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

Now that all of my students have their “assignment”… I can finally reveal what was in all those white envelopes last week… and the final “Big Build” project for my GREAT LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class! It’s about “time”!
So they each chose a white envelope which revealed a famous cartoon show. And then they found out what they had to do with it… “time” for the project info!

Turns out it’s “time” for them to build a working CLOCK!!!

And oh but wait there’s more… their clock has to be based on the cartoon that they chose. They can choose any elements from their cartoon… actual characters, logo, colors, vibe, style, environment, etc. … as long as it’s indicative of the cartoon!!! The goal is for them all to have this “Big Build” CLOCK done, glazed & working for their final critique in Week 10 of class! Not a “minute” to spare!

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: creativity

Okay, so maybe I was a young prodigy… just sayin’…

Categories: creativity

this just made me smile when I saw this graffiti on the sidewalk!

Categories: classes, creativity

This week in my Intermediate Wheelthrowing class, one of my students continued her “quest” for the perfect doughnut… oversized, wheelthrown & frosted with colored slip! Kelly made one last session and it turned into a vase with a bite out of it for the flower hole. Can’t wait to see where these go… although I keep telling her that I’ll take a full Baker’s Dozen please!!!

Categories: creativity, seasons

Today is the LAST official day of Summer!!!
The weather is AMAZING today… so get out there to enjoy it while you can. Sounds like Fall comes in tomorrow with the temperatures dropping about twenty degrees!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, collaborations, creativity

Well, ART IN THE GARDEN is just a couple days away, and it looks like my pal Cory McCrory has added some fun underglazes & stains to her whimsical flowers! All part of the collaboration project that we’re working on together!!! Oh, wait… are those chicken feet too???.. those aren’t for me!!!… so I’m guessing that Cory must be doing another collaboration with another artist for next weekend’s show in Glenview!

For more information, click on

Categories: creativity

To celebrate the full moon, there was also another FULL MOON FIRE JAM along the lakefront just south of Foster Beach. It started out years ago as a small little event with a few fire twirlers, fire eaters & other spectacles. But it has grown to be a HUGE event with so many people showing up. Quite the crowd tonight… especially with the perfect evening weather!

Categories: creativity, food

So excited to see one of my Intermediate Wheelthrowing student’s pieces show-up on the SHOW-OFF SHELVES at Lillstreet. Kelly made this several weeks back… a wheelthrown donut with colorful frosting & sprinkles! Originally designed to be a “vase” with the big bite as the place that the flowers go! Beautifully done Kelly… now I think we need a full baker’s dozen of them!!!

Categories: creativity, sculpture, summer camp

On Wednesday, my Summer Campers switched their focus to their large scale sculptures. We discussed their ideas, the postures, the armatures & how they were going to tackle the project. We constructed most of the armatures out of boxes, wire, cardboard & dowel rods… and then covered the armatures with newspaper & masking tape. The goal was to get them as “identifiable” as possible at this point… so that the layers of plaster gauze to come would solidify everything & give them a surface to add more details & paint later.