN THE GARDEN is that the artists get to play together & collaborate on some cool projects. One of collaborations this year was this batch of porcelain soda-fired jars that I made and other artists added their own “artist-styled” knobs to the tops

Well, a couple weeks have gone by since ART IN THE GARDEN, and I’ve been sitting here with a few of the collaboration jars waiting to be photographed & posted here online for sale. I’ve been playing hooky a bit too much lately while it’s been so nice outside… but the clouds have come over Chicago so I finally got my act together today! Here are a few “teaser” photos of the nine collaboration jars that will go up for sale only on my Fire When Ready Pottery Facebook page at 6:00pm CST. It will be first come, first served when the “official” Photo Album is posted. So set an alarm reminder to check them out at 6:00pm tonight!

Click here to go to my Fire When Ready Pottery Facebook page!

Categories: art fair, artists, My Talented Friends

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who made it out to ART IN THE GARDEN this past weekend. During these crazy times, it was wonderful to get outside to see some of my Talented Friends with their beautiful artworks… as well as all of the wonderful friends, family, Fans & Followers that stopped by! We appreciate the love, support & encouragement… and we hope you’re loving the new artworks you took home with you!

But in case you couldn’t make it… here’s a small glimpse of some of the colors, textures & artworks that you missed from My Talented Friends!

AMY TAYLOR : silver hinged jewelry

CORY McCRORY : whimsical paperclay ceramics

DONNA SAUERS : glass bead jewelry


KEN STAGGS : wood turning


LYNDA WALLIS : beaded bracelets

Categories: art fair, food

After a nice sunrise bike ride… what could be better than some gourmet donuts?! They’ve kind of become an annual “tradition” for Day Two of ART IN THE GARDEN. I like to stop by JOE DONUTS in Glenview to pick-up these yummy treats for the artists before the show starts! I cut them all in half so you can try more than one kind without feeling too guilty about it. Not too unexpected… but I ate MORE than my share as the box ended up behind my booth when the art fair started!

Categories: art fair, bike, sunrise

So the art fair didn’t start until 10:00am this past weekend… so that gave me “plenty” of time to go for a bike ride beforehand, right?! I mean, when you kick-off your morning with this kind of amazing natural beauty… it’s gotta be a great day, right?!!! So I got up early, pedaled along the lakefront as usual… then rushed home, showered, changed, and drove out to Glenview for Day Two of ART IN THE GARDEN!

Categories: art fair, family, friends

Not only was it AMAZING to see so many loyal customers, fans, followers & art fair patrons this past weekend… but I also had a few wonderful surprise visits as well.

Molly & Jacob stopped by with little Benjamin! Just three weeks old and only five pounds tiny!!! A bit of a preemie making huge gains and growing quickly. Also known as “Team Lavender” to many Lillstreeters… Molly & Jacob have been in several of my classes including two “seasons” of The Great Lillstreet Throwdown! You may remember… we helped them make all of the vases for the wedding reception during “Season One”. And then made surprise baby blocks for them during “Season Two!”

At one point I had another visitor to my booth who stopped by and quietly looed around… and then left. He looked familiar, but hard to identify with mask, sunglasses & bald head. When he stepped back in a minute later, he said “You didn’t recognize me, did you?” It was only when I heard his voice that I realized it was my older cousin David… who lives in Ohio!!! I had no idea he would be coming… he’s never been to one of my art fairs… and it was AMAZING and slightly confusing to see him there!!!

Later in the day, I was busy helping someone else… and then when I looked up I saw another familiar face!!! And there before my very eyes was my good friend Anna from high school… her husband, her sister with husband & daughter, and Anna’s Mom!!! Now keep in mind, I haven’t seen Anna since maybe a couple years after college graduation?! She now lives in St. Louis… so imagine my surprise now to have the entire family standing there in my art fair booth!!! CRAZY!!! Sadly, I was so shocked to see them all there in my booth… that I totally forgot to take any pictures!!! But Anna did bring me a little handmade souvenir… showing off her own crafty handiwork!

