Mary tells us a little about her story, inspirations, travel, and artistic influences:
I have always loved sewing, making and design. From a young age at my mummy’s knee (where I learnt how to use her Singer sewing machine that I still own and use today) I studied Fashion and Textiles at Art college, specialising in tailoring, knit and surface pattern. Practical design in its many different forms has always been a huge part of my life. After graduating from college I worked for ten years designing surface patterns for fabrics, graphics for the labels, and all types of clothes in the fashion business. I travelled the world working in Hong Kong, India and Europe, and sourcing inspiration in America and Japan. And then life all changed with the arrival of my two amazing sons! A few months after my boys were born, I had always wanted to paint ceramics, so I spent a weekend learning the basics from an old master. I got a kiln, and off I went! After five years establishing my own bespoke china business, I opened two gift shops with a partner. I ran these for 18 years while continuing to design and create. In 2016, I felt the need to return full time to my creative roots, so here I am designing prints, making candles, plus a few other bespoke projects which keep me busy. I have a lovely hut in the garden ‘Mary-land’ where I work — lots of exciting and creative stuff goes on in here. This is where my gin print and candle offshoot was conceived. I work in my hut accompanied by my two cats whilst listening to Radio 4, Motown, soul and reggae music.