We recently visited Maria Pearson aka The Mad Potter in her private pottery studio.
Tucked away in the backyard of her Jumeirah Residence is The Mad Potter’s not-so-secret laboratory, equipped with her Potters Wheel, clay and an abundance of ceramic glazes.
For Maria, what began as a mindless hobby for stress relief quickly grew into a passion for clay. She has been working with clay for over 7 years now and is a regular at the ARTE Arts & Crafts Markets in Dubai.
While designing a piece, Maria always thinks about functionality… but ultimately she lets the clay tell her what it will be. She then adds some quirkiness through the colour choice of the glaze and texture finish to make each creation one of a kind.
The Mad Potter’s designs are as unique as their creator. Maria explained, “Over the years, I found my own voice and discovered that I preferred the utilitarian forms when combined with both the beauty of perfection and the element of imperfection. Living in a world of quickly reproduced identical forms, it’s the depth of character and inability to duplicate the organic imperfections that intrigue me. It is my goal to create spontaneous patterns and forms keeping that ingredient of uniqueness in every piece.”
We were especially surprised to learn the rather complicated yet fascinating glazing process behind her work. The glaze application is achieved by both brushing and dipping, and then fired in a kiln to over 2,000 degrees.
We were fascinated with her incredible selection of glazes and glaze chemicals. Much like cooking or chemistry, glazing pottery properly requires thorough knowledge of materials and technique, and Maria has spent years developing and perfecting her style. While her application of dynamic colours and glazes may seem like a reflection of her title i.e. The Mad Potter, in reality it is a laborious process involving, brushing, dipping and dripping.
She is a regular at the ARTE Markets in Times Square Center.