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

Loving the beautiful mosaics downtown at the Gallery 37 Gallery… made by the talented kids from After School Matters. Quite impressive… beautiful colors, striking patterns & great craftsmanship. Keep up the good work kids!!!

Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Congrats to my friend, metalsmith & occasional co-teacher Pam Robinson for being honored tonight at the SNAG Conference here in Chicago with the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Award… for her endless hours volunteering to make these metals conferences happen so smoothly! Well done Pam – you deserve it!!!

For more about SNAG, and Pam’s big award… click here!

Direct from the SNAG website…

The Board of Directors is happy to announce the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Award recipient is Pam Robinson.

Pam Robinson is a Chicago-based jeweler and metalsmith who earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studied gemology and wax carving at The Gemological Institute of America, and has taken countless workshops across the country. She is perhaps best known to the SNAG community as a conference emcee but she has done far more than that for SNAG behind the scenes.

Pam attended her first SNAG conference in 2004 and has been committed to the organization ever since. She immediately felt a connection to SNAG because of the like-minded community and people who generously share their knowledge and friendship. Two short years later, she took on the critical role of being the Co-Chair for the Chicago conference in 2006.

Pam joined SNAG’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was the conference liaison until 2015. She was instrumental in organizing, planning and scheduling conferences in Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Boston.

She helped implement changes to the structure and schedules within the conferences and created policies and contracts to streamline these complex events. In addition, she managed the Education Dialogue, the Trunk Show, and tirelessly edited the conference brochures.

Pam has been the Trunk Show coordinator in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019, communicating with all participants both pre-conference and onsite. This year, she is also the Conference Workshop Coordinator.

She recently joined the Women’s Jeweler’s Association (WJA) Board of Directors – Chicago chapter, and was a founding member of The Chicago Metals Art Guild (CMAG).

For over 26 years, Pam has taught classes at Lillstreet Art Center and is currently the Director of Education, and the Director of the Metalsmithing, Jewelry & Glass department. She has also taught metalsmithing workshops nationwide. Her work has been in numerous exhibitions, featured in print (both magazines and books) and on the bodies and hands of wonderful patrons.



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

Had a great time yesterday hanging out with my talented metalsmith friend Sarah Chapman at the ONE OF A KIND SHOW. Her work is amazing… great designs, incredible craftsmanship, fun textures, beautiful stones… and great shadows too!!!

Categories: artists, sculpture

Okay, so I’ve seen the big spoon sculpture for years!
I’ve been aware of Claes Oldenburg and his amazing oversized sculptures of everyday objects since art history classes in college! And I’ve been in Minneapolis so many times… but have never stopped by to see the real thing!!! Until today!!!

So cool. So big. Great fun to finally see it… plus we had the best weather ever!!!

Even the staircase is cool…

And another kinetic sculpture by Mark di Suvero…
we have a couple of his sculptural pieces in Chicago as well along the Lakefront…

There’s also a piece by an old friend of mine, I knew back in the day when he was just getting started back in Chicago, Theaster Gates. Okay, so he’s a BIG deal now… and I’m sure I’m nothing but a faint memory… but it was cool to see his piece here in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

A fun “detour” on our NCECA Gallery Tour Day!!!… more art, just not pots?!!!


Categories: artists, mugs, pottery

One of the highlights for me of NCECA is The Annual Cup Show! So many great ceramic artists donating cups for The Cup Show… with all proceeds going to NCECA charitable causes & scholarships. Picture an entire ballroom filled with tables & tables covered with mugs & cups!!! The show was open for viewing on Thursday, but the actual “sale” took place on Friday morning! So here are some “preview” pics…

Some of them were quite un-usable!!!… like this one that was all one piece,
kinda huge, crazy-cool surface and weighed about 20 pounds!!!

And some that I believe were built by a 3D Printer…

And still SO many cups to see…

And here are are a few more of the ones that stood-out for me!… I just wish I had kept better track of the artists names, or even taken pictures of their business cards when available. Sure, a great after-thought.

And a two-parter that kind of mesmerized me… a pointed “cup” that will only stand-up in the special “rocky” cradle that was built just for it!

One of my favorites of the show… and someone that I’ve been following on Instagram for awhile now… Bryan Wilkerson. Love these skull mugs… but also the great column pedestal that makes it all that much more cherished!!!


Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, pottery, wheelthrowing

One of the best parts of NCECA for me is getting to see some of my pottery friends, former teachers, online contacts & more! Always great to run into someone you know when you’re out & about – away from your normal path. Including running into some of my Facebook & Instagram “fans” who it was fun to stop & chat with… odd to be recognized only by my online presence?!!!

So much fun having a chance to hang out and play with my pottery buddy Steven Hill. He’s an amazing potter… and apparently the superstar for SKUTT Kilns & Wheels. He was participating in their trade show booth – both as a demonstrating artist, as well as the judge for their wheelthrowing contest. Either way, we had a great time chatting and meeting some of his other pottery friends. And as always, it’s just great to watch other people throwing pots. I could watch that all day, every day. And when it’s someone as experienced as Steven… it never gets old. Thank You Steven!!!

Categories: art fair, artists

For many years, my friends Cory & Amy have been singing the praises of Hooey Batiks! And this weekend I finally got a good chance to chat with Jill of Hooey Batiks. As I not only got my first Hooey T-Shirt… but we also started planning a fun collaboration project as Jill will be joining us this summer for ART IN THE GARDEN!!!

You know how I LOVE a good collaboration.. and a beautiful tie-dye…
errr, well Batik… but who’s counting?!

Categories: art fair, artists

If you come out to Naperville today for the art fair, you’ll also see some beautiful stained glass pieces by Retta Hentschel… she’s my neighbor this time around!!!

Categories: artists, creativity, food, My Talented Friends

Celebrating Pi(e) Day by wearing this sweet little necklace by my talented metalsmith friend Amy Taylor. I love having talented friends… especially when they know you THIS well.
Sweet treats!!!

Categories: artists

While cruising through Frankfurt’s museum row, I had to take some time out to go through their Art Museum… filled with a lot of German artists (go figure) and a few stand-out favorites. I loved being introduced to the paintings of Lotte Laserstein… as well as Ferdinand Hodler, Karl Von Piddol, Franz Xaver Winterhalter and a “fresh new” Monet painting BEFORE the Claude Monet style we all have come to know & love!

Lotte Laserstein

Ferdinand Hodler

Karl Von Piddol

Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Claude Monet