Mary Barringer received a BA in art from Bennington College and has been a studio artist since 1973, making both sculpture and functional pottery. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she has taught widely at universities, art schools, and craft centers and including Ohio University, Hartford Art School, and Anderson Ranch. In addition to her studio work she has written and lectured on the history of ceramics, and from 2004 until 2014 she served as editor of The Studio Potter journal. She lives in western Massachusetts.
By temperament I am a slow artist: slow to build, slow to process things, and slow to change. The hours spent with my hands on a piece, paying attention to where it seems to be going, are much more important to the work than where I think it is going, or has come from. Working time – process time – allows me to get beyond the rather shallow ideas I come to first, and arrive at the ones that can surprise me. It takes a long time for those ideas to emerge from the compost-pile of my mind, and a long time to work through the permutations. The movement is rarely dramatic: a change in scale, visual weight, or orientation can open up a whole new set of possibilities. For better or worse, I can find a lot to feed me and to investigate in the details, proportions, and scale of my core ideas. I don’t honestly see how it could be otherwise, for those of us who have chosen to work in an artform with such a distinct yet adaptable set of parameters.