As a young child, Marianne Brown loved to play in the mud. She was often getting into trouble and traipsing home covered in mud. As a result, Brown’s mom enrolled her in a clay class. As Brown explained, the class allowed her to get muddy, but it also kept her out of trouble.

Over the years, Brown’s love of ‘playing in the mud’ didn’t go away. By the time she was in high school she had already done reduction, salt, and pit firings, and her clay teacher even let her help load the kilns. When she graduated high school, she tried her hand at being a dental technician, but as she stated “…clay was my true love.”

Finally, she enrolled in art school, and in 1989, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a major in ceramics. Since that point, she has continued to experiment and grow her artistic abilities.

By late 1990 she had been juried into the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists and was doing her first fine arts and craft show, but even then, she wasn’t working as a full-time artist. “For the next five years I kept my day job and worked in the studio at night,” she wrote.

Brown’s career as a full-time potter began in 1996 when she moved to Kentucky. “Then in 1996 I took the big jump,” wrote Brown. “I moved to Kentucky and started working full-time in clay. A year and a half later I was juried into the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, and started doing art shows and exhibits through out Kentucky and the surrounding states. In 2001 I was juried into the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.” Currently, she is the owner of her business, Marianne Brown Pottery, and works as a full-time potter in her studio behind her house.

In an interview last week, Brown said that her favorite part of what she does is throwing pottery. “It’s addicting,” said Brown. She added that she can easily lose 4 hours or more while she’s doing it.

When asked what an average day looks like, she explained that every day is a bit different. She said that the clay making process works in an 8-week rotation. In this rotation, she makes a batch of pottery from start to finish, including throwing the pottery, trimming it, glazing it, and firing it.

Another step of her pottery-making process is stamping unique, textured designs into the clay. Brown said that she used to paint designs onto her pottery, but one day when she needed something to do with her hands, so she made a clay stamp. Since then she has made many more stamps out of clay. She also uses items such as walnut husks, gears, and buttons to press unique designs into the clay.

Finally, Brown wanted the public to know that Marianne Brown Pottery is open to the public by appointment and that she offers private lessons. She also teaches kids of all ages and adults at the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington and the Arts Center of the Bluegrass in Danville. “In addition to working in clay I have been teaching kids of all ages how versatile and forgiving clay can be both in hand building and throwing on the wheel,” said Brown. “For more then 20 years I have been sharing with others methods and techniques in clay and for 13 years I have been working at the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington. I say it is a two way street, I learn from my students too!”