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Mary Fischer – Plinth Gallery Artist Interview

Mary Fischer: “The Architecture of Space”

Mary Fischer’s ceramic forms are reminiscent of the landsettled by her great-grandparents and where Fischer grew up. Her sculptures of barns, water towers, granaries and other farm buildings are influenced by her surroundings on the Texas landscape. Fischer has always been fascinated with buildings and architecture, ”I’ve been interested in buildings and photographing buildings and reading architectural magazines ever since I can remember”.- Jonathan Kaplan. Plinth Gallery

Please join Mary at Plinth Gallery for the opening of her show First Friday, August 2nd, from 6-9pm.

For more information on Plinth Gallery ande Mary Fischer please their website.  www.plinthgallery.com

 

When and how did you discover the passion for ceramics?

I first noticed ceramics when I was stationed in Thailand and Okinawa.

(I spent 8 years in the Air Force, in the 60′s and 70′s.)

After looking at clay at craft shows and galleries, I thought it was something that I could do. So for our 40th birthdays, a friend and I decided to take lessons at a city run facility in Austin. Of course I couldn’t do what I thought I could, but I did get addicted to clay and eventually gave up drawing maps for playing full time with clay.

You create all sorts of architecture. How would you explain your attraction for buildings and are they a metaphor for you?

 First, the buildings I make aren’t a metaphor, nor do they represent any particular building I have seen. They are a product of everything I have seen, photographed, and read about in books and magazines on architecture.

Buildings have always fascinated me. As kids, my older sister, cousins and I built a fort at our grandparents house by stacking cedar posts. Our grandparents let us build cities in the mud after the occasional rain. At home we made the outline of rooms with limbs and lumber and played house.

I briefly considered architecture as a career but figured my lack of math skills would make anything I built suspect.

My pieces are sculptural, they are pretty useless for anything except adding buildings to train sets, or gathering dust.

Mary Fischer’s ceramic forms are reminiscent of the landsettled by her great-grandparents and where Fischer grew up. Her sculptures of barns, water towers, granaries and other farm buildings are influenced by her surroundings on the Texas landscape. Fischer has always been fascinated with buildings and architecture, ”I’ve been interested in buildings and photographing buildings and reading architectural magazines ever since I can remember”.

 

What other clay artist influenced you if any and why?

I’m sure lots of other artists have influenced me at one time or other.

I do tend to come back to Hans Coper because his texture and lines are so exquisite.

 What techniques do you usually work with and what is your favorite tool?

As to techniques, I hand build with slabs and extruded pieces. So it stands to reason that my favorite tools are my slab roller and extruder.

The last couple of years I have been using more images in my work. I have learned to use etching and pronto plates I have made from some of my photographs by printing them on clay. The hardest part is not the technical but finding images that work on a particular piece.

What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?

 Just keep working. Copy from the best. Be conscious of what is copying and what is copying with a twist of your own until it is all your own.

What are you showing at Plinth this month and how did you come up with the title?

I just got back from delivering work to Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, NC and Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia. So I’m just now getting into thinking about the show at Plinth which is in August. I don’t know what the title will be. The work will probably be similar to what I have been doing this year, which is more emphasis on industrial/agricultural buildings, boats and images with “graffiti” , i.e. photos applied to clay and made into buildings. Maybe some new kinds of barns, since we saw lots of them driving across Pennsylvania and Ohio.

 

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One Response to “Mary Fischer – Plinth Gallery Artist Interview”

  1. patti haskins Says:

    Love these pieces, just fabulous. Hello to Mary from Patti in Dallas, long time no “speak”. One of my prized possessions is a little green Mary building I got many years ago when we both exhibited at a Craft Guild of Dallas show. Again, really love the new work. Greatness.