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Mary Kent Schardt

San Rafael, CA

I am working with clay because I enjoy it. It gives me pleasure to bring my inner world to the surface, to connect my thoughts and feelings with the creation of an object. Clay, with its great plasticity, allows me many forms and techniques to realize this goal. I am drawn to the various processes (forming, trimming, glazing and firing) involved in ceramic work, which can produce unexpected results and changes from my original plan and intent, and while some are disasters, often I am happily surprised. While most of my work is wheel thrown and utilitarian, I am also drawn to hand building and sculpture. Having been inspired to begin pottery by a trip to Japan, I have been influenced by the ceramics of East Asia. Most of my work is high fire stoneware, fired in a reduction kiln, but other influences have lead me to explore the very different world of pit firing. Images from nature; plants and animals, shells and stones, often find their way into my forms and decorations.

I am a Marin County native, who has lived most of my life in this lovely county, enjoying its mountain, streams, bay and ocean. I took my first ceramic class at the College of Marin after a trip to Japan where I was bowled over by he pottery there. After a brief encounter with clay, I went back to pursuing a degree in of Art History, culminating in work at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. There, I was able to see more pots of various kinds and learn more about them historically and technically. Periodically, I would put my hands in clay again, finally returning to the College of Marin, where I reentered the world of pottery more seriously after my retirement. Invited by Mardi Wood and Inge Roberts to join The Pottery in San Rafael, I set up my studio there. I have shown at the Downtown Art Center, the College of Marin, the Bolinas Mini Show, and with the Marin Society of Artists, as well as at The Pottery.

Reclining figure

Mary Schardt

Canyon Teapot

Mary Schardt

Ti, Teapot

Mary Schardt

Seal vessel

Mary Schardt

sake set

Mary Schardt

Chalice

Mary Schardt

Pair of cups

Mary Schardt

Lotus bowl with geese

Mary Schardt

3 small pots

Mary Schardt

willow mug

Mary Schardt