Artist’s Statement

Mary Beth Bishop is a potter in Durham, North Carolina working in small series and one-of-a-kind high fire ceramics. She makes as many as 20 pieces in a series but usually fewer. Her work is consistently experimental and follows a single idea in several directions. Designing new forms, she works intuitively in responding to the clay.

In November of 2002, she built a gas fired soda kiln that allows her to experiment with serendipitous firing effects. For her functional work, she makes forms energized by hospitality and connection.

In years past, Mary Beth has had the good luck to travel in Europe and parts of Asia. These experiences expanded her vision of useful objects. She makes pieces that complement and extend the presentation options of standard tableware. Often a design is an amalgam of commonly used objects, those only seen behind museum glass and her personal aesthetic.

She interacts with a piece during its creation. When it leaves, it can become interactive for someone else. She feels her work is successful when it is frequently used. Then she has achieved her goal of giving pleasure.

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