Mary Obodzinski

Crystal Lake, IL


Since childhood, I have loved to draw, paint and "make things," and I was lucky to have a mom who let me make a mess as a child and teachers who recognized and nurtured my talent. I discovered my passion for clay in 1979 by taking a community college course at Brookhaven College in Dallas, TX. in 1989 we moved back to Illinois and settled in Crystal Lake; eventually making space for a tiny clay studio in my basement. I have taken many college level classes in pottery, design and metals, and attended many local and national workshops, but am very proud to proclaim myself "self-taught."

Much of my work is hand-built and raku-fired. I also make custom tiles, fireplace surrounds and backsplashes for the home. I love to work with a client, translating their ideas into unique, one-of-a-kind works of art for their homes.

My pottery is my response to an awareness of my surroundings, inspired by nature; whimsical teapots, or "relic-like" vessels that look like they were just discovered from an ancient civilization. I think that sometimes my vessels and teapots are pieces of sculpture aboutvessels and teapots. My ideas are often sparked by an investigation into the technique and procedure of forming a vessel. The fabrication process of hand-building is what I love most, sometimes methodical, sometimes spontaneous - a vessel emerges from the just-rolled-out scrap of clay.

A piece of art should be a thing of beauty, not just to look at, but to hold and touch, imparting to people some of the experience the maker felt at its creation. I have an intense commitment to the quality of my work and know the limitations of the tools and materials I use, yet I constantly push the use of these tools and materials to discover new ways of forming new shapes, new works of art.