We are shining the light on Mary Pritchard of Rogers City, MI, who has been making jewelry since her early teens. When she first started out, she worked with beads, thread, and wire. Today, she makes her jewelry with clay, leather, silver, and repurposed vintage jewelry components.
Mary started out as a handmade tile ar tist,carving relief designs into clay and making mosaics. Several years ago, while making the mosaics, she began experimenting with very tiny tiles. It became a challenge to see how small she could make the pieces and still have the designs readable. Once Mary did this they started looking like jewelry to her. She devised a way to drill holes without distorting the clay and began assembling them with jewelry findings. That was about 10 years ago and the jewelry has been evolving ever since. Not having trained as a jewelry artist, Mary is learning about the process in reverse. Her approach is from that of a ceramicist which keeps the jewelry unique. She enjoys the creation of new pieces and find the possibilities of clay jewelry absolutely endless.
What do you love about the creative process?
People are always curious about the creative process. My most common question, "where do you come up with your ideas?" Every artist is different but I think it all starts out the same way. External influences are taken in through one sense or another, tumbles around internally for an indefinite period of time and comes out either consciously or subconsciously, sometimes resulting in art. Sometimes it's something as simple as a concentric rings in a frozen mud puddle or the angles created by branches that have fallen on the ground. Unexpectedly things like this can trigger ideas for designs. I rely on this and all types of stimuli for my work, and have to remain open to it.
What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
An artist. I don't remember a time when i wasn't creating, it's my earliest memory.
What makes my jewelry unique is the fact that I wasn't trained in making jewelry making, I came about it through making clay tires and mosaics. The small pieces started looking like something that could be worn as jewelry and has evolved from there. My work as a very architectural feel because of the tile influence.
You can find lots of Mary's earthy chic jewelry at Yellow Door as well as online. Stay tuned for more fun and interesting info about Mary all this week!
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