Meet Mary Carroll, artist behind the Rising Sunshine mugs featured in our 2020 holiday market.
What’s your background as a creator?
I was going to school for graphic design and took some pottery classes for fun. Long story short, I dropped out of the graphic design program and took four more wheel throwing courses and decided to go for it! I have always had a love for fine art and just getting my hands on anything crafty from painting to punch needles.
What inspires your work?
Retro 70s Tshirts! A lot of my designs are something that I would have seen on a t-shirt my dad would wear. I also love the 80s & early 90s and my dream mug would look like it belonged on the set of Saved by the Bell.
Do you have a special routine that you get into before you start creating? Any kind of music you listen to, do you make yourself a cup of coffee, etc.?
I usually bring something cozy to the studio like coffee or homemade bone broth. I try to just get straight to it or else I will mozy around the studio for hours getting distracted by all the little things. If I can just start right away I am the most productive. These days I put a good podcast on to get started or a crappy reality TV show. Sometimes you just need something entertaining but not engaging enough to stop you from working, and when you are throwing for 8+ hours, reality tv hits the spot :)
What do you hope that people get out of your work?
I want to help encourage a slower life. Slower mornings with your favorite mug on the porch. Investing in a quality handmade item and taking the time to enjoy the personal touch from the artist. I want to encourage buying less quantity and more quality and hopefully holding onto that quality item for a long time and seeing material items as less disposable.
What’s your proudest moment as an artist?
When I stop and take a look at where I've come from and how far i've progressed in the last 5 years. Knowing that I can provide income for my employees, support and nourish my family while getting to do the art that I love is completely mind blowing and I am so proud of it!
What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
It gets real moody in Portland over the winter months and I feel like we all get extra cozy in our homes and coffee shops. I love to cook, bake, have a fire going and play table games. I’m basically an old woman already.