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

For those of you who still remember when MTV played MUSIC VIDEOS!!!… and not just a lot of bad reality shows! I know I’m showing my age here… but I remember when MTV was a big deal for us! So new. So fresh. So much fun. Remember what a “big deal” it was when “Thriller” came out?… we were all riveted & still get a little sentimental when it shows up again!!!

So here’s a question… What’s YOUR favorite music video???

Categories: television

And I think we’ve all waited long enough. Like a deserted tropical island wouldn’t have been the best location to shelter-in-place through the pandemic?! They could have filmed several seasons by now… bring it on Jeff Probst!!!

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!

Categories: special events, television

It was so great to see so many friends today at the HINSDALE FINE ARTS FAIR. Its been far too long… my artists friends, my customer friends, my “regular” friends! So great to finally see smiling faces and not just eyes & foreheads. So it seemed only fitting that tonight I should watch THE FRIENDS REUNION while I relaxed at home & had dinner. We’ve waited a long time to see this come together… and I LOVED it. Well worth the wait. So sweet. Very touching. True friends. Funny moments. Great memories.

So here’s my question… Who was your favorite FRIEND and why??

Categories: television

I finished my binge-watching of LOST over the weekend… my fifth time going through!!! And still my favorite show ever!!! So many layers. So many characters. So many clues & stories that you need to piece together to get the full story!

Sure, there may have been a few unanswered questions… and a few completely implausible explanations… but I’m still okay with all of that. I loved piecing all of the clues & flashbacks together with my own theories – trying to keep it all straight & logical. Didn’t work all of the time… but it sure was fun to try! I had forgotten a lot, and yet still saw some things for the first time! So many clues that tie together across the seasons!!!

I might even be one of the few who liked the finale episode. I appreciated how they brought it back around with flashbacks & connections. Yet leaving it open for discussion, and allowing everyone to “read it” in their own personal way. Friends. Love. Connections. Death. Afterlife. I must admit, there may have even been a few little tears at the very end.

See ya’ in another life Brotha’…

Categories: pottery, television

So excited to see another season of THE GREAT POTTERY THROW DOWN!!! We’ve been waiting for so long here in the States. Having to watch little snippets leak out on social media as the show was airing in the UK. I didn’t want to know anything about the cast, challenges or winners… so I actually “unfollowed” a few sites so I didn’t see anything in my News Feed.

There are ten episodes in the new season now showing on HBO Max. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop!!! I binged through the entire series… and quite honestly, kinda excited to go back and watch all of the previous seasons again too!!!

The show has the same basic premise as all of the previous seasons. The fact that it was filmed during the pandemic doesn’t play into it very much. They were obviously all in a “quarantine bubble” together… yet it was still a bit odd to see them all so physically close to each other. We’ve all been “re-trained” to keep our social-distance… so it was a bit weird to see them touching & hugging each other?!

It was also fun to watch all of the different challenges.
NO SPOILERS HERE… but I will say that it was cool to see them doing a few techniques that I have shared with my classes as well. From decorative split rims & blindfolded throwing… to chattering slip & bubble glazing! Fun techniques my students have embraced… and fun to see that they’re doing similar things “across the pond.”

The show has the same premise as usual. Non-professional potters doing challenges & projects of all kinds to push them beyond their comfort levels. Some of them are wheelthrowers, some of them are handbuilders, some of them are sculptors, some of them are not. So it’s fun to see some of them struggle on different projects based on their own skill sets. Of course, the timed deadline projects just up-the-ante a bit with stress & panic! Which is always fun to watch!!!

As for the cast of characters we call Host & Judges… they’re back too!
In different roles… and one new face in the mix!

For the Judges, we have everyone’s favorite crying Judge Keith Brymer Jones! So passionate about pottery that it brings him to tears!!!.. a bit too often for my liking. And I don’t always agree with the pieces he’s getting all emotional about. Love his passion, but sometimes question his choices.

And yes… he continues to CRY!!!

This seasons we also got a new judge… Rich the kiln guy got “promoted” to Judge! He’s been working behind-the-scenes for the previous seasons helping the potters dry their work, and fire the pieces. This season, he’s been moved up to Judge… and we have a new kiln expert Rose!

And I will say that I LOVED the new host Siobhan McSweeney… an Irish actress. She is best known for her role as Sister Michael in “Derry Girls”… which I’ve never seen! So se was all-new to me!!! She seemed to fit in right from the start… encouraging, supportive, quippy & sarcastic all at the same time! The perfect foil to the two judges!

But here’s a glimpse of the Finale… moments before the announced the Winner! Which I will say… I agreed with the Top Three contestants… and the Winner!!!

And just for the record…
they’ve already announced a “Casting Call” for Season Five!!! YIPPEE!!!

However… don’t get too excited… you need to live in the UK to even apply! So even if I were to practice & perfect my best British accent, I don’t think I would convince them that I’m a true Brit!!! Dang.

Categories: television

So we kinda “jumped the shark” at the end of Season Four with the turning of the donkey wheel. Flashes of light. Flash forward. Flash back. Flashes… I don’t get it.

“Think of the Island like a record spinning on a turntable…
only now, that record is skipping.”

As I recall… Season Five is the one that made my head hurt a bit. Timing issues. Luckily, we have another season after this get back on track!

Categories: television

FINALLY!!! How did this take so long CBS?

I mean, if you were to be shut-down and told to “shelter-in-place” for the pandemic, what better place than on a deserted island in Fiji?! Right?… two tribal “bubbles” competing against each other on a deserted beach far away from everyone. Sign me up… it would have been a lot more fun than creating a dent on my sofa with a remote control in hand for the past year!!! HA!!!

Categories: creativity, special events, television

Even the portraits were made out of LEGOs!!! So much work. So much creativity… so many flashback memories of FRIENDS. I kinda think I need to go back and re-watch every episode from the beginning again!!!

So who is YOUR favorite FRIEND… and why?!

Let the binge begin… “Could that BE any more fun???”

Categories: creativity, special events, television

My favorite part of the THE FRIENDS EXPERIENCE yesterday was the full-blown replica of Central Perk… all made out of LEGO’s!!! Fully interactive with all the furniture, details, colors & props you remember and want to play with for your photo-ops! So much fun… and SO MANY LEGOS!!!