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

Another beautiful day in Chicago. Still a little on the cool side, but perfect for an afternoon jog along the lake… less sweaty when it’s a bit cooler! Beautiful sights along the way… but now that I’m home, I’ve got to focus… and get into the studio tonight!!! Gotta get some work done… as I’ve been playing hooky a bit too much lately!!!

Starting with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan from Loyola University…

And the church at Loyola University…

Some beautiful late summer flowers…

And some crazy seed pods on some kind of a bush. Anyone have any clue as to what kind of plant this is?! It looks a little too much like a Coronavirus molecule for my liking. Just sayin’…

And this is apparently what things have come to… when parents need to figure out new ways to take on the role of teaching their kids!

Some wonderfully whimsical “embellishments” along a cement wall at Tobey Prinz Beach. A little tough to see… but wonderful for those with a keen eye!

The cooler weather today also makes it wonderful at the beach…
I practically had the whole beach to myself. Easy to enjoy the natural setting and stay safe & socially-distant at the same time… when there’s no one there to be socially-distant from!!!

I found my very first beach glass MARBLE today!!!

Plus I spotted a little “gallery” of painted beach rocks. It will be interesting to see how this grows over the next few weeks. And I feel as though I might just need to add one of my own in the next couple weeks!!!

So here’s the additions to my new “quarantine collection” of beach glass. I started finding it when I had to mix-up my morning bike ride up towards the beaches of Evanston & beyond. And by now I have quite the collection started!!!

Categories: Dad, family, Taylor, workout

Yesterday was the HOT CHOCOLATE RUN through downtown Chicago!
So much fun spending the day with my Dad & niece Taylor who both completed their first ever 5K Race… okay, so we walked… but still, a 5K!!! Gotta start somewhere!!!

Categories: Chicago, friends, workout

Just remembering back six years ago when I ran the Chicago Marathon to celebrate my birthday! So much fun!!! I never knew a marathon could be so much fun… with such great support, encouragement & entertainment from the spectators! Thanks to my pal Tracy who ran the marathon that year as well for sharing this photo today!!!

Categories: IRONMAN, special events, workout

Well, just a smidge over a month ago… my third full IRONMAN race!


It was a long time coming, and I would love to say a lot training… but I can’t.
With everything that was going on in my “real life” with work, pottery, summer camp and my Mom’s dire health issues, something had to give. Unfortunately I was heading into IRONMAN weekend without a lot of confidence… but a ton of determination! I know my Mom would have wanted me to carry-on and conquer yet another IRONMAN… and I did. For her.

I have finally sifted, sorted & edited down all of my photos. I am in the process of posting everything here on my blog, and I’ll post links on my Facebook page as well. There’s a LOT of photos and a LOT of stories! Be prepared to settle in for awhile… and read about our latest IRONMAN adventure!


Categories: Chicago, special events, workout

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the Chicago Triathlon. Well, beautiful except for the crazy waves in Lake Michigan. So crazy that they called off the entire swim portion, and changed it to a Duathlon – run, bike, run. Always a fun day “racing” downtown with one of the best bike courses EVER!!! Up & down Lake Shore Drive, through Lower Wacker Drive and down along the Bus Lane… all 100% closed to traffic! Always a fun day playing downtown with my Tri-pal Tracy!

And this is what happens sometimes when you ask a total strange if she can take a few pictures for you. Still not quite sure what happened… some errant filter somewhere maybe? At least she tried…

At the Finish Line… thousands of medals are waiting for the Finishers! The Chicago Triathlon is the city’s only downtown Triathlon… and one of the world’s largest with over ten thousand athletes competing over the weekend!

Also after the Finish Line, there are an assortment of vendors, team tents, recovery stations and medics. My favorite of course is the Rapid Reboot tent. We’ve tried them many times at both Chicago Triathlon & a few IRONMAN Expos… and so much better when you get to use these AMAZING compression pants after the race when your legs could really use the boost! #rapidreboot

A rare Selfie... with a bit of a post-race afterglow much attributed to the compression pants massaging my legs at this very moment. Thanks to Clark and the fun folks at Rapid Reboot!!!

