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

I don’t know… I feel pretty darn GREAT in the morning!!!
No chance of a hangover. And always the potential of an amazing sunrise!!!

Categories: holiday, inspiration

This year is quickly coming to an end… and a new one about to begin.
What will your story be in 2017?

Categories: friends, inspiration, special events

So I’ve been planning on this for awhile…
And I’ve been wearing my IRONMAN wristband ever since the race.
It’s all faded… and wrinle… and I’d swear it was getting smaller too?
But I’ve worn it proudly everyday since the race. Until today…

I’ve been considering this for quite a long time. I’m not the type to rush into something this permanent. I kinda knew I was going to do it all during my training, but never really admitted it outloud until after I had crossed the Finish Line. Like I didn’t want to jinx myself.

But, I did cross the Finish Line…. and I’ve been planning this ever since. I knew I was going to get my well-earned IRONMAN tattoo!!! But then the question was what to get? Where? What? How big? So I narrowed it down to four choices. And printed them out in six different sizes each. And then I would cut them out and tape onto my body… walk around and look at them in the mirror. One design here. One design there. Narrowing it down. Design. Placement. Size. Because yes, I am a dork.

And then I was ready. So I called my friend Chris to see if she would go with me, and if she had a tatoo artist recommendation. As my IRONMAN Sherpa and longtime biking buddy, of course she was right there for me!!! She mad all the arrangements and we went today to get some ink. And before I knew it I was on the table getting the stencil applied.

I showed Chris and the tattoo guy what I was thinking in terms of design, size and location. I decided to go with the traditional IRONMAN m-dot logo. Thinking I could always add more to it later if I ever needed to. But I thought I should start with the classic logo. I was kinda torn between calf muscle or side of ankle. We talked about it, he say my calf muscles and he said the decision was made. That my calf was SCREAMING for the tattoo. And I had to agree. So I showed him the size I wanted… which they both thought was too small. I taped it on and showed them in the mirror. He made a stencil of a slightly larger one and put it in the same place. And they were right. It looked so nice & proportional to my leg. Whereas my little one looked too small by comparison. He thought it should be centered on the back of my leg, but I thought it should be centered on the muscle itself. We moved it a bit and they both agreed. So there we were. Stencil ready…. time to go under the needle!

So I hopped back on the table as the buzzing of the tattoo machine began…
constant humming…. buzzing… building up the anxiety before it even begins…

First the outline in black…

And then the red fill-in…

And before I knew it, he was wiping me clean… and we were done!!!
Let me just say for the record… it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected it to.

And then I was wrapped up with some sort of clear “bandage” sealant material. Keep it on for like three days, then take it off carefully. Keep it clean with antibacterial soap and ointment. We’re going into New Year’s Eve festivities…. so I’ll keep the band-aid on and take it off when things settle down for the New Year!

Goodbye wristband. Hello IRONMAN tattoo!!!

And then Chris got a triathlon inspired tattoo bracelet “just ‘cuz” we were there…
I’m sure we’ll be back next Fall after Chris completes her IRONMAN in September 2017.



Categories: inspiration, special events

By now you may have figured out that I’m NOT political… but THIS is a good one!!!

Categories: inspiration, special events

So I opened my mailbox today… and found the latest issue of Ceramics Monthly.
I knew it was coming, I’ve already received my “sneak preview” issues, but it’s still fun to see the actual magazine arriving in my mail. And knowing that the same issue is arriving in mailboxes all around the world!!! That my little “Tips And Tools” segment is being read by potters everywhere!!! So exciting.

And while I would highly recommend that everyone subscribe to this fine magazine… you can still read my article even if you don’t. It’s the “Tips and Tools” segment on page 100. They contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing about my power-drilled berry bowls. And of course I said “YES”!!!

Originally published in October 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly, page 100. . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society.
Reprinted with permission.



Categories: friends, inspiration, special events

For those who know me well, you’ll know that today was a double whammy. In a church AND wearing long pants!!! Yikes. Celebrating the marriage of Camden & Kristin… second son of my best friends from college!

Categories: inspiration, pottery, stamped

It’s always so much fun to find out that someone out there is actually reading my blog, watching my videos and trying some of my ideas in their own work. I love sharing and story-telling… Good to know that someone is “listening.”

So I got this great e-mail from a “Fan” who is currently living in Japan.
Apparently, they don’t do much stamping in Japan?!

From an e-mail from David in Japan…
“Gary, I have to thank you for your blog and YouTube videos: they’ve been a brilliant inspiration for me here in Japan. Just by copying a few of the things you have done. I’m trying things here that nobody else, even my teachers, have done before. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve just started, but I think I’ll be stamping for quite a while from now. Thanks again!”

Categories: creativity, inspiration, patterns, process

What a fun technique… pressing colors through patterns? Who’da thunk? I will definitely need to try this one. Might be a fun project to try with my students? Thank you Ceramic Arts Daily for sharing Meredith Host’s video excerpt from her DVD : “Form, Pattern and Underglaze: Wheel Throwing and Decoration.”

Click here to see the excerpt from Meredith Host’s video.

Categories: creativity, food, inspiration

To kick-off April, I’ve decided to start my new Nutritious Raw Food Diet.
Not really sure how it works, but a lot of people swear by it.
And I’m all for giving it a valiant effort. I’m willing to take one for the team.

Categories: creativity, inspiration

This one makes me smile every time I watch it. And trust me… it’s been a LOT of times!!!
I just can’t get enough of this guy. And the song is pretty catchy too!

Click here for the fantastically hilarious video by Luciano Rosso!!!

Love his energy, his expressions and his total commitment to this song. Can you even imagine trying to have a serious conversation with this guy?!

Love it… my vote for Best Selfies EVER!!!