Mara Superior | A Cocoa Pot
Mara Superior

born 1951
Resides in Williamsburg, Massachusetts

Biography              Statement              Ask the Artist
Mara Superior lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, and is co-owner of Pinch Pottery in Northhampton. She attended Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford (1970-71), the University of Connecticut (BFA 1975), as well as the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she earned an MAT in Ceramics in 1980.

She has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


I began as a painter with a passion for Matisse, Picasso, Bonnard, and for primitive and folk art. My love for pattern was temporarily assuaged by working with fabric - quilted soft sculpture - and by a brief encounter with stained glass. I enjoy doing watercolor and etching. My discovery of porcelain, the queen of clay, was a revelation because it enabled me to combine graphic and tactile qualities in a medium that possesses an inherently magical beauty.

I approach each piece as a shaped canvas. My porcelains are reverential, commemorative, containing references to the history of ceramics, classic forms, and the tradition of the vessel as both functional object and sculptural statement. I feel like a kindred spirit to the ancient Greek vase painters as I turn (and I hope elevate) daily events into archetypal messages through a visual vocabulary expressive of my environment, resources and aspirations.

Ask the Artist

Where do you get the ideas for your work?

All of art history - decorative art history, some contemporary influences.

Do you work alone on your craft, or with others?

I have an assistant to help with physical clay handling and pattern painting.

Do you ever teach, or take on apprentices?


What's the most exciting part of creating your works?

Executing new ideas, bringing them to a successful completion.

What's the most difficult part of creating your works?

Technical difficulties with materials, unpredictability of kiln firings.

What sort of technology do you use in your work? Has the technology of your craft changed dramatically over the past 100 years?

Old. No.

Do you have any advice for somebody just starting out?

It's a very exciting and stressful occupation.

What are we missing by experiencing your work through the Internet and not seeing/hearing/feeling/smelling/touching it in person?

Not seeing it live.

Randy J. Stromsoe Kate Vogel