Welcome to Mary Harding's Gallery of Handmade Ceramic and Metal beads, buttons, pendants, toggle clasps and handmade jewelry.
In her ceramic work, Mary Harding works mostly with lowfire clay. She likes the way the clay expresses earthen textures even after multiple firings. There is always that element of the fundamental soil and mineral structure that makes up a clay body shining through in her work.
Mary's work expresses the subtle undercurrents and eddies stirred by her lifelong interest in contemporary masters such as John Cage, Freda Kahlo, and Marguerite Duras. Careful attention to the nuances of Mary Harding's work reveals the cross-current created by her fascination with the folk artist and her search to find and celebrate place in her Northern New York home and childhood experiences in the Souithwest.
Mary's recent work involves gathering the timeless and enduring plants of the pastures of Northern New York and channeling them to create ceramic pendants, beads, buttons and toggle clasps, marks a fresh and imaginatively interpreted fusion of styles and material embodied in her colorful renderings of these resilient beauties. This direction has made it possible for her work to be included in the Folk Gallery of the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York museum in Canton, New York.
Each pendant makes its own creative journey as each work is individually hand painted, fired, inspected and then creatively finished to bring out the fusion of contemporary and folk art drawn from the qualities of the clay, the form of the pressed plant and the artistically applied glaze that brings the impression to life and sets its spirit free.
As you peruse the pages and galleries on this website, you will become aware that Mary differs from the production ceramic potter in that she mostly makes pieces that are one of a kind. Each piece is fired several times, the colorful glazes are hand painted with very small brushe and the shapes of her pieces are often organic and irregular in size. It is difficult for her to make multiple copies of the same piece so she has chosen to shy away from taking custom orders. This propensity towards making one of a kind pieces has also been a factor in her being reluctant to accept wholesale orders.
Her recent use of copper in the making of jewelry components is marked by a fresh and imaginative interpretation of styles and materials to create metal beads and toggle clasps. Exploration and experiment characterize her ever reaching style in this new to her medium.
Her copper beads are made with pure copper sheet and lead free solder.
She is inspired by th the work of the architect Antonio Gaudi, plant life and Southwestern motifs.
This website includes several sections as you can see from the top of this page. To view pieces in the STORE, please click on the picture so that you will be taken to several views and additional information about the piece.
Thanks you so much for stopping by my website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.