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

Okay, so who else remembers these?!… or maybe it’s just a Chicago-thing???
Automatic plastic molded sculptures while you wait!!! Who doesn’t want that?!

The sound of the machine cranking.
The clear bubble to let you see it working.
The smell of the molten plastic.
Pulling them out of the slot while they’re still hot.
Having to carry them upside-down while the plastic cools & solidifies!!!
Whenever we went to the Zoo or a Museum, we would get to choose which ONE of these little statues we wanted as a souvenir.

And every time I smell that melted plastic… I’m eight years old again!!!

For even more about the MOLD-A-RAMA… click here!

I’d like to add a little side note… maybe a little bit of a “Spoiler Alert”???

While I was in the Primate House, the Mold-A-Rama technician was there cleaning the machine and putting any of the errant plastic back into the reservoir. I mentioned how much I loved the Mold-A-Rama as a kid… and how the smell was such a childhood flashback. Then he mentioned that they’ve been working on trying to make a candle that actually has that classic Mold-A-Rama scent!!! Yes, please!!!



Categories: Chicago, sculpture

And while you’re out playing on a beautiful blue-sky’d day…
why not stroll a bit further to visit the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial just south of the Zoo.
I mean… if you’re gonna play hooky… just sayin’!!!

Categories: Chicago

A beautiful day to visit Lincoln Park Zoo… even if they are in the middle of tearing down the old lion enclosure to make room for a newer, grander & “better-for-the-animals” environment for the Lion Pride. Luckily, they’re keeping the beautiful landmarked brick Lion House itself.


Categories: architecture, Chicago, theater

A beautiful way to end the year in a beautiful Chicago theater. Amazing architecture, design & craftsmanship. Always beautiful at the Cadillac Palace Theater… even with the big chandelier “still under wraps”… and then again after they had “repaired it and wired parts of it for the new electric light. Perhaps we can frighten away the ghost of so many years ago… with a little illumination.”


Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

A beautifully chilly morning along the lakefront. Especially cool with the “slushy” water and an early-morning fog that made the path just a little slick. Still a wonderful way to start my day…. with plenty of layers!



Categories: architecture, Chicago, theater

The don’t make ‘em like the used to… like the gorgeous Chicago Theater. Beautiful old-school interiors & stunning craftsmanship. Over-the-top design & architectural details. Just looking around the theater is always like a show before the show!!!

Categories: Chicago, cirque du soleil, theater

Last week we kicked-off our holiday adventures with a stop at The Chicago Theater to see a brand new holiday show by my favorite Cirque du Soleil… “TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE. A fun night of holiday acrobatics & festive cheer. Okay, not quite as good as a full-on show under Le Grand Chapiteau… but still a fun holiday evening nonetheless!

Categories: Chicago, holiday, inspiration

Always a fun surprise when the CTA Holiday Train with Santa aboard turns the corner while you’re waiting on the platform. Suddenly flooded with a festive feeling… even though we were on the wrong side going the wrong direction to get on the train! Dang.

And then imagine my surprise when the very next train was the Elves’ Workshop Train!!! Still so fun & festive!!!!

Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

After a long weekend of HOLIDAY HOME SHOW set-up, hosting, chatting, schmoozing & selling… it felt SO good to be back on the bike this morning for another AMAZING morning sunrise. Always the best way to start my day!!!


Categories: Chicago, lillstreet

Big equipment outside of Lillstreet… working on the Metra train line and taking up a LOT of much-needed parking spaces!!!