I began working with clay nearly 28 years ago when I was an undergraduate student studying art education. This interest continued when I became a teacher. During my K-12 teaching years I worked on hand building with my students and ran a manual kiln in my classroom space. I continued working in clay after leaving K-12 teaching by taking classes and for a short period of time, I rented studio space. In 2018, I established my own studio built to fit my work style and residence. My studio includes a small office section, work space for creating with clay, a glazing corner, and an exterior kiln room. In 2019, the interior space was developed and some minor exterior alterations were completed. Since the completion of my own studio my work has centered on functional porcelain wares for the home. Planters, vases, cups, and small platters have been my primary focus.
Inspired by simple clean lines and a mid-century modern aesthetic, turquoise blues and yellow golds are prominent colors in my current functional wares. I do use a range of underglazes to add pops of color, but gravitate towards reds and oranges. All of my work is created by hand using either slabs, coils, or pinched clay. The forms are individually made without a wheel and as a result, the makers mark is evident. Each work is unique and not perfectly machine made. Many of the patterns found on my planters are created with clay stamps that I design. The stamp is pressed into the soft clay slab prior to creating the planter. Some of these stamps are pictured on my "Explorations" page. Here you will also see my previous figurative clay work along with explorations in other mediums.
Although my work space is small, I have enjoyed the company of furry pals while I work. I have had two assistants during my studio set-up, Tito and Paco. My senior assistant, Tito, is inquisitive and is always on the look out for intruders. We have lots of bunnies and squirrels that run around the exterior of the studio. He lets his presence known and he doesn't seem to know that he is only 10 lbs. Our late Paco was a bit more relaxed and often hung out on the recliner in the studio or he positioned himself at my feet.
For additional examples of my work, my process, and studio images please check out my Instagram page @maribeasceramics