Mary Ballou

I’ve lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1972. My art has been a constant in my live since I was a little girl. I had the interest and my mother made materials and classes available to me. I fell in love with clay as a medium after watching a throwing demonstration at a crafts fair when I was 14 years old. I was fortunate to be able to begin in clay as a teen at the Memphis Art Academy. At Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, I worked with Regis Brodie and enjoyed workshops with many outstanding ceramics greats, including Paul Soldner. In Aspen, I continued my work at Colorado Mountain College (CMC). Over the years I have enjoyed the great variety of teachers that CMC has offered. In recent years that includes Nancy Barbour, Sam Harvey, Katie VanAlstine, Steven Colby, Rick Parsons, Michael Wizner and K. Rhynus. Additionally I have taken workshops with Meredith Brickell, Terry Shepard, Doug Casebeer, Allegheny Meadows, Paul Soldner and Jake Allee. In the summer of 2008 at Anderson Ranch I worked with Sanam Amami. During the summer of 2010, I took a workshop at Anderson Ranch with Margaret Bohls.

For many years I made strictly functional, high fire reduction pottery with relatively simple glaze application. Because drawing and watercolor painting have also been part of my life, I was always frustrated at not being able to draw with precision on clay. In the past two years I have learned some techniques, which have opened that door. I have begun to work with low fire clay, hand-building and using slips and fine line decoration. The subject matter I have recently chosen is from nature including, Aspen trees, Ginkgo leaves, birds, trout and some farm animals. I continue to explore matching form and decorative elements.

– Mary Ballou

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