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Mary Gates Dewey was born and raised in southern Florida. Upon high school graduation, she moved north to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she majored in painting. She first studied ceramics at the University of Alabama where her then-husband was teaching, and found a real affinity for the diverse applications of clay. Mary and her family moved back to Ohio and she continued working in clay, opening a gallery and studio in Zanesville in the early 1970's and teaching ceramics and sculpture at Muskingum College in New Concord.

When her teaching contract ended, she moved to Athens in the foothills of the Appalachians. She built her house and studio in the midst of the woods a mile from the nearest road. With no electricity or running water, she began her ceramics work in simplicity and earnest.

She came upon the idea for the cats by serendipity in 1982, and today it is only cats that leave the studio. Mary is owned by one cat, Kaygee, which is short for "kiln god." It is a tradition among potters that a new kiln have a kiln god made of clay to ensure successful firings. Kaygee came marching through the woods on the day of the first firing of the new kiln....he has stayed to watch over the production ever since, and has been the inspiration for many of the Dewey cats.

The cats have evolved over the years, the studio has grown, the house is like a gallery to those who visit, but there is still no electricity or running water....and Mary Gates Dewey is contented on her peaceful hill in southeast Ohio.

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Salado Square ~ P.O. Box 1207 ~ Salado, Texas 76571
254.947.3277 ~ 800.473.1494 ~ 254.780.2003 fax