Labels on the clay-dusty wooden shelves organize her pieces: Peach bowls. Fish plates. Small glazed tiles. Picture frames. Her medium is clay imbued in its original state with colors from a peaceful palette of pale yellow, green, blue, violet. Most of her work is unglazed, the finish raw and immediate. Some pieces are delicate with graceful flowers and tendrils, others are geometric–small, round dots pressed hard against bigger dots like nuts restraining bolts.

Marcy Glick puts in 60 hours a week as a potter and tile maker–hours working in her storefront studio in Lakeview, hours of paperwork at home, hours at weekend craft shows schmoozing designers, department store buyers, art gallery and flower shop owners.

“My friends are like, ‘Why don’t you take a vacation?’ But I’ve got 200 different clients, and I’ve gotta produce. If I tell these people I’m going to ship to them, they want their stuff.” One week she molds, fires, dries, sands, mounts, and ships 100 snapshot-size picture frames with bunches of leaves nestled in the corners to a gallery in Hong Kong. Another week she produces a lobby wall’s worth of patterned tiles commissioned for a new corporate headquarters downtown.

“I just invent things as I go along. I don’t have time to sit back and think about it. I develop my prototype, take it to the store, and come back and develop a whole line, though every piece will be slightly different.”

When the pressure’s really on, Glick hires kids from the neighborhood or students from the Art Institute to help. “Some of the art students tell me, ‘You’re not making art, you’re making stuff for sale!’ But as a potter I’ve gotta sell the work, gotta keep it going, pay for materials, go to the shows. It’s satisfying, having my hands in the mud. But I’m not getting rich. Like my accountant says, ‘Your gross income looks great, but next year–get a job!'”

Gone to Pot, Marcy Glick’s studio and shop at 1432 W. Irving Park, is open Monday through Friday noon to 6, Saturday noon to 5, and by appointment. Call 472-2274.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Loren Santow.