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

At the end of the show yesterday, I had a chance to see some of the Sculpture Garden here at the Prairie Arts Center in Schaumburg. Seemed only fitting for the end of a beautiful day at the art fair!!! I’ve been doing this art fair several years… and finally noticed the Sculpture Park here?! Who knew.


Categories: artists, sculpture

Okay, so I’ve seen the big spoon sculpture for years!
I’ve been aware of Claes Oldenburg and his amazing oversized sculptures of everyday objects since art history classes in college! And I’ve been in Minneapolis so many times… but have never stopped by to see the real thing!!! Until today!!!

So cool. So big. Great fun to finally see it… plus we had the best weather ever!!!

Even the staircase is cool…

And another kinetic sculpture by Mark di Suvero…
we have a couple of his sculptural pieces in Chicago as well along the Lakefront…

There’s also a piece by an old friend of mine, I knew back in the day when he was just getting started back in Chicago, Theaster Gates. Okay, so he’s a BIG deal now… and I’m sure I’m nothing but a faint memory… but it was cool to see his piece here in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

A fun “detour” on our NCECA Gallery Tour Day!!!… more art, just not pots?!!!


Categories: Chicago, sculpture

Beautiful relief sculptures on the sides of the drawbridge houses on Michigan Avenue where it crosses the Chicago River.


Categories: classes, sculpture, vases

My LILLSTREET THROWDOWN students are amazing…
as they embrace each challenge so fully & creatively.

Many of them were working on their challenge pieces Tuesday night while I was teaching my Beginning Wheelthrowing class. I resisted the urge to go see what they were doing… and trust me it was HARD!!! I kept hearing laughter, discussion and “reports” for other students about how cool their projects were… and how well they were all coming along. I SO wanted to go back to see them… but felt better to wait to see them at The Big Reveal in class Wednesday night.

Luckily, they’re also good photographers… so they took pictures for me… but Jon didn’t share them with me until AFTER class Wednesday night. Yes, they do love playing games too!

Here’s Jon working hard on his piece using the pile of tubes you’ve already seen.


Scoring… slipping… attaching…    and most of them are NOT handbuilders!!!

Donna was the only “handbuilder” coming into the class…
so she’s obviously enjoying this challenge!

While Ryan found the challenge to be a bit more prickly… making thorns with thick slip!

Claire on the other hand had great plans… and many choices to make along the way…

Not feeling so confident about the lid she’s adding to the tulipere…

Susan doing some finishing touches on her coiled pot.



Patti adding some last minute carvings to texture the tube of her tulipiere.

And if that weren’t enough... slip dots on the white tubes…


And Teresa was happy to be finishing her piece just in time for class!


Categories: architecture, sculpture, travel

Part of the fun of traveling abroad and letting yourself explore past the major tourist attractions is turning a corner and finding little gems like this. Go out…. explore… find the hidden treasures!

Categories: architecture, sculpture, travel

Everywhere you look there is something beautiful to see
n a cool old city like Frankfurt am Main.

Categories: artists, inspiration, sculpture

“Don’t lose your old self”…
thin 2D wire sculpture flying high from a power line on Damen & North in Bucktown.

So much better than the sadly more typical pair of hanging shoes!


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.