Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: classes, family, friends, terra cotta, textures

Last night we played with clay to celebrate Kieran’s upcoming nuptials.
The “bachelorette” group had already been to the Art Institute, and had pizza for dinner,
next stop was the studio for some terra cotta fun! They all made textured slabs
that they turned into vases & mugs. So much fun to see them working together
through the generations. Such a wonderful group of family & friends…
which I’m honored to say I’m part of!

Who’s to say what “trouble” the girls got into though after they left the studio?!!!

Lots of fun & laughter… lots of encouragement & support… a lot of great pots!
All of which ended with little Ryann scrubbing down the tables!








Categories: friends, special events

So here we go… better late than never, right???

IRONMAN 2017   :   My Second Full IRONMAN.

So my IRONMAN adventure this time began with a drive down to Louisville with my best biking buddy & IRONMAN Sherpa Chris!!! She came with me last time, and I sherpa’d her IRONMAN Madison 2017… and now she’s coming back for my second time!!!

As we’re driving down through Indiana towards Louisville, we start to see these billboards. We’re chatting, driving, singing… and we keep seeing these billboards for Louisville Mega Cavern. Now I’ve never been in a cave, or a cavern… never been spelunking! Never really thought about it. But these billboards kept mentioning ZIP-LINING!!!…. and even better… UNDERGROUND ZIP-LINING!!!

Chris suddenly hopped on her phone, and before I knew it… we had reservations to go zip-lining that evening!!! Maybe NOT the best idea when I’m supposed to be relaxing & preparing for Sunday’s race. But I didn’t care… I’m in!!!

So we got to Louisville, checked in to the hotel and went out for some dinner before zip-lining. Luckily, the concierge had some great suggestions for food. We ate FAR too much food… ordering a bunch thinking we were going to take some leftovers back to the hotel. Well, we were “carbo-loading” and we finished everything!!!

And then we changed clothes per their suggestion to long pants & closed-toed shoes.
And then we drove over to the Louisville Mega Caverns.

A little disconcerting when you see signs like this along the way…

So then we head over to Louisville Mega Caverns. We parked the car and entered through a tunnel in the side of the hill. Walked through a hallway that look far too much like we were entering the Dharma Initiative. We checked in, signed our lives away with their Waiver.. and then got suited up!!! UNDERGROUND!!!

We got some basic training… they gathered us up for the tour…
venturing further down underground… and then the LIGHTS WENT OUT!!!

And then the ZIPPING began!!!

The first line was easy. Getting you accustomed to the flight. And then each one got cooler & cooler… with ropes, suspension bridges & theatrical lighting to make the place even cooler!!!

And then we finally ended again on terra firma. Another great adventure for me & Chris. I love traveling with her… she’s always up for ANYTHING!!!…. and conveniently, so am I.

So, thanks to our amazing tour guides, and all of their bad jokes (which I LOVE)…. we made it through the course without injury. They kept telling us to lift our legs, be careful not to bang your feet, don’t twist your ankles, don’t bang a leg… all things that would NOT have been good for my upcoming race on Sunday! Oh well… we made it… and we had a AMAZING ADVENTURE UNDERGROUND!!!




Categories: friends, holiday, terra cotta, The Ghouls Collection

My friend Chris sent me a photo of her Halloween GHOULS COLLECTION.
She appears to be missing a couple of my ghoulish characters!!!
Not quite sure how THAT happened… but…


Who can tell me which ones she’s missing?
And yes, it is more than one!!!


Categories: food, friends


After work, my friend Tiffany and I decided to go out for a birthday dinner at one of my new favorite restaurants… SMOKE DADDY in Wrigleyville. Mostly because they have some AMAZING nachos… one of my favorite guilty pleasures!

And with a little spicy tingle on my tongue… and a short walk to my car that “just happened” to take us past Jeni’s Ice Cream in Wrigleyville…. we just happened to cool off the night with some yummy ice creams from Jeni’s!

Categories: friends, mugs

Looks like Gerry & Rosene are kicking back and relaxing on their deck in Peoria…
apparently enjoying their own little Mugshot Monday!

Categories: art fair, collaborations, friends

One last “sneak preview” of a few of the collaboration pieces that we’re bringing to ART IN THE BARN this weekend. My friend & multi-media painter Cheryl Holz and I have been working on combined works. One of her beautiful paintings in one of my stamped & soda-fired picture frames. They are a limited edition of twenty… so come out to Barrington early to get your own “clay & paint” collaboration masterpiece!!!

Categories: art fair, collaborations, friends, soda-fired, stamped

So Cheryl Holz has been narrowing it down. Finalizing the pairings of her multi-media paintings with my stamped & soda-fired frames. Once she decides, and stops second-guessing herself, they will be adhered to the picture frame. Then they will all be making their way to ART IN THE BARN this weekend. We will reveal the collaboration in both of our booths… she’ll have half of them upstairs, and I’ll have the other half downstairs in The Barn.

Be sure to stop by… quantities are very limited!


Categories: artists, collaborations, friends

So Cheryl has been putting in more time than we expected matching up her paintings with my soda-fired frames. It’s kind of amazing how changing a frame, switching a painting, flipping the pair, etc. can make such a huge difference?! It’s like a big shell game trying to find & put together all of the perfect pairs. Glad it’s her and not me… and we thought making the art itself was the hard part?!!!


Categories: collaborations, friends

I’m sure all of the artists showing are frantically getting ready for ART IN THE BARN this weekend. I know that my friend & master painter Cheryl Holz is cranking out a lot of new work… including these minis with paint, encaustic, inclusions, etc. The best part is that these minis are destined to live in the soda-fired picture frames that I made. It’s been a fun collaboration project… coming soon to ART IN THE BARN. We’re both in The Barn… Cheryl is upstairs, and I’m downstairs!!!


Categories: food, friends

So when I learned that my friend & co-worker Sandy had NEVER had a milkshake before, I knew we had to take care of that!!! Apparently she didn’t like milk as a kid, so she never drank it. And as she got older, the “no-milk” concept including MILKshakes! But c’mon.... it’s a MILKSHAKE!!! So much better than milk… and I think she loved it! She finished it with an amazing smile and a thumbs up!