Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: creativity, inspiration, music, special events, theater

Tonight was a wonderful night under the White Big Top.
Located down in the south parking lot of Soldier Field is a temporary white tent..
and it’s HUGE!!! Much larger than the tent they had a few years back when CAVALIA
first came to Chicago. I saw the show then and was instantly mesmerized. I sadly assumed it was a one-time show… so imaging my surprise & excitement when I saw they were returning to Chicago with a new show!!!

And it’s got to be that big to house a show this HUGE!!!
You should know by now that I’m a card-carrying Cirque du Soleil geek.
And while this is NOT a Cirque show, it is definitely very reminiscent of their splendor.
Think of it as Cirque du Soleil with a herd of horses running free!!!

Click here to see the official trailer for CAVALIA’s ODYSSEO.

It’s an amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing evening. The live band and singer were captivating while each of the acts were amazing. The colors, the costumes, the complete package. The horses are amazing in all their regal glory. Somehow they “perform” just as much as the human performers. They dance, prance and turn on cue. Somehow these “wild” horses storm the stage racing at full speed… and then a moment later are gentle, clam & graceful. It’s amazing to watch how well trained the horses are. And even more touching that you can actually see how much the trainers love their horses… and even better, that you can literally see how much the horses LOVE their trainers. Seriously. You can see the bond, the trust and the love of working together among the entire cast… human and equine!!!

Sure, there are acrobatic acts much like a more traditional Cirque du Soleil show…

But then there’s also horse galloping and trick riders flying all over the place.
Oh wait, and did I mention the water?!!!

For a bit more insight about the creator and the show from behind the scenes, click here for a very insightful CAVALIA video on YouTube.

And while the show is AMAZING!!!
They also host a wide collection of horse sculptures and paintings.
A veritable art gallery… like the CAVALIA theatrical spectacle weren’t enough!!!

And you know how I LOVE rusty metal….

In addition to the metal sculpture horses,they also had a wide collection of incredible horse paintings. I loved the gestural line quality of these beauties by Sebastien Larochelle…

And my favorite painting by Lea Riviere…

Overall, an amazing night of equine beauty.
It’s all of the spectacle drama and beauty of Cirque du Soleil AND horses!!!
If you EVER have a chance to see CAVALIA live under the Big Top… by all means do!!!

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Categories: special events

Thank you TurboTax… for making this process not so impossible.

And the United States Government for making this painful as always to “giveaway” tons of cash at the end of a year where I’ve worked HARD to make a living… lots of pots, lots of teaching, lots of work. Sometimes makes you reconsider this “glamorous” life as self-employed artist.

But trust me, this feeling will dissipate… and things will be back to normal soon. It just STINGS a bit when you hit that “Send” button!!!

Ouch!

A good sunrise. Another bike ride. Some chocolate. And we’ll all feel a lot better…
Another year done. Moving forward!!!

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Categories: bowls, lillstreet, special events

Just dropped off my bowls for tomorrow night’s EMPTY BOWLS event at Lillstreet Art Center. A great night for a great cause. Lots of bowls being donated by students, teachers and studio members. Stop by Lillstreet tomorrow night between 5:00-8:00pm to pick your bowl, get it filled with soup and make a donation to First Slice so they can continue doing good deeds feeding the needy & hungry. And you keep the bowl…

Click here for more information about EMPTY BOWLS at Lillstreet Art Center.

Categories: special events, theater

Looks like “big fun” has popped up along the Lakefront. We already have our tickets…
no horsing around for us!!! Can’t wait!!!

Categories: food, special events

And to celebrate the first day of Spring, looks like most non-mall Dairy Queens will be giving way free vanilla ice cream cones today!!! All day… and did I mention FREE?!!!!

Categories: artists, pottery, special events

It’s just three months away… and time to start counting the days!
To my favorite Pottery Tour of the year. The St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour.
And this year’s tour promises to be one of the best ever!!!
It’s their 25th Anniversary!!!

As usual, there are seven host locations on the tour. And this year they have invited fifty-two guests artists to join in the celebration. Promising to be an incredible three-day weekend in Minnesota!!! So many pots to see. So many potters to chat with. So much fun for everyone!!! I’ll be coming up as usual to play at all of the locations… and “quite possibly”, add a new pot… or two… or twelve to my collection?!!!

I know I will be going up for the weekend. Wouldn’t miss it. It’s an annual adventure!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been “invited” to be one of the guest artists… yet… so I will still be there shopping, chatting and admiring a TON of wonderful pottery with everyone else!!! It’s the best pottery weekend every year… and I’d love to see some blog fans there!!!

To see the full list of participating potters, and complete Tour details,
click here for the Minnesota Potters website.

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Categories: family, special events, Taylor

Sure, it’s freezing cold outside today… but the summer memories are still warm!
So here’s another summer flashback!!!

We started our day (back in August) at Six Flags Great America… and of course we had to start on a roller coaster! Taylor may have been a little cautious at first, but that didn’t last long…

Then we were off to my favorite… The Raging Bull.

