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

So yesterday we set-out for a long bike ride through the rural farms of the far West suburbs of Chicago. It was a very HOT & sweaty day… 80 miles in over 80-degrees… with lots of rolling hills, blue skies and beautiful barns.


Somewhere along the way, the storm clouds moved in, the radar alert system was ringing our phones and we needed to find shelter quick. We rolled into Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles… and ducked under a big party tent from a wedding the day before.

My friend Chris advised that under the tent was not the best idea…
but the sky opened up and the deluge began!!!

About a minute later, the winds kicked in and ripped the tent right out of the ground, flopping in the breeze as we ran indoors for safety! We were dripping wet… safe… laughing… and that effectively cancelled the last fifteen miles or so of our ride!

Thanks to Beckie’s husband Jim for driving over to “save us” from the storm!



Categories: flowers, nature

A beautiful day for riding, with some beautiful flora along the way… and some fauna too!
We saw lot of Nature along the way, some beautiful flowers, a groovy espalier…
and about sixteen deer along the way!!!

Categories: nature, photography

Beautiful blue skies. Beautiful vista over the lake.
Panoramic photo needed to capture the beauty!

Categories: nature, photography, sunrise

Big sunrise sky-shows require big sunrise photos!!!
And this morning had one of them!!!

Categories: nature

Mist-covered spiderwebs along the harbor fence yesterday…
dripping droplets of water glistening along the spider’s stringy web.



Categories: flowers, nature

Beautiful Spring flowers this morning along the bike trail.
Striking flower spikes blossoming on the red horse chestnut trees.

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: nature, textures

Natural textures along the lakefront.

Categories: food, nature

Just a month ago… hey, but who’s counting?…
After a fun weekend of NCECA, gallery hopping with Sarah, fun on the farm and hanging with friends, it was finally time to head home. Luckily, it was a beautiful Sunday morning. The sky was blue, plenty of sun, some remnants of snow… and a LOT of songs to sing on my way home!

Okay, so maybe I got “distracted” along the way…
I had mentioned that I’m a BIG FAN of the Norske Nook for pie! And Delores said that she thinks that Main Street Cafe in Bloomer, Wisconsin is just as good or better. And who am I not to check it out???

Back on the road… back to nature’s beauty…. back to my own carpool karaoke!!!

But then again… distracted… you know it’s my favorite!!!
Sure, Delores said Main Street Cafe was just as good or better… and who am I NOT to try a side-by-side taste-test comparison??? So I just “had to” stop to pick-up yet another pie!!! Purely for research purposes.

Back on the road… and eager to get home.
If nothing else, just to find a fork and to let the “research” begin!!!

A beautiful end to a beautiful weekend. Another NCECA Weekend come and gone…



Categories: creativity, nature, sunset

After touring the farm and chatting with friends, we decided to head out for dinner… to where else?... a Wisconsin Supper Club. Well, kind of a bar… kind of a restaurant... definitely in the middle of nowhere! But gorgeous!!!

As we’re siting at our table, it was tough to focus on the menu as the sunset just kept getting better & better. So glad we figured out how to get here with the GPS… I just hope we can figure out how to get back home to the farm  when it’s pitch black out there?!!!

Okay, one more thing… For some strange reason, the ceiling fo the restaurant was covered with dollar bills stapled cverywhere. No reason. No explanation. And I kinda liked that. Sure we could have asked… but it was kind of more fun to keep it a mystery!