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



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?!!!



Categories: inspiration, special events

By now you may have figured out that I’m NOT political… but THIS is a good one!!!

Categories: Chicago, special events

It’s just one HUGE party all over the city today as everyone celebrates the
World Champion Chicago Cubs!!!

They’ve had a hundred and eight years to plan this party…
and millions of fans are celebrating. Anywhere and everywhere!!!





Categories: special events

Well it’s about time!!!
Congrats to the Chicago Cubs for finally breaking the curse and winning the World Series!!!

Categories: glaze, process, production, special events

Big night in the studio. Let the glazing begin! Let the game begin!!


Categories: food, special events

Celebrating the World Series the best way I know how… with extra cheese!

Categories: Chicago, classes, special events

Let the games begin… tonight!!!

And now I’m wondering how many (if any) of my pottery students
will show up for class tonight???




Categories: bike, creativity, special events

So I ran across this post prior to my own IRONMAN race.
I found it hysterical and yet just a little too real to be comfortable.
I wasn’t quite sure I was getting myself into… and this struck fear more than once or twice.
But now that I’m done it… now that I’m an IRONMAN… I totally agree…

Click here for the original post.

A look inside the mind of an IRONMAN athlete
as they swim, bike, and run their way through a long day.
by Lisa Dolbear

Thousands of people complete an IRONMAN every year—from every corner of the world and every walk of life. While we are all uniquely motivated to chase the glory with varying methods of training, different ideas on nutrition, and different courses beneath our feet, thoughts like the 20 below are common across all of our 140.6 mile journeys. What would you add to the list?

1. The Start: “I have to pee. I’m going to pee in my wetsuit. (Cannon sounds). I’m not done…oh well, I might as well just swim.”

2. The First Buoy of the Swim: “Winning.”

3. The Second Mile of the Swim: “My goggles don’t need to be 100 percent on, this is fine.”

4. The Last .4 Miles of the Swim: “What in the actual…did they measure this wrong?”

5. T1: “I feel so refreshed! ROOOAR! Did you SEE all that swimming?”

6. The First 20 Miles on the Bike: “Ah, feel those sweet breezes, sunshine on my back, I’m in heaven. This weather is perfect and I’m going to nail that PR.”

7. The Next 20 Miles on the Bike: “I mean not PERFECT, but manageable. It is getting a little hot. No matter, this is a nutrition game.”

8. Hitting 56 Miles on the Bike: “I can’t read the number on her calf. Is she in my age group? Imma speed up.”

9. Hitting 100 Miles on the Bike: “I just completed a century ride. I’m kind of a big deal.”

10. The Last 12 Miles on the Bike: “Ass numb, foot cramp. Get. Me. Off. This. Bike. And this head wind is unbearable.”

11. T2: “Anything is better than being on that bike for another second.”

12. The First Mile of the Run: “Oh my god, except this. Get me back on the bike.”

13. The Second Mile of the Run: “I’m pretty sure this is mile 3?”

14. The Third Mile of the Run: “What was my mantra again? I need a mantra. Mantra, mantra, mantra. Anyone?”

15. 13.1 Miles: “If this was an IRONMAN 70.3 race I’d be done right now. I’m so doing a half next time.”

16. Mile 17: “I feel AMAZING. A half? Pffft. Half, schmalf.”

17. Mile 20: “What’s my name again? Maybe Coke will help. Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten that banana. Oh yay an aid station. OUCH! Blister! Blister!

18. Mile 26: “I’m practically there! I’m in! I’m doing it!”

19. The Last .2 Miles on the Run: “I think I’m still running but I can’t feel my legs so I’m not really sure. Basically I’m an Olympian right now.”

20. The Finish Line: “I’m never doing this again. I’m definitely doing this again. I’ll take a year off. I’ll sign up tomorrow.”