After the race, we decided to “walk it off” with a nice stroll through Millennium Park since the day was so gorgeous!

After having the SWIM portion of our race cancelled…
the day just didn’t feel complete without getting a little WET!!!
So we decided to play in the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

Scroll through the next few photos quickly, and you’ll see my friend Tracy doing her best Snow Angel Stroke in the fountain… to “complete” the third leg of our Triathlon!

And notice my still sealed, never-been-opened Swim Cap and extremely dry goggles!

We still lined up to start our race at the Swim Start arch… even though the lettering had been removed already. I guess to avoid confusion?! As we would basically be RUNNING the swim course instead of swimming it!

All in all, another great day downtown for the Chicago Triathlon… even if it was changed to a Duathlon! Always fun to get another medal to add to the collection… even if it is the THICKEST & heaviest medal yet!!! Rumor has it that if you were to complete all of the Lifetime Triathlons in the series, your medals would stack up to look like a replica of a sports water bottle!


Categories: special events, sunrise, workout

Raining this morning… but luckily it was a gorgeous morning yesterday as we all started early down at Monroe Harbor for the start of the Chicago Triathlon. The sky was amazing… but the waves were crazy! So bad, that they cancelled the swim all together… and instead turned it into a Duathlon… run-bike-run! Better safe than sorry… at least we got a wonderful sunrise show as the Chicago Fire Department was there to show off super-neato water-spraying boat!!!

And an IRONIC “no swimming” sign on a Triathlon morning with NO SWIMMING!!!

And an early morning “attempt” at a sunrise selfie for me & Tracy!

Categories: process, production, workout

Early studio morning wedging & pulling handles…
making up another batch of mugs!!! For tomorrow we race again…

Categories: Chicago, workout

Another fun day running through the streets of Chicago for this year’s SHAMROCK SHUFFLE. My first outdoor run of the year went surprisingly well & I had a great time… okay, sure there were a few photo stops along the way, but who’s counting… it’s not “really” as race, right??? Well, not for me anyway…

I always have THREE basic rules for these races…
1.  Finish.   –   2.  Have fun.   –   3.  Don’t hurt anything.
And if you can stop to take some pictures along the way… even better!!!

Some fluid replacements at the Finish Line… and bananas of course!!!

And this is what THOUSANDS of Finisher Medals look like… times ten!!! At least.

And yes, I got mine… another one for the rack at home!

After the race we walked to brunch… cause I needed more than bananas!!!
Always fun to walk through downtown as we so frequently take it for granted!

After the race & lunch, I did a little “field trip” of my own.
And then finally at home to stretch, relax and shower… and then off to the studio!




Categories: bike, workout

Too bad every time I see LIVESTRONG now, I think of the whole Lance Armstrong thing…
and how this wonderful charity suffered because of his exploits.

Still a great motto… even if it is a bit tainted in my mind.


Categories: special events, workout



It’s always great to wake up the next morning and see that Finisher’s medal sitting there by the bed… confirming that YES, you did indeed finished another IRONMAN race! It was NOT just a big dream!!!

And another souvenir T-shirt… like I don’t have enough race T-shirts already?!
But c’mon… it’s another full 140.6 mile IRONMAN!!! I worked hard for this one!


Part of the morning ritual is removing my race number tattoos… some box sealing tape to help peel them back off. One number at a time! Followed by one of the best showers you’ve ever had!!!

A little stiff & groggy, but warming up nicely. Surprisingly not too sore. Feeling pretty good.

Slowly packing up my gear… clothes, shoes, bike stuff and junk spread all over our hotel room!!! And a HUGE pile of food that I never quite got around to eating! All of my favorites… Honey Stinger Gels, Clif Bloks, Clif Bars, bananas, the NEW Nut-Butter Filled Clif Bars, Base Salt, apples and tuna!

All too soon it was time to pack up the car after another amazing race weekend in Louisville.