OUR STORY & PHILOSOPHY
Welcome to Marsha's ClayArt!
Hello friends!! My name is Marsha McCreary and I am a Ceramic Artist from Lake Zurich, IL. I throw and alter porcelain clay into functional vessels for everyday use.
I am so glad you clicked on the About me link. If you are going to invest your hard earned dollars on a handmade work of art, you have the right to get to know the artist behind the art.
Education and Background
I graduated from the University of Evansville with a BFA in Ceramics and a BS in Art Education in 1998. I've managed to keep my hands in clay over the years teaching classes. But for the most part, I chose to put my artistic pursuits on hold for the last 20ish years in order to focus on raising 3 of the most wonderful human beings. It worked out well for me because now they are very much involved with the success of Marsha's ClayArt in their own special way! Patience truly is a virtue
About the Process
I have been known to loose myself for hours at a time while throwing on the wheel. But those opportunities are few and far between. Mornings are when I am most productive in the studio and in life in general.
The majority of my work is functional and intended for everyday use. Each piece is wheel thrown and altered slightly. These alterations bring out the unique personality. My goal is to capture movement and whimsy with throwing rings and distortion. I enjoy the random textures and dimensions of each alteration and how the glaze pools and pulls along those variations.
Once the piece is bone dry, I clean it up with a wet sponge and sign my name on the bottom. Then, I glaze with a variety of layering patterns. Some of the more popular combinations have up to 7 different glazes in order to get the final outcome I desire. Next, I wipe excess glaze off the foot and stack it in the kiln. Glaze firing will take approximately 24 hours to get to temperature and cool enough to unload by hand. Every foot gets a wet sanding, then handwashed. Finally photo shoot, price, list, and/or pack up for a show or shipment. Every piece is touched a bare minimum of 15 times before a customer ever sees it.
PHEW!! So the next time you wonder why handmade is more expensive.....now you know! And the crazy thing is that I didn't even talk about all the failures and oopies that can happen between start and finish. Breakage with drops and flops and running glaze and firing too hot and bumping into something or letting it dry out too fast and crack, and on and on. This craft is definitely a labor of love. It teaches you a lot about life. Dust yourself off and keep on going when things don't go exactly as planned. My poor kids have been given more pottery analogies than they could ever count, but they GET IT!!
Always give your all.
Learn from it and be better next time.