Artist Statement

My desire to live and work in relationship to others is integral to my work as a functional potter.  I imagine that everything I make will find a place in someone’s life.

My work is about refinement.  It is about honing in on the essential.  I look at the way that nature creates.  The connection between stem and fruit, trunk and branch, the way the petals of a flower unfurl.  Could there be a better way to complete the human hand than the precise fit between skin and nail?

In my quest for clear and elegant solutions to form and function I try to override my intellectual reaction; perfection is a trap I have encountered.  Instead I judge my work by my physical response.  When someone I love walks into the room there is a bodily felt sensation.  When the pot is right, a sense of warmth and excitement comes through.

I want my work to offer a safe haven.  After a long and hectic day, you finally arrive.  Someone waits—attentive, tending, considerate, concerned.  There is a slow exhale.  You are home.

About Mary Louise Carter

Mary Louise Carter has been a potter for over thirty years.  A California native, she earned her BFA degree from Kansas City Art Institute and received her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics.  For the past twelve years she has taught ceramics and design at Louisiana Tech University where she holds the Lyles Endowed Professorship in Ceramics.

Carter served as the resident potter at the Vermont State Craft Center in Middlebury, Vermont, from 1993 to 1997 and has taught at Pennsylvania State University.  She has lectured and conducted workshops on ceramics at various institutions, and has exhibited her work throughout the United States.