Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: family, special events, Taylor

Also last week, while I probably should have been “training or packing”… I spent the day with my own little Great America Gang. So much fun playing with my niece, sister & cousin on all of the roller coasters, eating snacks and focusing on the FUN!!!

Oh wait, but first… Taylor had to braid Kim’s hair. Sure, we came all this way…
and THEN we braid hair???

And then finally… we got onto some rides!!!

Great fun flying out of our seats” on The Viper!!!
I love that feeling of “weightlessness” when flying over the wooden hills.

Spinning Teacups!!!

Ready for one of the originals… The American Eagle!!!

A beautiful sunset over The Raging Bull… my favorite roller coaster here at Great America!

X-Flight… so smooth!

Spinnin’ & flyin’ high on The Revolution… so much better when the lights come on!!!

And the end of another fantastic day at Six Flags Great America!



Categories: family, special events, sunset

After a fun morning of Summer Camp yesterday, I zipped over to Six Flags Great America for a fun outing with my sister Jen, niece Taylor and cousin Kim… the “Fun-Foursome” with our Season Passes!!! It started out a little cloudy, but that soon passed and it became a beautiful evening playing in the park, zooming on the coasters & eating some great “park food”!!!

Categories: mugs, pottery, special events, tools

After spending the night in Minneapolis at a friend’s house, I got up and headed over to the Minneapolis Convention Center for a full day of NCECA fun. Okay, let me just say from the get-go… for the record… I’m NOT a huge fan of NCECA. I just want to make pots. I just want to see pots. I just want to have fun, buy pots, buy tools,  and see a LOT of pottery friends!!! Not so much into the “educational-lecture” part of the show, which I totally get as it IS an educator’s conference! So I knew going up that one day of NCECA would be enough for me! Well, that plus a full day of touring NCECA Gallery Shows on Friday.

So the first thing I ran into after registering for the day was the Artstream Gallery… LOVE IT!!! I’ve seen it before, but you can never see it enough! Basically they took an old Airstream Trailer and converted it into a mobile pottery gallery! What a wonderful idea!!!

There were several galleries that had made little Pop-Up Shops with their ceramic wares.
Many of them focusing on a few featured artists… like one of the galleries was featuring
this oversized sculpture by George Rodriguez

So many mugs… so little time. Loved this contemporary twist on mug display & shelving… one mug per shelf.

Also fun to see so many potters that I’ve been introduced to through social media. Like this slip-cast, layered-colors and carved tumbler by Valeri Alexsandrov. Beautiful to watch on Instagram, but even better to touch, fondle, caress and admire in person!

So many things to see… so many pots everywhere… I WAS IN POTTERY HEAVEN!
And the first “souvenir” to come home with me was this Ted Neal mug. Loved the rustic, almost rusty quality of it… as well as the industrial-somewhat agricultural aspects to it.

And one of my favorite things at the Pop-Up Gallery areas were these pre-packaged shot glasses. What a wonderful idea – a comic satire on commerce & mass-production… with a handmade ceramic piece inside the retro-inspired retail packaging. So, so funny!!!

And then it was off to the Trade Show Expo area. Always fun to see all of the latest in pottery tools & supplies. Many of which I’m not in the market for… like kilns, commercial glazes or more pottery wheels. But even though I might not be looking to buy any of these… still fun to see everything.

Including these little mini-wheels… a tiny little wooden box that is actually a miniature potter’s wheel… perfect for making miniature pots!

And then I finally got down to the back corner to find my favorite… DiamondCore Tools!!! Great to finally meet Robert and his crew, as well as see all of their amazing products all in one place! And all ready to be played with on some clay. Carving. Scraping. Sgraffito-ing. Whatever. So much fun getting a chance to play with all of their tools… as well as seeing some great demos by some pretty great artists!



Categories: clay, special events

Just got home from a wonderful weekend in Minneapolis for NCECA 2019…. the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. A lot of pottery, inspirations, shopping and meeting up with a lot of other pottery friends!! More photos & stories to come!!!

As an added bonus… it was a BEAUTIFUL weather weekend in Minneapolis! So I made sure to get outside to see some of the sights outside of the Convention Center too!


Categories: bowls, lillstreet, special events

Last night was another successful EMPTY BOWLS fundraiser at Lillstreet…
raising lots of money for First Slice to help feed the hungry.
And while lots of people picked their bowls… others picked their…

Categories: bowls, lillstreet, special events, stamped

Just a “few” of the HUNDREDS of handmade ceramic bowls that will be part of tonight’s
EMPTY BOWLS fundraiser at Lillstreet Art Center. Stop by tonight from 5:00-8:00pm
to help the needy, have some hot soup and keep your new handmade bowl.

Attendees will choose from a selection of $25 ceramic bowls, handmade
and donated by Lillstreet artists, enjoy a delicious serving of soup, and leave with
a unique piece of art… all while giving back to the Chicago Community.
All funds raised will benefit First-Slice Cafe‘s initiatives to fight hunger in Chicago,
serving close to 4,000 meals to those in need each month.

Stop by early to get your “best choice” of bowls… including a dozen of MINE!!!


Categories: Chicago, special events

Huge kudos to my pal Sandy who tackled yesterday’s POLAR PLUNGE into a frozen Lake Michigan like a ROCKSTAR!… quite literally!Her and her team of Elvises… or is that Elvii?… raised big money for Special Olympics with their annual plunge! And look… she even made the news!!!

Categories: bowls, special events, stamped

Now here’s MY version of a Super Bowl. Just sayin’…

Categories: bowls, special events
Categories: holiday, inspiration, special events

Unbeknownst to many, one of my “other jobs” is the Creative Director for a special events company in Chicago. And the real “reason” I went to Frankfurt, Germany was to attend the ChristmasWorld Trade Show to scope out new, cool, over-the-top trends & ideas we can bring back to Chicago! Great fun with overwhelming amounts of glitter & twinkling lights.

“What?… Christmas again?… already?… didn’t we just get through with that???”