Cats, Birds, Suns, Flowers and Other Work

Avocado  This is a plaque that Mary created that was given to teachers at Avocado Elementary School in Homestead, Florida, honoring their years of teaching excellence. Flowers  Private collection of Bev F., Tampa, Florida.  The flower plaque is by Mary, while the small house in the upper left is by Tom. Bear  Private collection of Bev F., Tampa, Florida. Window  Private collection, Bev F., Tampa, Florida.
Flower1  Private collection of Nora R., Miami, Florida.  From the late 1990s. Flower2  Private collection of Marie and Webster W., Homestead, Florida.  Note the gray outlines on the wood - this is from the wet clay when it was placed on the board as the piece was being made.  This piece was probably made in the late 1960s or early 1970s - there is no "MB" button on it. Flower3  Private collection of Marie and Webster W., Homestead, Florida.  Note the presence of the "MB" button - this is from the later 1970s. Owl1  Private collection of Marie and Webster W., Homestead, Florida.
Owl2  Private collection of Marie and Webster W., Homestead, Florida. Sunflowers  Collection of the Homestead Town Hall Museum.  This piece dates from the early 1970s and is interesting because it is signed in the clay by Mary Blakley.  This pre-dates the use of the "mb" buttons.  The center of the flowers has an aventurine glaze - it sparkles in the light. 1  Collection of Dorothy D., Homestead, Florida.  This piece is from the 1990s. 2  Collection of Dorothy D., Homestead, Florida.
3  Collection of Dorothy D., Homestead, Florida.  This piece is rather interesting because it appears that the piece had been fired in a sawdust kiln after it had been glaze-fired.  Note the dark smudges on the base piece.  Mary had a friend, Rhoda Hepner, who she allowed to build a sawdust kiln on her property to fire her pieces.  This piece may have been fired in that kiln.  It is from the early 1990s. 4  Collection of the Community Bank of Florida, Homestead, Florida.  This piece was made in the mid-1970s and is approximately 14" by 20".  This piece is by Mary Blakley and is one of many flower plaques that she made.  They were very popular. 5  Collection of the Community Bank of Florida, Homestead, Florida.  This piece was made in the mid-1970s and is approximately 14" by 20".  It was probably fired to cone 06, as the red color of the lips has burned out on the right side.  Later, Tom and Mary reduced their glaze firing temperatures to cone 08, which prevents the reds and oranges from burning out. Vertical flowers - about 12" x 48"  Collection of David H., Murphy, North Carolina.
7  Collection of Kathryn S., of Homestead, Florida.  This piece has applied pink and purple paint, which is quite unusual.  I posted a blog entry about the piece, entitled "An Early Flower Piece." Sunflowers 2  Collection of Kathryn S., Homestead, Florida.  This piece is mounted on a board about 12" wide by 36" tall.  The glazes are apple green for the stem and leaves, cadmium yellow for the flowers and AV-30 for the centers of the flowers. Tall Flower Plaque  Private collection, Homestead, Florida.  This piece appears to be an earlier one, judging by the opacity of the glaze on the leaves.  On the other hand, it may have been a piece that Mary just experimented with layering another glaze on top of the usual apple green and the effect wasn't quite what she was after.  One leaf is missing, but it could be replaced with a new one. Cats  This piece was offered for sale on eBay in January, 2015, for $800.  At the time, it was owned by Travis Samuel, an art dealer in La Mesa, California, who specializes in estate collections and art collections.  His website is samuelcollection.com.  I copied this image from eBay, after trying to contact Mr. Samuel and getting no response.  The piece was made by Mary Blakley in the late 1960s and is mounted on a piece of cherry veneer plywood that measures 16" x 32".  It has a whimsie sticker on the back, which dates it to pre-1970.  Perhaps I will be able to obtain a better image in the future.  If so, I will post it.
Flower4  Collection of Tracy in Pennsylvania - about 6" x 12".  This piece dates from the mid- to late 1970s, when driftwood was still available.  After driftwood became scarce, Mary made the pieces with small holes in them for a wire hanger. image2  Collection of Tracy in Pennsylvania.  Approximately 5" x 8".  This piece dates from sometime after the mid-1980s, when driftwood was no longer available. Flower plaque  Collection of Pamela B. This plaque is approximately 18" wide by 24" tall and is in excellent shape.  My guess is that it was made in the late 1970s. Small Flower Plaque  This small flower plaque is about 8" tall and 16" wide.  The flowers and birds are mountd on pecky cypress.  It is in a private collection in the Homestead area.