Born Mary Goldsmith in Salem, Virginia, she moved to New York City in 1925 and studied art at the Art Students League of New York, the Grand Central School of Art and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. After a brief advertising career in Paris, she returned to Virginia and married Edwin Scheier. She was head of a WPA gallery at Big Stone Gap, Virginia when they met during the Great Depression.
In 1939, the Scheiers set up their first studio, Hillcrock Pottery, in Glade Spring, VA, making small sculptures and functional pottery using local clays.
In 1940, they moved to Durham, New Hampshire, and both taught at the University of New Hampshire until 1968. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, during the 1940s and 1950s.
They then moved to the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Mary stopped producing pottery in the 1960s, when arthritis and health conditions prevented her from continuing. They finally moved to Green Valley, Arizona. She died in Tucson, Arizona.
Mary was well known for her skills in creating thin walled thrown vessels. Combining her products with Edwin's applied designs and custom created glazes gained the couple wide recognition. Mary died just five days after celebrating her 99th birthday and after 69 years of marriage to Edwin.
Goldsmith, with Scheier, was also the subject of a chapter of Lyndel King's 1988 book, “American Studio Ceramics: 1920-1950” published by the University Art Gallery at the University of Minnesota.
- Heydarpour, Roja Mary Scheier, 99, Creator of Elegant Pottery, Is Dead.New York Times, May 19, 2007. Accessed May 19, 2007.
- Lebow, Edward. January 11, 2001).Four Hands One Heart. Phoenix New Times
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