Artist Follows New Path To Pottery

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Pottery is Mary Lavan’s first foray into the arts since high school.

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Developing a unique style was one of the biggest challenges Mary Lavan faced when she became a potter.

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Lavan has been very successful selling her work via the Internet.

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Dick Wolfe photo

Between designing, producing, photographing and filling orders, Lavan’s art has become a full-time job.

It’s quite a leap from being a database architect for Intel to being a potter, but Mary Lavan has made it successfully. The artist lived in Phoenix for 30 years before moving to Pine in 2005.

“This is my first foray into the arts since high school,” Lavan said.

When asked why she picked pottery as her art form, she explained that her Pine house was next door to master potters Carole and Alan Snyder. They introduced Lavan to the art form, and she ended up taking lessons for a year from Carole Snyder.

Lavan said one of the most difficult phases of the art was developing a style or design unique to her work. She feels she has overcome that hurdle and in viewing her work, one would agree. She describes the design as eclectic.

Lavan recently became a member of the Payson Art League (PAL) and participated in her first art show.

Lavan said she was very nervous at her first show, the PAL Fall Show, especially meeting so many people and selling her art. She found out that it was most enjoyable, saying that the folks who come to art shows are very friendly and interested in how her art is created.

She says she sells quite successfully off the Internet through the site ETSY.com

When queried about the time spent on her art, Lavan said, “Between designing, producing, photographing the pieces and filling orders it has become a full-time job.” Fortunately her husband Dennis is very supportive and does not mind the time commitment she has taken on.

“My first sale was made November 9, 2007 — two weeks after posting on the Web,” said Lavan. She started making her pottery on her own in the summer of 2007. Looking at her pottery, it is obvious Lavan is a quick learner and very creative.

She has developed one unique style called “iron transfers” whereby she scans textile designs, then moves the design to transfer paper, which is then baked onto the pottery in her kiln.

Lavan looks forward to more shows and improving her designs.

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