I started working with clay over 20 years ago. I was inspired on a trip to Ireland and completely fascinated by a porcelain factory we visited while we were there. When I came home, I took a ceramics class with my Dad and bought a small kiln. It was a great creative outlet for me.
It soon became a part-time business while working full-time in marketing but life happened (namely, my four busy, growing children: Caroline, Charlie, Patrick, and Sean) and I tucked my kiln away.
At the start of 2020, I just felt like I needed to do something creative again so I went out, bought 50 pounds of clay, dusted off my kiln (hoping it still worked) and went to work. It’s amazing how, like riding a bike, it all comes back.
With the “gift” of time during Covid quarantine, I was able to create Maria Cronin Design.
I always liked the delicacy of porcelain and one night I was making dinner in my kitchen and our pasta machine caught my eye. I wondered what it would be like to put my clay through it.
To my surprise, the pasta machine gave me exactly what I was looking for–thin, whimsical sheets of clay. Using a flower-like pattern, I began to layer these airy pieces into small accent dishes–glazing them in various colors. I finished each dish with an additional firing of 22k gold gilding along the edges. You could say that I’m a small batch ceramicist. Each piece is created, then dried out for 3-4 days, then bisque fired. Next I apply 3 coats of glaze, fire again and then the final firing is usually a 22k gold edging. Each piece takes about 7-10 days to create - a process which makes each piece truly one-of-a-kind.
The best thing about working with clay is that I can continue to keep experimenting with shapes, forms and glazes. I’ve created the One and Done Collection to showcase some of these ideas so please check that out and give me any feedback you can!
I love having the freedom to try to create beautiful things to share.