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Edwin and Mary Scheier

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Edwin and Mary Scheier
20th century Ceramists
American, b. 1910
Edwin (born in New York, NY, 11/11/1910) and Mary Scheier (born in Virginia, 1910) have been working together in clay since their marriage in 1937.  Mary studied at the Art Students League and Parsons School of Design, but both of them were largely self-taught in ceramics.  During the Depression they taught and worked with the Federal Arts Project in Tennessee, and they set up their first pottery in Glade Spring, Virginia.

As a result of contacts made at a conference they attended at Black Mountain College in North Carolina they took positions at the University of New Hampshire in 1938, Edwin as instructor and Mary as artist-in-residence.  During the Second World War Mary assumed Edwin's teaching duties while he was in the army, and she also taught at the Rhode Island School of Design.  After the war, the Scheiers participated in Operation Bootstrap, a program in which their role was to set up a production pottery in Puerto Rico.  They returned to their positions in New Hampshire, where they remained until their retirement in 1960.  They then moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where they continued to work, Edwin expanding his interests to other media.  They have lived in Green Valley, Arizona since 1979.

The work of the Scheiers reveals the influences of ancient and primitive art, including that of ancient and contemporary Mexico.  Mary made functional pieces, elegant in form and sensitive to the needs of the user.  She also threw pots for Edwin to decorate.  His use of line, incised or modeled, was graceful, flowing, and full of expression, always suited to the form.  He often dealt with narrative subjects, universal themes of birth, regeneration, or ritual, influenced by the primitive art in which he was so interested.

The Scheiers were continuous participants in the Ceramic Nationals from 1940 through 1966, except in 1960, 1962, and 1968, and they won many awards.


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