Mary Neff

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Potter Mary Neff

 
  Mary Neff Pottery
  Mary Neff Pottery
  Mary Neff Pottery

For me, ordinary, natural objects become beautiful through the passage of time. Old paint that is peeling and fading away on the sides of buildings, crumbling cliff walls, old fences covered in ivy, or broken concrete entice me. Rusting iron, aging copper and weathering wood all represent a quiet, imperfect, and often incomplete beauty that affects me deep inside. This feeling is what I find irresistible and wish to integrate into my work. The aesthetic of Wabi Sabi resonates with me.

 

Hand building pots is my preference. I begin by playing around with fabric, extruded clay pieces, found bits of scrap clay and the slab roller. When I see something that I like, the stoneware slabs are then cut and assembled into boxes or cylinders. I try to keep the shapes simple so that the texture is the most interesting element. My background as a painter animates my pottery as well. On my boxes, one side has an abstract composition as the focus. The outer surfaces are finished with oxide washes, patinas, and thin applications of glaze. The insides are finished with colorful glazes. The pots are fired in a gas kiln to cone 9 or 10. Some pots are fired more than once. I like the contrast between the rough, unglazed outside and the smooth, glazed inside.

 

After earning a BA in Studio Art at Barat College in 1979, I have returned to creating pottery by taking classes through the Kay Yourist Pottery Studio in Ann Arbor, and at the Ann Arbor Potter’s Guild.

 

Mary Neff

 

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