Open Up :Mary Else


Open Up: Mary Else.

Open Up is a great opportunity to see local art and to meet local artists. Studios across the city are open for you to visit and The Art House is involved too. We have several artists exhibiting last weekend and the event continues this weekend too.

A full list of those exhibiting at The Art House can be found here.

Amongst those are local ceramicist (and Art House tutor) Mary Else. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about Open Up and Sheffield’s creative hub.
If you want to see more of her work (and to ask her any other questions) she’ll be at our venue this Sunday.

Sheffield is a very creative city. How does that creative community feel of the city support your work (as a ceramicist and / or as a tutor) and does it influence what you do?

Mary: I think the surrounding country side and my garden influence my work more than city

Will you get to check out other artists during the event? Who are you looking forward to seeing?

Mary This year I am choosing to hire the Arthouse gallery so I can visit other artists which has been difficult for me to do in previous years. I’ve been busy preparing for my own participation so I still need to actually look at whose studios are open and then decide. There’s a studio locator on the Open Up website which makes this easier.

You’re exhibiting as part of the event at The Art House – have you done Open Up before and what’s the most memorable exchange/ talk / incident you’ve had at it?

Mary I take part in Sheffield Open up every year and have found that it’s a great way to promote yourself and meet with the public. Sometimes its hard work talking to people about your art and trying to explain why you do it but I do like explaining my processes though and hopefully inspiring other people to create.

What would you tell people about your work?

Mary My pieces are slab and coil built. I use different layers of glazes, Oxides, slips and under glazes to achieve a varied colourful surface. New work also includes a variety of clay bodies My current work is influenced by natural elements and formations, such as rock, shell and fish shapes, seed pods and music. With all of my work colour and form are of equal importance to me. I always wish to create a whole piece in which the colour is part of the form, both inside and out. I also allow the material and its properties to help inform where the work will go. This determines the colour and shapes/patterns used.

Why do you think Open Up is something that people should support? (As an artist and /or as a Sheffielder)

Mary: The artists are trying to include you in their process and wanting to share what they do; it’s not about selling work – if work is bought then it’s a bonus but it’s not why Open up was started. In the very beginning it was about sharing and showing the vast amount of artists and talent that strive in the city.

Working at The Art House what would you like to tell people who’ve never visited it? Why should they check it out?

Mary: I have been involved with the Art house and the pottery there since it opened. I love it. I love teaching my subject and I feel privileged to be a part of the team. It’s a great place and there are so many courses to choose from everyone should try it!!!

Who influences you?

Some of my favourite Ceramic Artists include Lucie Rie, Mo Jupp and Grayson Perry.”

Mary’s work will be available to view in our exhibition on both weekends, if you would like to meet her to talk about her work she will be available on Sunday.