After our first couple roller coasters, we played Whack-A-Mole… and I WON!!!
But the best part was that we ALL won colorful character baseball hats!!!
We looked gangsta’s in the hood of Nickelodeon!

More spinning… more squealing… more giggling…

Of course we had to take a cotton candy break… it is Great America after all.
And who doesn’t like a little more sugar to keep everyone amp’d up?!!!

More roller coasters… more fun… this time back on The Viper!!!

Seems like it was all coasters all the time… including the X-Flight!!!

Taylor was great at most of the roller coasters… although she drew the line at Vertical Velocity. I had to do that one with my cousin Kim while Jen & Taylor did the flying swings a couple times. In hind sight, the swings may have been better for Kim too… she was a bit queasy after this one! Magnetic jet-propulsion, twisting and flying straight up might not be her thing?!

All too soon, the sun started to set and our day was drawing to an end. The park takes on a whole new look as the sun goes down and the park lights begin to turn on.

It may have been sunset, but we still had time for a few more rides. Including another ride on Taylor’s favorite The Viper. Which looks so much cooler with the silhouettes of sunset.

Darkness was falling quick and we had time for one last ride… Spinning & swinging on The Revolution. So much fun… especially in the dark when all the lights are blurring, spinning and sparkling. A fitting end to our wonderful day at Great America… oh wait, that might have been the funnel cakes ala mode with hot fudge that we had just before leaving the park?!!!

 

Categories: bike, special events

After two and a half months, I figured it was finally time to cut off the wristband.
Starting out the New Year with fond memories of my first IRONMAN adventure
and “trading it out” with a more permanent souvenir reminder.

Categories: friends, inspiration, special events

So I’ve been planning on this for awhile…
And I’ve been wearing my IRONMAN wristband ever since the race.
It’s all faded… and wrinle… and I’d swear it was getting smaller too?
But I’ve worn it proudly everyday since the race. Until today…

I’ve been considering this for quite a long time. I’m not the type to rush into something this permanent. I kinda knew I was going to do it all during my training, but never really admitted it outloud until after I had crossed the Finish Line. Like I didn’t want to jinx myself.

But, I did cross the Finish Line…. and I’ve been planning this ever since. I knew I was going to get my well-earned IRONMAN tattoo!!! But then the question was what to get? Where? What? How big? So I narrowed it down to four choices. And printed them out in six different sizes each. And then I would cut them out and tape onto my body… walk around and look at them in the mirror. One design here. One design there. Narrowing it down. Design. Placement. Size. Because yes, I am a dork.

And then I was ready. So I called my friend Chris to see if she would go with me, and if she had a tatoo artist recommendation. As my IRONMAN Sherpa and longtime biking buddy, of course she was right there for me!!! She mad all the arrangements and we went today to get some ink. And before I knew it I was on the table getting the stencil applied.

I showed Chris and the tattoo guy what I was thinking in terms of design, size and location. I decided to go with the traditional IRONMAN m-dot logo. Thinking I could always add more to it later if I ever needed to. But I thought I should start with the classic logo. I was kinda torn between calf muscle or side of ankle. We talked about it, he say my calf muscles and he said the decision was made. That my calf was SCREAMING for the tattoo. And I had to agree. So I showed him the size I wanted… which they both thought was too small. I taped it on and showed them in the mirror. He made a stencil of a slightly larger one and put it in the same place. And they were right. It looked so nice & proportional to my leg. Whereas my little one looked too small by comparison. He thought it should be centered on the back of my leg, but I thought it should be centered on the muscle itself. We moved it a bit and they both agreed. So there we were. Stencil ready…. time to go under the needle!

So I hopped back on the table as the buzzing of the tattoo machine began…
constant humming…. buzzing… building up the anxiety before it even begins…

First the outline in black…

And then the red fill-in…

And before I knew it, he was wiping me clean… and we were done!!!
Let me just say for the record… it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected it to.

And then I was wrapped up with some sort of clear “bandage” sealant material. Keep it on for like three days, then take it off carefully. Keep it clean with antibacterial soap and ointment. We’re going into New Year’s Eve festivities…. so I’ll keep the band-aid on and take it off when things settle down for the New Year!

Goodbye wristband. Hello IRONMAN tattoo!!!

And then Chris got a triathlon inspired tattoo bracelet “just ‘cuz” we were there…
I’m sure we’ll be back next Fall after Chris completes her IRONMAN in September 2017.

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Categories: special events, tiles

Apparently I’m now “famous” in the world of Pokemon Go?!!!

I just found out this weekend that my tiled basement window is now a Pokestop!!!
Who knew?… honestly, I still don’t know. But it seems kinda cool. I think?

As far as I’ve figured out, if you’re on my street corner playing Pokemon Go, my tiled basement window pops up. When you click it, the window spins and then some icons pop up that you can capture to add to your game. Or something like that… I think I need some tweener to explain all this to me?!!!

And if anyone knows how to update the title page of the Pokestop post, please let me know! Right now it says “Ceramic Tile Screen”… but it could say SO much more!!!

Apparently the Weedles were running about inside my place during my Holiday Home Show as well?! Who invited them?!!!

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