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Meet Mary McDonald of DOUBLE M POTTERY

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary McDonald.

Mary, let’s start with your story. we’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I came to pottery late in life. about 8 years ago I took a couple of classes at a local community college and was hooked immediately. After that, I utilized a public studio to work in, practice, and learn as much as I could. (by the way, making ceramics is not something that can ever be mastered, which is what keeps me interested.) I began to post some of my pieces on social media, and before I knew it my business, double m pottery was launched. Double m is a nickname a good friend gave me.

About three years ago, I set up a studio in my home in Laguna Beach. there are a lot of steps that go into the process of making pottery, so having my wheel and kiln at my home allows me to make, make, make as often as I like, check on the progress of my pieces during various stages of drying, and have some control over timing and glaze outcomes.

It’s rewarding when someone I have never met connects with one of my pieces. I love what I am doing. I read a quote “find something you love doing, then let it run your life”. I feel very fortunate to have discovered this passion.

overall, has it been relatively smooth? if not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been entirely smooth. There has been so much to learn in terms of equipment, technical issues with clays and glazes. Lots of experimenting and testing, and plenty of failures. Nothing like throwing 125 pounds of clay to make about (about 30 – 40 pieces), trimming, adding surface decorations, loading the kiln to fire a bisque load, only to open it up 24 hours later to find nothing but shards because one or two pieces had a little moisture in them. A lot can go wrong along the way in making anything out of clay.

Because it has been just me (I now have a part-time studio assistant), I have had to figure out the business side of this on my own. Luckily I am pretty resourceful and organized. Everything started happening pretty fast, and I am still learning.

please tell us about double m pottery.
I am a potter. I would describe my pottery as modern organic. my design is clean and simple. I prefer that part of the finished surface of my pottery be unglazed. I like to see and feel glazed surfaces against the rough unglazed surface.

Everything I sell is wheel thrown and handmade by me in my home studio in Laguna Beach. I am in 13 stores and I have my own retail space in palm springs at the shops at 1345. I have recently started selling online at my website

I love what I do.!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Making pottery is very physical. I’ve learned to take time to take care of my body and rest. Stretch, take a walk, do yoga and get an occasional massage.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 155 Emerald Bay Laguna Beach, CA. 92651
  • Phone: 949-689-3502

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.


  1. Libby

    May 29, 2018 at 02:05

    Hello, Mary has been directly copying the work of Australian studio Takeawei and passing Chela’s designs off as her own ‘original’ ideas. I would suggest people in the USA be wary when dealing with ‘artists’ who have no process of their own but who simply rip off the work of international deaigners thinking they’ll get away with it.
    I am one of Takeawei’s stockists in Australia and it’s increadibly saddening to see a true artist ripped off like this.

  2. Libby

    May 29, 2018 at 02:05

    Oops! *designers

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