I am excited to announce that I the current Featured Artist on the website of Foremost Focal. They have a long article about me and are carrying an assortment of my handmade ceramic pendants and beads. You can read about it by clicking the Foremost Focal link above.
Here is an excerpt from the article.
Mary has been making artwork for most of her adult life. She began making ceramic beads and pendants in 1998 when she had the good fortune to take a ceramic class with Ann Burnham and renew her ceramic skills. Soon, Mary was continuously engaged by the excitement of each new kiln load of beads. She was first inspired at that time by the need for larger holed beads for the macramé jewelry she was designing. However, after seeing ancient beads in museums and on a trip to Mexico, she began to experiment with glazes and stains that would create the look of an archeological find.Out of this search she became very committed to using stains and smoke, along with some commercial glazes to color her beads and pendants. Mary feels that too much colored glaze removes the presence of the clay from the bead and no longer draws the eye into the clay to experience it. The viewer needs to enjoy the many nuances of surface, texture and aleatory (unpredictable) markings. She uses earthenware and porcelain clay fired at low temperatures to keep the clay open to receiving these stains, colorings and smoke.Mary’s artistic influences have been such masters as John Cage, Marguerite Duras and Freda Kahlo and the folk artists she researched in Northern New York and Mexico. She grew up in the Southwest which has certainly had a lasting influence on her love for southwestern and central American art. Moving to New York State fulfilled a wish to live in a land with green meadows and lots of water. Her recent work of gathering the plants of the pastures of northern New York to decorate her ceramic pendants is a form of folk history that she has imaginatively interpreted by making colorful renderings of these resilient green beauties. (to read the rest please go to Foremost Focal.)
Foremost focal was recently written up on ArtBeadScene. In this article you get a good overview of this wonderful site that features only handmade glass and ceramic focals and beads. They also offer suggestions for other kinds of beads that would go well with their focals. The site is run by Chris Thommen who is located in Michigan.