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

Tonight after my LILLSTREET THROWDOWN class, a couple of us went over to the new Jeni’s Ice Creams now open in Andersonville!

Tonight was their Grand Opening… with free ice cream from 7:00pm-11:00pm! Perfect timing for those of us who had class until 10:00pm! And we were all pleased that they were giving away a fill TRIO of ice creams in a waffle bowl to everyone! I went for my three favorite flavors… Goat Cheese & Red Cherries, Brambleberry Crisp and Blackout Chocolate Cake!!!

As we were towards the end of the event, we never expected people to still be waiting outside in line… nor that they would have served FREE ice cream to 790 customers during their four-hour event! Congrats Jeni’s & welcome to the neighborhood!!!

Categories: food, special events

One way to make your special day even more special is FREE ICE CREAM!!! Sure, it might be a lot… but no one ever said you couldn’t go to more than one location, right?! I called this “dinner” on my way to the studio to teach class tonight… I feel sorry for my students when all this sugar kicks in… this might be a bumpy ride!!!

Jeni’s #1… on Wells in Old Town!

Jeni’s #2… on Southport

Jeni’s #3… on Clark at Wrigley

Categories: Chicago, special events, workout

Fun with friends along the lakefront… swimming, biking & running! We all ran our own race while dealing with the heat, humidity & freak rainstorm! It was the first time that Tracy & I got to run together as we signed up for the “Clydesdale & Athena” division for we “larger” normal-sized people!

Fun to have Chris, Nancy & Don racing with us. Seeing Nancy in our favorite “Rapid Reboots” after the race… and Chris winning second place in her age group!

Despite the challenging weather today, we all had a great time playing down along the lakefront for the 2021 CHICAGO TRIATHLON.

Categories: Chicago, special events, workout

Today was sunny, hot & steamy… with a side of gusty winds & stormy clouds with a quick deluge of a raining downpour!!! Not quite ideal… but another fun day at the 2021 CHICAGO TRIATHLON!!! Sure my finish time might not have been my best, but we had a great time swimming, biking & running with friends!!! It felt so good to get back to a little slice of “normal” during these crazy times! Luckily, we were all outside with plenty of fresh… err, make that thick & humid air!!!

Categories: rusty, special events

Today’s bike ride with Chris started out in the west suburbs… and headed out even further west into the farmfields & rural small towns. Kinda far away, but very little traffic on the endless roads – so it’s easier to get the longer mileage in! For our turn-around spot, we decided to stop off at a farmer’s estate sale where they were auctioning off so many cool things!!! LOTS OF RUSTY METAL!!!

We really stood out of the crowd… in our brightly colored spandex jerseys & bike shoes!!! So many cool things… that we could never buy and bring home on our bikes!!! As it was, we had just a little rain for the last five miles as we were pedaling into the wind!!!

Categories: mugs, special events

Looks like the happy couple received their stamped & soda-fired mugs as part of their wedding gifts. A special order from some of my special customers who wanted to “spread their love” of my pottery by surprising Stephanie & Andre with “tea for two”!!!

Categories: special events

While in Omaha, it was a great surprise to stop in to see the swimming pool for the Olympic Swim Team Trials. The smell of chlorine was a great hint… but seeing the actual pool was amazing! Especially because it is built inside the Convention Center!!! For just one week!!! Nine-feet deep & built on top of the concrete show floor… that’s one really large “above-ground” pool, right?! So cool.

Categories: special events

With corona numbers going down & vaccinations going up, it finally felt like it might be time to do a little traveling. Staying safe & staying masked… I tackled the airport again and made it to Omaha last week for another quick business trip. It felt great to finally get back on an airplane again… cautious, hopeful & vaccinated.

Categories: artists, classes, pottery, process, special events, stamped, stamps

Tomorrow is the big kick-off of the NORTHERN ILLINOIS POTTERY TOUR! Check-out the website for information, artist links & to register for FREE POTTERY DEMOS!!!

We have twenty-one potters on The Tour, many of which will be doing free demos. I will be in my studio tomorrow night doing a demo on how I uses handmade stamps to add texture to my pottery. If you would like to join me in my studio, you just need to register online to get the ZOOM link for all of the demos… plus, you’ll also be registered in a drawing for some free pottery by our Tour Hosts!!!

FRIDAY, JUNE 18th, 2021 @ 8:00pm CSTMore info at

Categories: special events, television

So while Chandler has always been my favorite on FRIENDS…
could he BE any funnier?… or should we say Miss Chanandler Bong???

I will say that a VERY close second place goes to Chandler’s girlfriend Janice! I was so excited that she made her way onto the FRIENDS REUNION special too! Love her… and that annoying nasal laugh!