The Potboilers

Mary and Ed making pots
While Mary Scheier created the fine utilitarian ware for which she is so famous, Ed developed his unique motifs in large vessels, plates, and sculptures.

In the 1940s to late 1950s most of the tableware was thrown by Mary and glazed by Ed. Mary refers to the tableware as 'the potboilers': "We had to do this looking toward getting out of teaching and giving all of our time to making pottery. We had to build up some security. So I made hundreds of beer mugs and hundreds of casseroles and creamers and sugars."

A student tells a story about asking Ed Scheier if she could leave a bag of groceries in the studio while she ran an errand on campus. When she got home and unpacked her groceries, her eggs were each covered in tiny drawings.

"One of my most wonderful memories of Mr. Scheier was his answer to a very personal question I conjured up the nerve to ask. As he and his wife appeared to be utterly happy and content and yet had no children I was a little curious and actually inquired one day after class as to why that might be. Can you imagine my nerve? His answer to me was, as he smiled and pointed to his pots "these are my children."…No amount of potting elsewhere can compare to the times spent for four years in the Scheier pottery classes. There was just something very special about that wonderful couple, and their 'children.'"

"The Scheiers kept a very disciplined schedule: studio from 8-10:00, Ed would teach from 10-12:00, then they would work after lunch until Ed's class from 2-4:00, maybe work some more, and then home."