Our L.L.Bean Home store in Freeport is filled with unique, Maine-made treasures from local craftsmen. In honor of National Craft Month, we spoke to Mary Kay Spencer, the artist behind The Potter’s House, a collection of handthrown and handpainted pottery available in our store.
Mary Kay has always loved using clay. In college she minored in art and took various classes in the medium before deciding to pursue it full time. She and her husband, Jeff, opened a small studio in Connecticut where she first began making traditional, functional pottery. Eventually, a job at a well-established pottery studio opened up in Maine, so the two packed up and moved north to live life the way it should be.
After settling in Maine, Mary Kay decided to take painting classes at her local adult education program. It was then that the marriage of pottery and painting first formed. Now she glazes and paints her own designs on pieces once they come out of the kiln.
“I find inspiration from the beautiful world around us. I never paid much attention to flowers until moving to Maine, which has a wonderful array of wildflowers and colorful perennials,” she says. You’ll also find beautiful depictions of fish on many of Mary Kay’s pieces. “I live by a very active stream, so I float and use my snorkel and mask to watch the fish swim around.”
Mary Kay’s favorite part about being an artist is when someone tells her that they use her cup or bowl every day. “I love being able to make beautiful pottery that is affordable for people,” she says. “I am always humbled when I meet a collector of my work.”
To order pieces from The Potter’s House, you can contact our home store at 877-755-2326, option #6. Shipped for free, no minimum.