Mary Kaun English was born and raised in Southern California, where as a young girl she spent extensive periods of time exploring the then undeveloped San Rafael foothills. Feeling at one with the natural world; the red clay soil beneath her bare feet, the hot air surrounding her and the sense of earthly spirituality filling her soul; Mary has always felt the desire to be at one with nature.
After studying Architecture in Los Angeles, Mary moved to England, and received a BA (Hons) in the Practice and Theory in Fine Art and Design, from Wimbledon College of Art – UAL alongside studying ceramics at Putney Art College.
Mary’s relationship with the natural world is mirrored in her ceramic practice. Using sustainable and traditional methods, Mary connects with nature and the rugged Cornish coastline.
The second firing of Mary’s pit-fired pieces occurs in an open-air pit-firing at her studio in West Cornwall or, more frequently, on the nearby beach, exposing the porous clay to the smoke given off by the organic materials used in the fire. The results are organic ceramic sculptures painted by nature.
‘I have been inspired by nature for as long as I can remember: I revere the strength and beauty it presents. My intention when creating my work is to capture these beautiful and powerful natural attributes in my organic ceramic pieces.’