Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: classes, lillstreet, stamps, workshop

Well, not quite as much fun as teaching face-to-face, but it did feel good to “teach” again as I just finished teaching my first “official” ceramics workshop on ZOOM for Lillstreet Art Center! It was a one-hour workshop on making clay stamps… from my studio. A little jittery at times as I tilted by laptop screen up & down for demos… but I’m sure these ZOOM classes will get smoother if we need to keep doing them for much longer!

Categories: classes, lillstreet, stamps

Little bit of good news though… if anyone is interested to find out how I make my own clay stamps, I will be teaching a one-hour “Making Clay Stamps” workshop a week from tomorrow as Lillstreet Art Center will be going “virtual” for some workshops & classes. So if you want to make some stamps with me, or learn a whole new “craft” while under quarantine, check-out the online classes being offered at Lillstreet!

Click here for the link to my “Making Clay Stamps” Workshop.

Categories: classes, lillstreet

It’s so hard to believe that it has already been four full weeks since we were last together celebrating the “finale” of our LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class. So much has changed since then. In our lives. In the world. It is just weird to see the Lillstreet classrooms so empty, so quiet. No wheels turning. No pots being made. No kilns firing. We are all looking forward to happier & healthier days when we can all return to play in the clay together.

Until then, I hope everyone is staying safe, staying well & staying creative!

Categories: classes, lillstreet

It’s so WEIRD walking through the first floor classrooms when there is absolutely no one there! Just a quiet reminder of the fun we’ve had there… and the hope that we can get back to it soon enough. I miss my students!!!

Categories: artists, Chicago, classes

While all of us are hunkered down self-isolating
I’m sure many of you have seen some of the press conferences going on with the Mayor, the Governor and Dr. Arwardy.

While I know it doesn’t help all that much… but it always makes me feel a little better knowing that Dr. Arwardy is working FOR US… in our best interests!

But little did you know… Dr. Arwady is actually one of my pottery students as well. She’s been taking my Tuesday night class for a few sessions now… but this last session she missed a LOT of classes, and we knew “something bad” was brewing. So she may be the official voice of Chicago Coronavirus right now… but she’ll always be just Allison to me… or maybe “Allison who LOVES the bubble glaze!!!”

Click here for a link to read a more about Allison’s story!

Categories: classes


The big winner of our LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class. Christine never failed to impress with her colorful creativity, her refined throwing & finishing skills and her great enthusiasm. She embraced every challenge along the way. Well done Christine!!! You definitely deserved the big trophy!

Also congrats to Tracy who came in second, and Dana who came in third. They all did a wonderful job – continuing to impress me every time they brought their finished pieces to the next critique & judging!

You are all AMAZING!!!

Categories: classes

Because every good competition needs a good trophy… I also made a golden & glittery ceramic trophy for the big winner of Season Three of our own LILLSTREET THROWDOWN!!! Of course it needed a few stamps as well…

Categories: classes

All that was left for the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN were the prizes!!!
I made colorful ribbons for everyone… first, second, third… and a few extra special ones for my extra special students!

Categories: classes, food, inspiration

As the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN came to an end last night, my class surprised me with a sweet Thank You card & gift. And for the record… the gift was indeed SWEET… from Big Fat Cookie in Chicago!!! I must admit, this group was a pleasure to teach… always so eager to play along with my crazy pottery games & challenges! They truly rocked it out this session… Thank You to each and every one of them!

Categories: classes, creativity

For my THROWDOWN “Decorating With An Oreo” Challenge… there wasn’t a time deadline. So I decided to challenge them back. I had until one of them could successfully “Face The Cookie” to complete my bowl decoration. Yes, you know the game… put a cookie on your forehead, and then wriggle, scrunch & squirm until you can get the cookie into your mouth with no hands! I had plenty of time, and a few good laughs, until Dana finally got the cookie off her face and into her mouth!!! Fun for all.