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

One of the best parts of ART IN THE GARDEN is that we get to “play with” the other artists on some fun collaboration projects. Looks like my pal Cory McCrory has already started her part… guess I need to get started on MY part of the project too! She’s got a good head-start on me… hopefully I’ll “catch-up” tomorrow!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

HUGE CONGRATS to my friend & former pottery student Martin Chadwick for winning BEST OF SHOW at this weekend’s Southport Arts Festival. Not only is he a fine potter, but his paintings are out-of-this-world!!! And it’s so exciting to see that his amazing talent & creative efforts have been rewarded. Well done Mate!

Click here to see more of Martin’s amazing paintings!!!

Categories: friends, holiday

Celebrating the Fourth of July with my annual road trip down to Central Illinois to visit great friends in the little town of Chenoa. The town does a great job hosting a very Norman Rockwell-ish small town celebration… parade, house decorating, corn dogs, lemon shake-ups, cotton candy & SPECTACULAR fireworks! A wonderful “escape” to get away from everything going on these days!

A crazy-cool tree I found with these wacky spikes popping out everywhere!!!

And then the EXCITEMENT started!!!

And yes, Chenoa is definitely stepping up their game…
and here’s their ONE traffic light… which is actually just a blinking red stop sign light!


Categories: friends

Since we are in-between class sessions at Lillstreet, we decided to “celebrate” last night with a little Tuesday night BINGO!!! While I came so, so close SO MANY times… it was even more exciting when my friend Tiffany actually won one of the rounds!!! B-I-N-G-O $$$ !!!


Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Congrats to my friend, metalsmith & occasional co-teacher Pam Robinson for being honored tonight at the SNAG Conference here in Chicago with the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Award… for her endless hours volunteering to make these metals conferences happen so smoothly! Well done Pam – you deserve it!!!

For more about SNAG, and Pam’s big award… click here!

Direct from the SNAG website…

The Board of Directors is happy to announce the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Award recipient is Pam Robinson.

Pam Robinson is a Chicago-based jeweler and metalsmith who earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studied gemology and wax carving at The Gemological Institute of America, and has taken countless workshops across the country. She is perhaps best known to the SNAG community as a conference emcee but she has done far more than that for SNAG behind the scenes.

Pam attended her first SNAG conference in 2004 and has been committed to the organization ever since. She immediately felt a connection to SNAG because of the like-minded community and people who generously share their knowledge and friendship. Two short years later, she took on the critical role of being the Co-Chair for the Chicago conference in 2006.

Pam joined SNAG’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was the conference liaison until 2015. She was instrumental in organizing, planning and scheduling conferences in Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Boston.

She helped implement changes to the structure and schedules within the conferences and created policies and contracts to streamline these complex events. In addition, she managed the Education Dialogue, the Trunk Show, and tirelessly edited the conference brochures.

Pam has been the Trunk Show coordinator in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019, communicating with all participants both pre-conference and onsite. This year, she is also the Conference Workshop Coordinator.

She recently joined the Women’s Jeweler’s Association (WJA) Board of Directors – Chicago chapter, and was a founding member of The Chicago Metals Art Guild (CMAG).

For over 26 years, Pam has taught classes at Lillstreet Art Center and is currently the Director of Education, and the Director of the Metalsmithing, Jewelry & Glass department. She has also taught metalsmithing workshops nationwide. Her work has been in numerous exhibitions, featured in print (both magazines and books) and on the bodies and hands of wonderful patrons.



Categories: flowers, friends, nature, photography

Spent the weekend down in Bartonville (near Peoria) visiting some good friends & playing in their amazing garden with my Cousin Kim! It’s just enough warmer down there that they are easily a few weeks ahead of us. So many Spring flowers already blooming in their amazing garden! Full of colors, textures and a bunch of wonderful rust pieces!!!

Categories: art fair, artists, friends, My Talented Friends

Had a great time yesterday hanging out with my talented metalsmith friend Sarah Chapman at the ONE OF A KIND SHOW. Her work is amazing… great designs, incredible craftsmanship, fun textures, beautiful stones… and great shadows too!!!

Categories: friends, inspiration

After a couple days in Minneapolis surrounded by all that darn NCECA going on.. Ha!… it felt great to get away to continue my long weekend away from home. So I hopped in the car and followed some friends on the expressway as we crossed into the middle of nowhere Western Wisconsin. A beautiful drive as we had gorgeous blue skies once again. Shockingly great weather for the weekend as Minneapolis had just gotten snow & freezing weather just a few days prior!

Random side note… apparently a tornado had gone through this area awhile ago,
and that is why these trees are “shaved off” along the top!

We eventually got to the farm… after a pretty yummy lunch with an “award-winning” burger along the way! And yes, it was indeed yummy so I can totally understand where the AWARD would have come from!!!

It was great to tour the farm as she has been renovating much of it to become her new pottery studio. Her work space, kilns and retail showroom would be on the first floor. But it’s the second floor that takes your breath away!!! You walk up the stairs…. and the vaulted ceiling just opens up and shows off the amazing wooden ceiling craftsmanship! Her plan is to open this space up for other artists to stop by, stay for awhile and share their creative energies as a sort of “resort-creative-getaway kind of place”!     And I’m in!!!!

I also love all things “farm”… lots of old pieces with great history,
lots of rusty metal, lots of grounded reality!

But it’s not just the barn that’s so impressive… it’s also her cozy country farm house!
I always LOVE seeing where artists live, and how they decorate their spaces, what they collect, and how they show up as artists in every part of their place. Great fun seeing all of her collections & personal treasures… many of them with a touching family memories still attached.

Huge thanks to Delores for opening her home… and her farm... to me for the weekend! So much fun to spend time with good friends like Delores, Roberta & Yuki… discussing & solving all of the problems of the pottery world… just chatting… and maybe a little gossip. And a great way to cap-off my NCECA weekend!


Categories: food, friends

After a full day of touring the ceramic galleries & shows of NCECA…
and maybe a bit too much shopping along the way…
Sarah and I got home to indulge a bit… with some of each. She knows me so well.


Categories: artists, friends, My Talented Friends, pottery, wheelthrowing

One of the best parts of NCECA for me is getting to see some of my pottery friends, former teachers, online contacts & more! Always great to run into someone you know when you’re out & about – away from your normal path. Including running into some of my Facebook & Instagram “fans” who it was fun to stop & chat with… odd to be recognized only by my online presence?!!!

So much fun having a chance to hang out and play with my pottery buddy Steven Hill. He’s an amazing potter… and apparently the superstar for SKUTT Kilns & Wheels. He was participating in their trade show booth – both as a demonstrating artist, as well as the judge for their wheelthrowing contest. Either way, we had a great time chatting and meeting some of his other pottery friends. And as always, it’s just great to watch other people throwing pots. I could watch that all day, every day. And when it’s someone as experienced as Steven… it never gets old. Thank You Steven!!!