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

Kicking off the last day of this week’s Summer Camp with a festive splash of color!
You know how I LOVE a good tie-dye!!!

Categories: clay, creativity, lillstreet

If Rene Magritte were a potter…
he would have seen the humor as well. Strange pieces found in the clay reclaim buckets
by the Lillstreet Claymakers!

And a bit of Magritte inspiration…


Categories: classes, creativity, porcelain, sgraffito

So excited to see that one of my pottery students made it onto the “Show-Off Shelves” at Lillstreet with her beautiful sgraffito platter! Well done Katie – it turned out GREAT!!!


Categories: creativity, rusty

Oh, the things you find at the Flea Market…
cool things, vintage things, dusty things and all the things nightmares are made of!!! Too much fun yesterday at the Third Sunday Flea Market in Bloomington, Illinois.

Categories: creativity, nature, sunset

After touring the farm and chatting with friends, we decided to head out for dinner… to where else?... a Wisconsin Supper Club. Well, kind of a bar… kind of a restaurant... definitely in the middle of nowhere! But gorgeous!!!

As we’re siting at our table, it was tough to focus on the menu as the sunset just kept getting better & better. So glad we figured out how to get here with the GPS… I just hope we can figure out how to get back home to the farm  when it’s pitch black out there?!!!

Okay, one more thing… For some strange reason, the ceiling fo the restaurant was covered with dollar bills stapled cverywhere. No reason. No explanation. And I kinda liked that. Sure we could have asked… but it was kind of more fun to keep it a mystery!

Categories: creativity, inspiration, lillstreet

So fun to see some of the LILLSTREET THROWDOWN projects coming out of the kiln… like this incredible “creamer” from the Beatles Sugar & Creamer challenge! Well done Jon!!!… everyone needs an adorable yellow submarine in their life!


Categories: classes, creativity

After the HUGE success of the BEATLES Salt & Pepper Shakers…
I decided that we should stick with the theme… and go for The Beatles again!
But this time I allowed them to choose their own song… which many of them said was tougher than when they were assigned… but the “final twist” was that they needed to make a sugar & creamer set with a tray this time!

DAVIDkind of amazing as this is David’s FIRST lidded jar!

SUSANsimple & subtle as the “nestle” together… spooning… snuggling…

DONNAlove the addition of the copper border… although I would have liked it as a street.

CLAIRE - simple & clean

PATTIand yes, that green pattern is completely carved away by hand! CRAZY COOL!!!

MOLLYrecognize the sugar bowl?… it’s a sphere from last week’s sphere trowing challenge!

RYANcontinuing his theme… of “spice” packets… remember, it started with pepper!

TERESA - loving the details on the sugar… the windshield wipers are killin’ me!!!

JACOB – Simplicity in black & white…

TATIANAlovely surface decoration depicting all parts & lyrics in her song.

And now for our TOP TWO!!!

TAYLORonce again utilizing the extruder!

JONincredible “animation” & whimsy… and his first ever hand-built human sculpture!

 Wondering what some of the Beatles song themes are?…
and I apologize for missing a couple… I’ll add them soon!

DAVID – Lucy In The Sky With Diamondsthe lid’s knob is a diamond

SUSAN – The Ballad of John & Yokoas seen in the infamous photo spooning in bed.

DONNA – Penny Lane

CLAIRE – The White Album


MOLLY – Let It Beas in don’t decorate it… just “let it be.”

RYAN – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Bandcontinuing his S&P theme of packets.

TERESA – Ticket To Ride

JACOB – The Long & Winding Road

TATIANA – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

TAYLOR – Obla-Di, Obla-Da

JON – Yellow Submarine – AND – Nowhere Man


And now that we’re “revealed’ the themes & the challenge winners…
Let’s take a closer look at Tatiana’s.. and the crazy attention-to-detail
she used in representing her song.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah, ah

Follow her down to a bridge by the fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds 
And you’re gone.

Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties,
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.


Well done Tatiana!





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: classes, creativity, inspiration

After last week’s POTTERY THROWDOWN class where they decorated tiles and a cylinder using that one tool… their “homework” was to throw another cylinder at least 9-inches tall… and then decorate that new one with that same one tool. Looking to see how the design transformed from the two-dimensional tile, to a smaller cylinder… and then even larger where there was even more “canvas” to decorate. This time, they had to use THAT ONE TOOL as their primary decorating tool, but they could also embellish with other surface decoration techniques as well.

Unfortunately… Teresa, Jon & Patti missed the class the week before…
so they didn’t have a tile or a cylinder to work from.
All they had was their homework assignment… and ONE TOOL.




And now back to the original challenge… with tiles, cylinders and their new vases!








And now our TOP TWO WINNERS…

Ryan who carved out all of the areas with the dull metal part that was inside his tool.. and then applied each cut-out to the vase to make it even more dimensional.

Donna who started with a simple heart design on her nine tiles, then extrapolated one tile of the heart into the five dots and one hexagon for the cylinder… and then came back and combined them all back together for her heart-themed vase… still with the dots and hexagons!



Categories: classes, creativity, food, lillstreet

To kick-off our party last Wednesday night, my students took on the “FACE THE COOKIE” Challenge from Minute-To-Win-It. Basically, you put a cookie on your forehead… and then slowly move the cookie down with just facial muscles & expressions… until you get the cookie in your mouth! So I made a challenge… succeed with the cookie in the mouth in one minute and they would get an additional “five minute advantage” in one of the two challenges in class that night.

Crazy fun for everyone… perhaps too much fun… as we got shooshed a bit…
and told to keep it down. How dare we have too much fun in class?!!!

And yes… they “forced” me to give it a try too… harder than it looks…
but the REWARD of success is pretty darn sweet!