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

Eternal flame at Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza… honoring those who have served.

Categories: family, inspiration


So my niece Taylor is turning eighteen today!!!
And I thought it might be fun to do a little flashback to when she was a youngster in grade school doing a class project about a family member. Turns out she picked ME!!! So cute… funny the things that “stuck” in her head back then? Hard to believe she’s turning 18 already… where has the time gone?!

Categories: challenge, classes, creativity, inspiration

Now that all of my students have their “assignment”… I can finally reveal what was in all those white envelopes last week… and the final “Big Build” project for my GREAT LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class! It’s about “time”!
So they each chose a white envelope which revealed a famous cartoon show. And then they found out what they had to do with it… “time” for the project info!

Turns out it’s “time” for them to build a working CLOCK!!!

And oh but wait there’s more… their clock has to be based on the cartoon that they chose. They can choose any elements from their cartoon… actual characters, logo, colors, vibe, style, environment, etc. … as long as it’s indicative of the cartoon!!! The goal is for them all to have this “Big Build” CLOCK done, glazed & working for their final critique in Week 10 of class! Not a “minute” to spare!

Categories: inspiration

Twenty-five years ago today, the world lost Princess Diana. Such a radiant light amongst the British royalty… even more vibrant & dynamic on her own. Destined to make a huge impact on the world. But instead, it turned out to be one of those sad & historic moments in everyone’s memory… begging the question “Where were YOU when you heard the news of that fatal car accident in Paris that took Princess Diana’s life?”

I was on vacation in California visiting my good friend Barbara. We were grocery shopping in Manhattan Beach buying things to make a cheesecake that night. We were standing in the check-out line when the news broke over the news. We were stunned as we stood there in line. We rushed back to her place, turned on the news… and didn’t turn it off for hours & hours. So sad, so tragic, such a big loss… and we never made the cheesecake!

Categories: inspiration

Is it just me?… or is it a strange coincidence that one of your Summer Campers shows up wearing a “Monsters Inc.” t-shirt… and then you see the same thing across the hall in the utility room?!!!

Categories: creativity, inspiration, platters

Always fun to get my “latest installation” of artsy postcards from The Postcard Club … this batch featuring some pretty sweet illustrations & motivational messages. A little something guaranteed to brighten someone’s day!

Click here for more about The Postcard Club subscription program.

Categories: inspiration, summer camp

Well, today was my first day of Summer Camp at Lillstreet Art Center. And my wheelthrowing campers are well under way, making pots & having fun… and especially succeeding with Gary’s Camp Rule #3 : “Whatever mess you make, you WILL be cleaning up.”

Now if we could just get the adult students to follow that same rule with such enthusiasm?!

Categories: architecture, creativity, inspiration

As I had mentioned, I went to CITY MUSEUM yesterday in St. Louis… and finally worked my way through editing my photos to share! I’ve heard about CITY MUSEUM for years, but really had no idea what to expect… and if I did, it wasn’t this!!!

This might be the CRAZIEST “museum” I’ve ever been to… in the best way possible!!! I LOVED it!!! Such a crazy & amazing collection of stuff… stacked, piled, installed & layered all over the multi-level building. Including stuff on the rooftop and sticking out the side. Tons of slides, ramps, spiral staircases, tubes & crazy ways to get around. Think steampunk meets jungle gym… meets flea market… meets vintage carnival… meets caverns… meets aquarium… and so much MORE!!!

The guy at the Front Desk said that if you feel lost, you’re doing great. So much fun… and yet so eclectic & wild. A definite must-see in St. Louis… but wear your gym clothes if you really want to play!!!

Categories: inspiration

A beautiful day for a road trip… blue skies… puffy white clouds… just cruisin’ through Chenoa on my way to St. Louis. Always enjoy getting my kicks on Route 66!

Categories: inspiration, nature

Well, lookey here… yet another one of my ceramic fortune cookies has been found at Illinois Beach State Park. So much fun finding out that they are still being found by random people while out there enjoying the park. Even more impressive that Adam “found me” here on Facebook and shared his story & photos with me!

This from Adam…
“Hi Gary, thank you for the good fortune! My kids and I found a cookie this past Saturday and my mother did the research and found you. Hoping you can view the post about it on my page and the pictures associated with the outing to Illinois Beach State Park. I recently discovered it during the lockdown as well (Sept. 2021), and I’m now there almost every time the weather is favorable. Kids love it too! A lot of joy has come from your kindness. From the thrill of finding the cookie nestled in the root structure of the tree to the people’s reaction from posting about it and finally the excitement in locating the maker! We hope there may be more to find still and will be back again soon. Thank you!!!”