We are Mary and Cory Burrows of MB Art Studios. We live in Austin, Texas, and we make inspirational ceramic wares intended to open the heart and wake people up to their inner lives. We also create porcelain dinnerware with bold, modern designs that are drawn by hand and individually screenprinted onto clay.
Cory and I are both completely self-taught artists. For me, creating was a form of therapy; our son was developmentally delayed and I ended up letting go of a corporate career to stay home with him. In 2004, I started dabbling in clay, needle felting and water coloring, which were all outlets for me to heal. The next thing I knew, my mother-in-law gave me a kiln and I was hooked. I immersed myself in creating, making mistakes and reading a lot about art and ceramics. Several years later, Cory joined me in the studio and helped take our work to the next level. He worked as a tile and granite contractor for 23 years, and he’s a true craftsman.
Our work is influenced by our love for aesthetics, simplicity and words that encourage and move us to live a good life. It’s also greatly influenced by modern architecture and nature, as well as Scandinavian design. We build all of our wares by hand using porcelain slab or slip-casting methods, and we also mix our own glazes. All of our screen-printed designs are hand-drawn and printed onto the clay using traditional printmaking techniques.
Being able do something we believe in is something we don’t take for granted ─ it’s both our creative outlet and our livelihood. We put a lot into our work, and we love creating with our hands. In addition to running our business, we also homeschool our two children. Learning about what you’re interested in is pretty cool and is really a way of life for us.
It’s hard to imagine where our business would be today without Etsy – selling on this platform has been the catalyst to getting our work noticed all over the world. We see the handmade movement like the slow food movement: people want things that are made with love, have some life to them, come with a story. In the future, Cory and I plan to keep creating, exploring our world, and learning. We would also love to have our work featured in a few magazines – that would be a dream come true!
All photographs by Jessica Monnich.