© 2019 Old Town Art Gallery

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Paintings & Ceramics

Mary Egan of Mattermax Designs has appreciated a lifelong love of art and making. Her earliest memories involve hours of coloring, building rock sculptures in her room, sewing and embroidery with her mother, and spending long summer days in the backyard making mud pie creations.

Now in middle age, Egan continues to find a great deal of joy in the act of creating and making things. She started working with ceramics in 2010, taking classes at the Fire Arts Center in Arcata, and found a new love in working with clay. Mary enjoys using porcelain, and each piece, no matter the size or shape, is incised and carved with mostly abstract designs at the leather-hard stage, then fired and glazed.


Several years ago she found herself as an “empty nester” with an unused dining room which she turned into a painting and mixed media studio, then began painting the cats she has doodled for many years. The cats evolved to be the embellished whimsical creatures they are now. Each has a unique character and personality; they are true individuals.

Egan considers herself a self-taught folk/mixed media artist with leanings towards the abstract and use of vivid colors and swirly lines. The process of painting and carving is her passion and joy. Ironically, Egan does not have a cat--just her rescue dog, Sammy. Mattermax was her son's short-time imaginary friend when he was 3 years old--she has just always loved the name and feels it represents the uniqueness and individuality of her art endeavors.