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

A nice surprise in the morning glow. A fun stacked stone tower resting along the lakeshore watching the sun rise behind it. Thank You to whoever took the time to add a bit of creativity & whimsy for others of us to enjoy!

Categories: artists, creativity

I spy with my little eye… BLUE SKIES finally!!!
And a beautiful mural in the Lakeview neighborhood by Anthony Lewellen.
Getting a “view” of the Lake in Lakeview!


Categories: creativity

It’s the Battle of the Ages… MAN VS. PIGEONS!!!

We have a pair of pigeons intent on roosting above my back door behind a decorative wrought iron grate. Adorable as baby pigeons might be, the birds just make a HUGE mess!!!

So my neighbors and I have tried shoo-ing, scaring and other measures… but they are persistent little buggers. So I finally decided to “throw them a party”… let’s see how they like the balloons?!!!

They don’t know who they’re messing with!!!

Categories: creativity

Oh, when you don’t know quite what to do with those broken pottery pieces…
you dress ‘em up!

Categories: creativity, inspiration, tiles

My condo building has been tagged.
Usually that means some crazy graffiti has been sprayed all over the walls.
But this time, it’s SO much better!

One “happy tag” on my tiled window on the corner of my building,
and another one on the back courtyard gate.

Nice to be appreciated by “someone.”
Thanks whomever for the warm fuzzies!

Categories: creativity, murals

Who doesn’t like a moose blowing bubble gum?!



Categories: creativity

Something quick to make you smile this morning…
unless you’re only using the Left Side and then it might get a bit frustrating???


Categories: creativity

Sure, it might just be garbage… a shattered beer bottle on the street…
some say LITTER… others say MOSAIC.

Categories: classes, creativity, lillstreet

So my students are KILLING IT this session! I’m teaching a new class and having a great time. It’s my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class loosely base don the BBC reality show. We’re more than halfway through and they’ve just finished their first real handbuilding challenge! Sure, we could have done something easy… but what fun is that. So we dove right in and went for a handbuilt butter dish!!!

And here they are in all of their buttery glory!!!

And a tribute to architect Frank Gehry…

This one was a bit too large… so we were joking that it was “Large Marge-erine.”
So she went for it!!!

Love this one with the attached knife holder…

This one is extra sweet with a handmade ceramic butter knife too!

And probably the most inventive & creative of the bunch…

Even better when put into the scene parked at the ol’ trailer park!!!

Plus, sadly... the one that didn’t quite make it into the kiln in time…
We all would have loved to see this one glazed and done like the rest of them!

And the big winner… with Catherine tackling her handbuilding challenge with porcelain!
With beautiful simplicity and a perfect fit.



Categories: classes, creativity, lillstreet

So if you recall our last class, I had all of my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students throw platters “thinking” that they were going for the widest diameter platter. But then I flipped it on them and had them paint it with a dark colored slip… and told them the REAL CHALLENGE was going to be the Sgraffito Challenge… SURPRISE!!!

Of course I threw mine into the mix… since I was challenged to participate by Taylore…
of course, mine wasn’t in for points… just for fun!

I drafted longtime Lillstreet potter Lester to be our special “surprise” Guest Judge.
He was eager to accept, but quickly realized it’s not any easy task ranking all of this hard work from 1 to 15. He took his task very seriously, and gave some very “realistic” comments & critiques along the way. Unfortunately, he started off by saying he’s not a fan of “geometric” sgraffito… so many people had an uphill battlle to win points from Lester!

So here are the “entries” in our first “Sgraffito Surprise Challenge.” To think that they threw these platters a week ago, and they’ve already finished decorating & carving them is pretty impressive… especially when several of my students had never really tackled sgraffito!!! Amazing work team! In no particular order… until the end!

And Ryan’s accidental entry! This was his SECOND sgraffito platter!!! His back-up plan so to speak. It wasn’t intended to be in the contest since he preferred his other one. But in the mix-up of setting up and putting all platters on the table, somehow his made it into the mix! So this angler fish was part of the judging… but points values awarded were worked out to accommodate this slight mix-up.

And the big sgraffito winner… this beauty by Stacey! Even though I wasn;’t the judge… this was my favorite too. I love the way the plant is in the center and overlaps the border. Love the woodcut look of her style. And the way she cleared out the white background but left the texture and just a smidge of color in between. Now I think Stacey needs to make a set of plates like this…each with a different botanical element.