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

Beautiful metal wall pieces by another Lillstreet Studio member Abi Gonzales.
She’s having an Opening Reception tonight from 6:00-9:00 at the Lillstreet Annex Gallery.
C’mon by!!!

Categories: sculpture

In the category of “Gary’s An Idiot”…
So I’ve seen a LOT of sunrises. But never like the one this morning CRAZY STUFF!!!

So I was pedaling south with a lot of clouds and no real sunrise. When I got to about Belmont, I noticed this odd “glow” in the water. I literally pulled over just to examine and take some pictures. A large patch of glowing orange in the water. What??? I’ve NEVER seen this before?!!!!

With just a few hours of sleep, biking in darkness and my mind racing, I of course came up with several plausible scenarios to explain the glow in the lake. Luminescent plankton? Oil or gasoline spill? Plane crash? Flaming chemical spill? Volcanic lava? So many possibilities, my mind was racing.

So much so that I actually stopped off at Fullerton to point it out to two policemen who were hanging out enjoying the sunrise. They hadn’t noticed it, but were equally intrigued after I pointed it out. No news on their radio. No solutions.

So I pedaled further and grouped up with three fellow bikers. I pointed it out to them as well. They said they had noticed it around Montrose. I asked if they had an ideas, and one of them said it was the clouds. What??? There was no sunrise anywhere, so there could be no reflection!!! So where could the glowing the water be coming from???

Any thoughts???

As the sky lightened up, you could start to see what was really going on… a bit better…

So here’s what was REALLY going on. Nowhere as cool as the scenarios I was running through my head. Turns out I’m just an idiot. But it was kind of an optical illusion. If you look really closely, the actual horizon line is blow the “orange glow in the lake.” So it is indeed orange clouds floating low above the horizon. I think the visually confusing part is that there is a perfectly straight line above the orange glow as well. So I mistook that as the horizon line… thus putting the orange glow IN THE WATER, instead of above in the clouds as normal sunrises are. I like my version better… made the morning ride oddly interesting today!!!



Categories: sculpture, summer camp

After a week of fun, my Summer Camp kids finished their sculptures yesterday just in time for a “gallery” showing for their parents and other campers. They truly took it to heart when I challenged them to go LARGE… the only “rule” was that they had to be able to get it home!!!… somehow.

VIVIAN’s life-sized sea turtle and colorful squid taking a ride

LILY’s 5-foot tall phoenix… based on Fawkes, the phoenix from Harry Potter.

McKENZIE’s 5-foot long flying dragon beast

LAUREN’s squiggly branched 5-foot tall tree designed to hold her necklaces and stick into a corner of her bedrooom.

ISAAC’s armadillo

ROSI’s shooting star complete with sparkling glitter

SAUL’s 5-foot tall alien creature… inspired by the ALIEN movies

CLOELLE’s 4-foot tall flowering cactus.

SASHA’s clock with black widow spiders on the front, and a bunch of gears on the back.

MARTHA’s 5-foot tall light blue tree complete with mail slot, functioning mail box, swing, cat and bird.

SYLVIA’s five-foot tall weeping willow tree.

BEN’s sculpture…. hold on… wait for it... 4-foot tall standing potato man with marshmallow arms and fish tail. Yep, his idea.. not mine!

So the only one that is missing is MAX’s six-foot long snake! He had to finish his on Thursday as he had to miss Friday’s big show! Family trip to St. Louis… I get it. But he was pretty darn stoked that his snake measured out at OVER six-feet long!!!

So there it is… another week of Summer Camp in the books,
Next week I’m up for another great week of camp… it’s FIRE, FORGE & FEAST.






Categories: sculpture, summer camp

Today back at Summer Camp, my kids started building their large sculptures. First they designed their concepts, sketched it out and then began building the armature to hold it all together. A lot of mixed media & creative problem-solving along the way! More work tomorrow…

Categories: Chicago, sculpture, sunrise

Another cloudy morning, but still a great way to start a hazy & humid Sunday morning. A longer ride gave me a sunrise view of the City from the other side… which was still hazed over. Turns out it was for most of the day!

Lakefront sculpture by Mark di Suvero.

Categories: art fair, sculpture

Robert Frost bronze statue in the center of Burlington Park…
looking a bit from the morning rain.

But it has stopped raining for now as we prepare for Day Two
of the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival.




Categories: sculpture, seasons

Looks like we may have had wee bit of a Nor’easter here overnight?!
Playing in the snow. Frozen in time.



Categories: architecture, sculpture, vacation

After finally getting my bearings and heading back north, I had a WONDERFUL time going through Central Park in New York. So many wonderful things to see every where you look. Incredible sculpture, architecture and craftsmanship EVERYwhere. Amazing that they’ve kept this amazing parcel of land intact for so long.

It was warm, drizzly, and quite foggy as I entered the park…
but that NEVER stopped my adventure! It’s just water… you’ll dry off!!!

I entered the park at the southwest corner at Columbus Circle.

As I stepped into the park, I was taken by the low-flying fog engulfing the park.

No detail is overlooked. Even the caps on the fences & bridges are exquisite.
Love the artsy styling and fine craftsmanship all around… the mossy lichens aren’t too bad either!

So many cool places to walk, stairs to climb, bridges to go over.
The perfect place to get away from the hustle & bustle of the Manhattan streets.

Tiny details on the fence that surrounds the Carrousel… sadly closed for the season!

Wonderful craftsmanship all around the Bethesda Terrace. Great columns & pilasters with carved details and friezes. Love the fact that they’ve been here for SO long… and the mossy green “patina” on them is pretty darn cool too.

And then you enter the lower level of Bethesda Terrace to find a hidden treasure…

An amazing installation of colorful & illuminated ceramic ceiling tiles!!!

The Loeb Boathouse

Hans Christian Anderson statue

Alice In Wonderland statue

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Three Bears statue by Paul Manship

The Belvedere Castle

Bank Rock Bridge on The Lake

Ramble Arch Bridge

Bow Bridge

Finally needing to bring my adventure to an end… I made it though the Central Park Zoo and headed out the southeast corner of the park. I loved this really cool “birdcage” sculpture by Ai Wei. You can’t really see them, but inside the lower level are actual “turnstyle gates” from the subway!

Followed by the more traditional golden Tecumsah Sherman statue
across the street from The Plaza Hotel.

Sure, I may have gotten “lost” for the first part of my adventure…
but it was totally worth it with this incredible tour through Central Park.

Always my favorite place in New York City!!!

And for those who want even more Central Park… click here for a fun video
showing the park during the summer, including some of the Park’s hidden treasures!









Categories: food, sculpture, vacation

Luckily, I had the morning & afternoon free in New York so I stepped out of the hotel “intending” to go for a run in Central Park. Somehow I got turned around in Rockefeller Plaza and head off in the wrong direction. It wasn’t until I made it to Bryant Park that I realized my mistake… MANY blocks in the wrong direction. Too much to see. Too many distractions to notice.

So I embraced the adventure and went to Herald Square and the Garment District while I was down there.

And of course, some NY pizza to “fortify” before heading back!!!



Categories: artists, creativity, sculpture

The two things that made me smile the most during the ArtWalk.
One, the fun ongoing wood project that encouraged the kids to measure, cut, drill, sand, etc to build a wooden fort right there on Ravenswood. So cute.

And two, this crazy cool assemblage sculpture piece by Mathias Schergen. A whole bunch of crazy-cool parts & pieces put together to guarantee a smile! So much fun!!!