Alex grew up in New Jersey where her family instilled in her an appreciation for modern art and design. On Sundays, her grandmother would take Alex to New York City to visit the galleries and shops in SoHo. Her Grandmother’s enthusiasm for contemporary art was contagious –– as Alex says, “she loved it so much, it was hard not to love it along with her.” The family house was filled with modern art and furniture; the idea that one be allowed to hold and touch something yet value it as art was instilled at a very young age.
In the late-1980’s during high school, Alex started taking photography and painting classes. Her first attempt at ceramics occurred during her freshman year at college. Within the first semester she had dropped the class and within the first year had dropped out of college. In 1991 Alex moved to New York City to live with her sister, rented a painting studio in SoHo, got a job in retail and tried her hand at ceramics again. This time at Parsons School of Design. Life in New York City brought back memories with her grandmother and it was to her she turned to for advice. Bubba Ida introduced Alex to the ceramic artist, Toshiko Takaezu who showed Alex that working with clay is making art.
On Toshiko’s recommendation Alex applied to the summer ceramics program at Skidmore College, a small liberal arts college in upstate New York. By the following fall, Alex was enrolled as an advanced student in both ceramics and painting. In 1995, Alex’s independent study project, converted from an introductory 3-D class, won best of show for the annual student exhibition. By graduation, Alex developed an interest in conceptual site-specific installations and entered the graduate program at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1997.
Upon graduating, Alex moved to Marin county, got a job in retail, rented studio space and headed into the art world. “I struggled for the next 2 years,” says Alex, “After 5 years of conceptual art, I was done. My passion for it had dried up but my passion for ceramics was always there. Regardless of what was happening for me, I could always go back to the studio, sculpt with clay and detach.” In 2000, Alex began selling the ceramics she designed as an undergraduate, refined in her master’s program and fully embraced after completing her schooling. The circle had been closed and Alex Marshall Studios was born.
For Alex, Alex Marshall Studios’ is not just about creating product, but also an exploration into conceptual ideas. One of her favorite themes is the notion of one in many, repeating the same form over and over but with varying results. Alex’s touch influences every piece. From shaping to firing and glazing each step is an opportunity to create slight nuances. This makes for products that are as individual as the people using them. All of Alex’s ceramics mold comfortably to the human hand, literally connecting the artist to the collector.