Mary McFadden

Mary is taking part in our coming Home is a Feeling show in Faversham on 13th and 14th November.

Describe what you do as a creative.

I make handmade slab built pottery using earthenware clay.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Coventry and moved to London to start a career as a graphic design. I’m from a large family 1 of 7 children and I’m a twin sister.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was young I was always making things, often knitting dressmaking or even hats. I wanted to work in the fashion industry designing clothes. That was before I discovered pottery.

How did you begin doing what you do?

I was always arty and became especially drawn to pottery as it was an applied art. The fact that it was functional and you could bring it home to use, really appeal to me.

I started an evening classes at The City Lit as it was local to where I worked. I studying pottery and glaze technology there. I also did a summer course at Central Saint Martins learning hand building lottery techniques and design.

By now I was hooked. I saw a share studio space, 1 day a week at Spitalfields Studios advertisement and took it. As a freelancer graphic designer I was able to combine doing pottery once a week with my job.

I then went on to share studio space in Parade mews, Tulse Hill for a few years. I then moved to Kent, where I now have my studio is in a wood cabin in the bottom of garden where I work full-time making pottery.

What turns on your creativity?

This collection of new work was inspired by a trip to the British museum. I was drawn to the classical beauty of the shapes from Roman and Greek pottery. I’ve played with these classical shapes and added abstract design to make the more contemporary.

What do you like best about your work?

I like working with earthenware clay. I fire it to 1100 degrees C, at this lower temperature you can achieve a bright colourful palette using underglazes, stains and oxides.

When were you most satisfied in your work?

I really felt proud when I received Best Ceramics in Show at The Pilgrims Way Artists summer exhibition where I was a guest artist one year.

Author: nathalieb