Mary Carolyn Obodzinski
"A piece of art should be a thing of beauty. Not just to look at but to hold and touch, imparting to people some of the experience that the maker felt at its creation."
Mary's exploration with color and surface has helped her move into a harmonious relationship with design and the process of forming clay into vessels. Her ideas are often sparked by an investigation into the technique and process of forming a particular vessel, using colors, patterns, textures and structures from nature. Mary has an intense commitment to the quality of her work and knows the limitations of the tools and materials, yet she constantly pushes the use of these tools and materials to discover new ways of creating art.
Mary's work is handbuilt, utilizing a slab roller or just her fingers to coax the clay into vessels. Textures and impressions are often methodically created by hand. The vessels will be bisque fired. Some, bearing a simple copper matte glaze will be raku-fired, yeilding an amazingly wide range of color and brilliance with a metallic surface. Her terra cotta pods, inspired by man's obsession to genetically alter nature, go thru multiple under-glaze firings. The layers of glaze are then "peeled" away, revealing layers of colors.
Much of Mary's knowledge about clay and art is self-taught. What she knows about clay comes from all the hours she has spent in her tiny basement studio. She is grateful for the community college experience and those dedicated instructors. Mary has attended many valuable hands-on clay workshops and is especially thankful for the encouragement of well-know and talented artists and potters she has had the good fortune to know and share a passion for clay.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Women's Works, Woodstock, Il, USA, Old Court House Arts Center, 1993
7th Annual Teapot Show, Chicago, IL & Milwaukee, WS., USA, Chiaroscuro Gallery& Mount St. Mary's College, 1996
Illinois Artisan Program, Chicago, Springfield, Rend Lake, IL, Ilinois Artisans Galleries, 1996 - current
"Wads of Clay", Fort Worth, TX., USA, NCECA, 1999
Made in Illinois, Springfield, IL., USA, Illinois State Museum, 2008