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

Pedaled the IRONMAN Madison bike course yesterday with two of my IRONMAN-In-Training friends! We had a great training ride up & down the 112 miles of hills, with plenty of humidity & sweat. And an entertaining stretch break for Nancy…. she stretched, while I ate ice cream!!! All worth it when riding with friends and celebrating a great finish with APPLE PIE!!! Chris & Nancy are both going to rock their IRONMAN Madison race in a few weeks!


Categories: food, friends, summer camp

A surprise visit by one of my friends to summer camp this afternoon… became an extra “sweet” visit when she surprised me with a couple YUMMY cupcakes! Thanks Catherine!!! Sadly, not enough to share with my campers… so I just “had to” save them for myself. Shucks!

Categories: animals, bike, friends

It was a wonderfully windy Century bike ride yesterday… The Udder Century…
with more than half of it straight into the wind or gusty side winds!!!
But nearing the end of our 100 miles, we ran across this farm with friendly folks
wanting to play! I’ve often said “The best part of biking is stopping.”
I’m always ready to check out a new adventure along the route!


Categories: food, friends, holiday

Good to see I’m NOT the only one celebrating today!
My friend Allison started her day showing off her little “Donut Day Party”
on Instagram… and I’m sure her coffee never tasted better!!!

Thanks for sharing Allison… the photo that is!
Next time, maybe think about sharing the donuts too???



Categories: flowers, friends, garden, totem pole

This past weekend was a great chance to get away for a few days…
not too far, but far enough.

So much fun to visit my “first art fair friends” and their amazing garden
in Peoria ablaze with Spring colors!

Oh, and look… a ceramic totem pole in their terraced backyard garden!
Wonder how THAT got there???



Categories: artists, food, friends, My Talented Friends

After yesterday’s bike ride, I made it to the “One Of A Kind Show” at the Merchandise Mart to play with My Talented Friend Sarah Chapman. Always fun playing with her, “critiquing” artwork, and “solving all of the problems of the world.”

She makes these amazing jewelry pieces, mostly oxidized sterling silver with an industrial-organic vibe! AMAZING!!!… too bad I can’t say the same for her impromptu flower pot???

Oh, and the snacks weren’t bad either… good thing I had just ridden my butt off all morning! Chocolate-covered Twinkies, chocolate-covered marshmallows and a spicy Chocolate Jalapeno Fudge. Yum, yum and more YUM!!!

Categories: art fair, friends, pottery

It was a fun weekend at the PRAIRIE VIEW ARTS INVITATIONAL in Naperville. A good show to kick-off my art fair season. Great to meet some new folks out there… and to show off some new pots! Huge thanks to the organizers who put together such a smoothly run show with all the perks!!!

They did such a great job from loading us in & loading us out…
yes, THEY transported all of my shelves & pots from & to my car for me!!! What?!!! No kidding. Not to mention all of the food and fun a along the way. Friday night they had dinner for us during set-up, a free public champagne reception, live music and a Taco Truck!

And then on Saturday, they offered us breakfast & lunch, as well as a never-ending, bottomless soup bar!!! Over fifteen handmade soups for a small donation to the Youth Group. Also great to “wash it all down” with some sweet snacks from Katherine Anne Confections!!!

Not to mention that they set my booth space right across from my metalsmith buddy Amy Taylor! Even better to spend the weekend playing with her and looking at all of her sparkling beauties!

And my new favorite of hers… a groovy necklace with a miniature glass Coca-Cola bottle
and an amazing old-school handmade pull tab on the chain!

And oh, but wait there’s more… did I mention that the PRAIRIE VIEW organizers even offered up overnight Home Stays for the artists! So I drove four minutes from the art fair to my Home Stay for a great overnight… and then four minutes back the next morning. So much better than driving all the way back to & from Chicago each time. Thank you Ann & Bob. And as an added BONUS!!!… I also got to sleep with my new best furry friend Jake!!!






Categories: friends

Let the games begin! We started out last night with so much promise of the hours of bingo fun to come… but ended with COVER ALL. Needless to say, I didn’t!!!

Hey, at least we had hours off fun with the “usual cast of colorful characters at the Bingo Hall. And I walked away with the free “Happy Easter” bingo dauber they were giving away.

So not a total loss!



Categories: Chicago, friends, special events

Yesterday was “Fun Day Sunday” while my kiln was cooling. It started with the annual Shamrock Shuffle running through the streets of Downtown Chicago with Tracy, Michelle and about 40,000 of my “closest friends.” It was a bit cold at 28-dregrees & windy when we started…. at least the sun was shining on us.

And the Shamrock “aftermath” when I got home…

Categories: friends, studio, wheelthrowing

Did a bit of “touch-up” on some of my friend’s wheelthrown pots!
They were all brand new beginners that stopped by my studio one night last week for a “quick” visit. I think they expected it to be a little sightseeing tour of the studio… but I quickly turned it on them by telling them that “pottery is NOT a spectator sport.” They rolled up their sleeves and threw a few pots… okay, so I made a few demo pots as well. So now they’re drying in my studio, waiting to be bisqued… and then I need to glaze them all with the correct pre-specified glaze choice for each pot!!! Oye-veh!