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

Yes, I have once again hidden some handmade ceramic fortune cookies to kick-off the New Year. Spreading good will & good fortune around for people to find. The following photos are the “clues” that you can use to find the twenty-four fortune cookies scattered around Illinois Beach State Park. I’m not going to make it easy… but the search is on! Go outside & play in nature… and find “your fortune” at the same time!

    Categories: architecture, craftsmanship

    While the HAMILTON stage is pretty amazing, what with the set, lighting & rotating stage… but the theater itself is pretty SPECTACULAR too!!! I’m always amazed by the architectural grandeur of the classic Chicago theater palaces. Last night we were in the Nederlander Theater which gets me every time!!! Crazy cool architecture & craftsmanship like they just don’t make any more!

    Categories: craftsmanship, creativity

    So I just got an email from Jacob… friend & former pottery student… who was published in the New York Times yesterday!!! Who knew that my little “pottery games” would inspire such wordplay in the Times?!!!

    From Jacob…
    “I’ve been writing crosswords as a hobby and just had one of my puzzles published
    in the New York Times! Better yet, I was able to include a clue based one of your
    challenge class challenges (see the highlighted clue in the snippet below.)
    TULIPIERES just went mainstream! Just thought I’d share
    as I thought you’d get a kick out of it.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    Don’t go any further if you don’t want to see the answers!!!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Categories: craftsmanship, creativity

    Just a little bling & sparkle for a Saturday afternoon! I told my friend Pam that I may have just found her sparkly new Christmas present… but I would need a few people to go in on it with me! HA!!! I mean, she does love her bling!!!

    I’m not really a “fancy car guy”… but, this is a 1983 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur… covered with a MILLION Swarovski crystals! Each crystal set by hand by five full-time setters over a period of six months! To see this sparkly masterpiece in person, it is currently on display at Navy Pier’s LIGHT UP THE LAKE. A fun & sparkly holiday event inside Festival Hall complete with millions of lights, ice skating, food, drink & plenty of Instagram moments!

    Categories: bowls, craftsmanship, summer camp, surface decoration

    Yesterday, one of my Summer Campers was so focused on finishing her wheelthrowing project, that she brought it upstairs to the rooftop to finish it during our lunch break. So while the other kids entertained themselves & played games… a lot of colored slip painting was happening to make her new ramen bowl more “authentic” with a branch of cherry blossoms painted on the side.

    Categories: artists, craftsmanship, pottery, sgraffito, surface decoration

    So many pots, so many techniques, so many talented potters! Over the course of the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, we saw so many amazing pieces of pottery. But I will say that my favorite pieces were the exquisite pots by Becky Lloyd. I have followed her for years on Instagram, and her work was even more AMAZING in person!!! Such intricate details & sgraffito carvings. The shapes. The forms. The patterns. The CRAFTSMANSHIP!!! Be sure to follow her on Instagram – @beckylloydyogamama

    Categories: color, craftsmanship, mosaic, textures

    Enjoying a little TEXTURE TUESDAY today with this beautiful & fiery glass mosaic!

    Categories: architecture, craftsmanship

    After spending time at the Gateway Arch, I had a little more time left to explore St. Louis. Admiring some of the architectural details & craftsmanship around town. Textures, patterns, reliefs, rusty metal, patina finishes & so much more!!!

    I also made it to CITY MUSEUM… but that’s a whole ‘nother crazy post unto itself. Those of you who have been there, know what I mean… CRAZY!!! But in the best way possible… you’re gonna have to wait while I sift though all of those photos!

    Categories: craftsmanship, food

    What a wonderful surprise when you come into your studio and there is a very SWEET surprise sitting there waiting for you!! I can’t believe it… it’s a JAR FULL OF CARAMEL SAUCE!!! And the very BEST caramel ever! For those Chicago peeps that ever went to Rose Angeli’s restaurant, you might remember. It was my very favorite restaurant for many years before they decided to close down… great food, great service & even “great-ER” caramel sauce!!!

    So this past Saturday morning, I taught a wheelthrowing class and the former owner & chef Larry was in the class. I tried to “play it cool” and not fan-out all over him. It wasn’t until the end of class that the topic came up… and I eventually professed how much I loved his restaurant & his food. “Somehow” the topic of caramel sauce came up…. and that the bread pudding dessert was just “the vehicle” to get that caramel sauce into my mouth! And then yesterday… I found this jar of caramel in my studio!!!

    I will cherish it… and ration it very slowly!!!
    Like liquid gold!

    Categories: classes, craftsmanship

    In my Monday night Intermediate Wheelthrowing class we discussed wall vases (as requested… thank you Darcy)… and then I took it one step further using a similar technique to make ceramic corbel wall sconces… “shelves” just didn’t sound right?! Anyway, I did my demos in class, but then needed to do a little more follow-up in my studio last night! As a work-in-progress… I think they’re coming along pretty nicely!