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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Clay: Bearded Iris-Cobalt
Mary Carroll

Mary Carroll

(born Sioux City, IA 1958)

A Photograph of Mary Carroll with Bearded Iris Cobal

"Using clay, I create my own world, ordering the universe according to my insular vision of wanting things to be beautiful, fanciful and exotic." Artist's statement

Mary Carroll creates hand-built ceramic pieces encrusted with colorfully molded flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Carroll was inspired by the baroque and rococo ceramic pieces that she saw in Europe and began making her contemporary versions. Her work addresses "feminine" qualities of strength, fragility, sensuality, and beauty. To achieve the textures and relief images in her pieces, the artist makes molds from natural objects such as cabbage leaves, corn, and pumpkins, and coats her work with bright glazes.

Image Credits: Courtesy Mary Carroll.