And then on Sunday, I was surprised by my friend Alison and her daughter Kasey. I haven’t seen Alison for a couple years… ever since they cancelled out Step Classes. Yes, we did Step Class together at the health club for YEARS!!! I love it… and still hope it will make a resurgence! Anyway, they popped into my booth and it was so good to see them. Especially after talking with Kasey who is now a news reporter up in Milwaukee. She had some amazing stories of what she’s had to cover in the field during these crazy times & the riots in Kenosha. Amazing… and more than a bit scary. Kudos for Kasey for stepping it up and reporting the news on camera to make sure the stories get told.

Towards the end of Sunday, I had another little visitor… adorable little Teagan who stopped bu with her Mom Nancy… one of my IRONMAN biking friends. Teagan was so cute walking around and being so thoughtful & cautious around all of the pottery.

Teagan seemed to really enjoy her first art fair… almost as much as she enjoys her morning oatmeal in her own little handmade & personalized cereal bowls!!!

Categories: art fair

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our little grassroots art fair this weekend in Glenview, Illinois. During these crazy times, so much has changed. Art fairs have basically been cancelled everywhere… except for our ART IN THE GARDEN. We took lots of extra precautions to make everything safe & socially-distant for everyone. Lots of space between the booths, hand sanitizer, social-distance spacing and MASKS ON EVERYONE!!!

It was so great to see people coming outside for a change… many people were thanking US for putting this together so that they would have something to do & somewhere to go. And it sure helped that the weekend was the most perfect weather ever on BOTH days!

It was so nice to have a slight glimmer of “normal” as we welcomed everyone to the backyard meadow for ART IN THE GARDEN. So again, thank you to everyone who came out, said Hello, made me smile and supported local artists!

So good to be back outside setting up my tent & showing off my pottery… and trying to make a little money! These past few months have been so difficult for many of us artists as our primary source of income has been “cancelled” due to the Covid pandemic. I know that it’s tough for everyone, but my artist friends have been struggling and trying to find different options to get their artwork out there for the public.

Okay, so sure… maybe the mask this isn’t “normal”…
but it’s a small price to pay for getting outside, seeing friends & customers, sharing your wares and making some money along the way! Plus, the more pots I sell… the more room I have to make even more pots!

And I LOVE making more pots!!!

Categories: art fair

My flag is flying high at ART IN THE GARDEN again today… and it looks like another gorgeous day! We’re safely in a friend’s backyard garden right along the river with plenty of space & social-distancing in Glenview!

C’mon by to share in the fun & artwork until 5:00pm…
I have LOTS of talented friends!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, collaborations, porcelain, soda-fired, stamped

Not to be outdone, or out-bling’d…
here’s a little sneak peek at what Retta Hentschel did with the three lidded jars I sent her to play with. Such an amazing assemblage of colors, textures & bling on each of them. Stop by ART IN THE GARDEN to see them all… before they’re gone!

Categories: art fair, artists, collaborations, porcelain, soda-fired, stamped

Another glimpse into some of the collaborations we’ve been working on for this weekend. Months ago I soda-fired some porcelain lidded jars and then “challenged” some of my fellow ART IN THE GARDEN artists to add a knob to the lid. Here’s what metalsmith Amy Taylor did with the three jars I sent her. A beautiful addition to my pottery.

Collaboration projects like these are part of what makes ART IN THE GARDEN so special.

For more information, click here.

Categories: art fair, friends

Hard to believe it is already the end of August?!!!…
how & when did THAT happen?

But more importantly, that means this weekend is ART IN THE GARDEN. A wonderful grassroots art fair with nine talented friends working together & creating together. Lots of wonderful artwork & fun collaboration projects in a safe garden setting with plenty of social distancing. We would love to have you join us in Glenview… with your mask!

For more info, click here for the website.
Or click here for our Facebook page.