Mary Johnson makes intricately decorated ceramics vessels which embody a sense of place. Each pot is wheel-thrown earthenware with added materials to give a varied texture. Torn, damaged and re-assembled to make vessels which are patched together like an allotment shed. This new work has grown organically without a set plan. Different clays lead to different shapes, colours and decorations. Each new layer is added in response to the last. Garden weeds have been hand painted or drawn onto the surface with a knife.
Mary’s aim is to balance each part, rough and smooth, light and dark, ugly and beautiful. This newer work has developed slowly from a lifetime of planting, weeding and making. Her pieces are decorated with images drawn directly onto the clay with a knife or paintbrush. Mary’s pots celebrate weeds, decay, insects, and rust as integral partners without which life would be infinitely dull and sterile.
Mary Johnson is one of Design-Nation’s Fellows.