Mary Rich studied ceramics at Bournemouth College of Art until 1961, when she went on to work with other significant British ceramicists, including David Leach. In 1962 she opened her first studio in Falmouth where she made salt glaze ceramics. It wasn't until the 1980s, with the advent of more efficient kilns, that Mary switched to making solely porcelain pieces.
Now working from her Cowlands Creek Pottery studios, near Truro in Cornwall, she painstakingly produces finely thrown pieces which she decorates in geometric style with precious metal lustres. Each piece takes many hours to produce and the final results glow with muted golds, greens and blues.
Although her ceramics may be seen as vehicles for her exquisite decoration, form is crucial to her work. Mary's pots are hand-thrown in porcelain. Most of her pots have several layers of colour applied to the raw clay to achieve exactly the right base for her final decorations which are added after the glaze firing - characteristic designs applied with liquid bright gold and other lustres, using fine brushes. She also makes pieces in Limoges porcelain finished with a white glaze, sometimes with a little added colour.