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

This past week my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students rocked my word!!!
They were challenged to make Salt & Pepper Shakers… with a theme!

I gave them a list of some of the most popular Beatles songs.
And then the TOP TWO winners of the first in-class challenge got to choose their own song title. The the second TOP TWO winners from the second in-class challenge got to “assign” the rest of the themes to everyone else in class! So they left class with a classic Beatles song on which they had to base their salt & pepper shaker set on… with a thematic tray to hold them all together.

So how well do YOU know your Beatles Songs? See if you can figure these out…






But I especially loved how the holes “unintentionally” lined-up to become eyes!!!






And our TOP TWO WINNERS for the week…



So there they are… a bunch of AMAZING salt & pepper shakers!!!
They definitely stepped up to the challenge!!!


Need a few answers to the Beatles Trivia S&P Challenge???

CLAIRE -         Blackbird
JON -                Rocky Raccoon
TERESA -         I Am The Walrus
DAVID -           While My Guitar Gently Weeps
RYAN -             Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
SUSAN -           Yellow Submarine
TAYLOR -        Across The Universe
JACOB -           Norwegian Wood
MOLLY -          Octopus’s Garden
DONNA -         Strawberry Fields
TATIANA -      Paperback Writer


Categories: music, theater

Another wonderful evening of musical theater! One of my all-time favorites “A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder.“ A murderously witty & wonderful way to celebrate Pam’s birthday… okay, sure… so not everybody lives till the end?! But still great fun at the Porchlight Theatre.

Categories: music, theater

Another great show at the Cadillac Palace Theater… FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
just in time for the holidays?! Well-played with so many classic songs…
I tried my best to not sing too loudly… as I already knew the lyrics
from when we did the show in high school!

Thanks to my friend Pam for the wonderful Christmas gift surprise!!!

And we all know how much I LOVE a good “Sunrise, Sunset”!!!       … get it???

Categories: holiday, movies, music

A wonderful night kicking off the holidays with a movie double-feature holiday sing-a-long at the Music Box Theater. Two Christmas movie classics, buttery popcorn, plenty of caroling, ugly sweaters (not me) and even Santa leading the sing-a-long!!!

Oh yeah…. “White Christmas” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” in case you were wondering!


Categories: music, theater

Another wonderful evening of musical theater last night at The Cadillac Palace Theatre. One of my all-time favorite shows with two of my favorite friends. Thanks for a magical night. Hard to believe that “MISS SAIGON” has been around for over twenty-five years now!!!

Sure, it might not be the most up-beat of shows…
but I’ve now seen it a couple times now and I love it more every time!
Even this revival with a few changes of lyrics & new songs.

The evening in the theater starts with this dramatic image on the the stage curtain to set the mood for the amazing show to come.



Categories: movies, music, special events

Sure, I know I “should” be home setting up for tomorrow’s HOLIDAY HOME SHOW.

But how could I be expected to miss the midnight show at The Music Box Theater.
Especially when it’s a sing-along interactive version of “Little Shop Of Horrors”?!!!

Categories: friends, music, special events

After pulling an “all-nighter” firing the kiln, and a quickie one-hour nap, last night we were off to Ravinia for a fun concert under the stars… err, clouds… err, umbrellas!!!

We started with some amazing clouds blowing in and great friends with great snacks. They brought wine for themselves, and OREO Handi-Snacks for me!!! They know me so well.

And then it started to rain, and then rain even MORE, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We “sufffered through” The Thompson Twins who needed a little tune-up, and then the B-52′s rocked the place!!! Only to be topped off with Boy George and Culture Club. He was AMAZING!!! He did all of their hits and sounded perfect – like it hasn’t been over 30 years from when he was popular the first time! He even ended the show with tribute cover songs from Aretha Franklin & Prince. Great show. Great fun… and now to dry out!!! Ironic the night ended with Purple Rain, huh?!

Categories: music, theater

After years of hype, I finally made it to WICKED last night… and it did NOT disappoint. The production was amazing, and the story & songs were so much better developed than I expected. It’s not just a kids show. Quite a few clever twists along the way as you learn so much more about the Witches of Oz!!! Loved it… so why did I wait so long???

The show was amazing. The staging, the lights, the proscenium, and the voices were spectacular… chills… and hairs standing up on my arms!!! Everything was just mesmerizing!!!

Categories: holiday, music

And for those who missed their chance to “sing & win” a FREE MUG
at yesterday’s Holiday Home Show… here’s a fun rendition of
“Mele Kalikimaka” by The Puppini Sisters!

Click here for the YouTube video.

Categories: music, theater

Tonight at the Cadillac Palace Theater… a wonderful night in Agrabah!!!

Sure, it was a magical night… and the Cadillac Palace Theater is a great venue!
The architectural details and amazing craftsmanship. The moldings. The ceilings. The chandeliers. They don’t make theaters like they used to!!!

After gawking at the theater’s architecture… it was finally time for the show!

And apparently, there is more than one Magic Lamp…
or maybe just a great display board of Aladdin holiday ornaments at the souvenir stand!!!

The show itself is AMAZING!!!
They did a wonderful job of adapting the Disney animated classic to a live theater show. The colors, the settings, the dancing  the singing. ALl amazing!!! Sure, there are a few changes along the way. A few new characters, a few missing. Some new songs, some favorite classics. All in all, a WONDERFUL noght of musical theater!!!

And then there’s the Magic Carpet ride… Jasmine & Price Ali flying out over the Agrabah sky!

I swear I have no idea how this darn carpet flies!!! I watched intently when they took off and flew out of Jasmine’s bedroom window. I tried my best to figure out how it was happening. No visible cables. No signs of a crane. I tried… and I “assumed’ they were doing a great job of hiding them with the nighttime sky & star-filled setting. But when the carpet showed up again during Curtain Call in full lighting… I strained my eyes to see the trick. And STILL… no idea how this happens!!! They do a wonderful job here.

So when I got home, I had to do a little research… and everywhere online, any article I could find says that it’s just “Disney Magic.” And that all of the cast members are sworn to secrecy. So much for figuring it out… but isn’t this part of the fun?!!!