Meet the MacKenzie-Childs Artisans

MacKenzie-Childs Artisans

Bill------CLAY FORMING: HAND BUILDER

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Bill

"I try not to pick favorites. This way I don't get bored with a certain pattern." And he hasn't gotten bored after eighteen years of work at MacKenzie-Childs. Though he didn't have much background in art, he now owns a pottery studio, which he comments, "I've taught myself better skills to bring to the workplace." Bill is a hand builder for the signature MacKenzie-Childs majolica terracotta. He also helps with furniture finishing, kiln operation, wax and glaze, woodshop, and slipcast. Whenever he thinks about the most rewarding aspect of working at MacKenzie-Childs, he says that he loves the teamwork of his coworkers in crafting the unique pieces. "Like [in] a team, I feel I have a part. With all my teammates working together, we function well." He takes great inspiration from nature. "I love the outdoors, which I try to reflect in my own pottery and poetry." Bill's Stamp: WR



CLAY FORMING: RAM PRESS OPERATOR------Paul

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Paul

"My favorite thing about working here is that there's always something to do." Paul has aided the craft of MacKenzie-Childs most loved pieces in his fifteen year career. He works with transforming raw slabs of clay into MacKenzie-Childs pieces, which, in turn, will be finished, fired, and decorated. He grew up on a farm nearby and met MacKenzie-Childs through a friend who worked there. His friend encouraged Paul to join the company. He loves spending his day working with his hands. Paul's Stamp: PR



Callie------DECAL/TRANSFER

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Callie

Callie is the head of the Decal and Lustre department at MacKenzie-Childs. She guides the team and can easily add the beautiful final touches of luster and elegance to the pieces. She gently transfers gorgeous decals of bouquets, birds, and bees. She decorates in platinum, gold, and copper lustres with a swish of a brush. She learned about MacKenzie-Childs through friends and started her work at the company four years ago. She now spends a lot of her time painting the MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check pattern. She says it is her favorite pattern to work on. Callie's Stamp: CS



FURNITURE DECORATION------Sandy

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Sandy

Though she now is a furniture decorator, she worked in almost every department at MacKenzie-Childs: kiln operations, decal and lustre, quality control, and she played an important role in the creation of the production control department. After doing all of that, however, she states that she loved being a tour guide the most. She was delighted to be able to help customers see the product come to life. She enjoys painting fish pieces because "they are silly and colorful, and that makes them fun!" Due to her work in almost every department, Sandy is an expert in creating the Courtly Check and faux marble patterns, and is naturally proficient in Cheltenham. She even began to experiment and created the MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Striped Large Flower Pot. "The best part of working here is being able to learn no the job from so many truly talented and helpful coworkers over the years. The whole experience has helped me change and grow with the company and I hope to continue to do just that." Sandy's Stamp: SC



Anna------FURNITURE DECORATION

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Anna

Anna learned about MacKenzie-Childs from a newspaper article and began her career as an artisan working in the hand-application of decals and lustres and in pottery decoration. She has worked in the pottery department for fourteen years, but decided she wanted to do something else: work in furniture decoration. Her talents flourished under the guidance of her artistic parents and fellow artisans. She is an expert in the difficult techniques of Courtly Checks and faux marbling, but she mainly enjoys painting landscapes. Her favorite MacKenzie-Childs piece is the Forest Fish Chair. Anna's Mark: Moss Green Dot



FURNITURE DECORATION, ARTISAN TEACHER/TRAINER, PHOTOGRAPHER------Fred

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Fred

Fred says, "I enjoy the beautiful picturesque setting of MacKenzie-Childs and Aurora." Twelve years ago, Fred heard about MacKenzie-Childs through word of mouth. Fred was prepared to work in the MacKenzie-Childs graphics department for furniture decoration after working fifteen years as a graphic designer. His favorite MacKenzie-Childs piece is the Turtle Table, which has gorgeous landscapes of MacKenzie-Childs and Aurora. In regards to working with his hands, he says, "[it's] very satisfying when you hear the customer's reactions." Fred's Stamp: A Forest Fish Green Dot



Jesse------GLAZING

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Jesse

Jesse has worked in every MacKenzie-Childs department except decorating in his eighteen years of working with the company. He has become very comfortable working there, stating. "This is my second home!" Now working as a glaze technician, Jesse has perfected the use of many materials used in his department. He grew up in the area and his brother, who was one of the first employees at MacKenzie-Childs, encouraged Jesse to join. He absolutely loves to work with his hands. Jesse's Stamp: JS



POTTERY DECORATING------Marissa

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Marissa

"Painting is relaxing and therapeutic for me." Marissa has worked in the pottery decoration department for four years, though she never formally trained in art. She learned about MacKenzie-Childs after seeing a couple of their pieces in a local shop. She paints in all of the current patterns for MacKenzie-Childs, but she admits her favorites are the Fish Platters and the farm-fresh pie plates. "I enjoy seeing finished pieces that I painted displayed in the shop," she remarks, and also confesses that she loves to give the pieces to friends and family. Marissa's Stamp: MS



Rebecca------POTTERY DECORATING

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Rebecca

Rebecca moved away from the Aurora area after college. Once she returned, she found out about MacKenzie-Childs. "I knew I wanted to work here." MacKenzie-Childs was a perfect fit because she describes herself as a very detail-oriented person and she has always longed for a career that allowed her to pursue creative work. She has worked for ten years in furniture decoration before she began to work in pottery decoration. She has worked on every piece in the Taylor collections, as well as Chelsea Luster, Courtly Check, and MacLachlan. Her favorite pattern is Piccadilly, which carries an eccentric array of colors and designs. "I like feeling that I've helped create something. I take pride in my work and I feel good being able to put my stamp on it." Rebecca's Stamp: RD



POTTERY DECORATING------Debra

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Debra

When talking about the days spent working as a MacKenzie-Childs artisan, Debra says, "[It's] challenging, relaxing, and fun all at once." She states that one of the reasons why she is such a successful artisan is because of her patience. She has worked on slipcast, shipping, decals, ram press, quality control, shipping, and now pottery decorating. She has lived in Aurora her entire life and has family working at MacKenzie-Childs. Her favorite pattern is Myrtle. "I enjoy seeing my work when [it's] finished and knowing that it will be shipped to a customer in the US or abroad." She likes "just knowing that I've touched that piece and that it's so far away making someone happy." Debra's Stamp: DH



Valerie------POTTERY DECORATING

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Valerie

Valerie had impressive formal training and two art degrees (Associates Degree in Visual Arts and a Bachelors Degree in Studio Art Design with concentration in painting) that makes her valuable at MacKenzie-Childs. She has worked in the slipcast operations and the ram press departments. She now works as a pottery decorator. Her training and artistic skills have earned her a role as a featured artisan in the MacKenzie-Childs Tour Center, where guests can view her demonstrating her painting techniques. Valerie's Stamp: VP



POTTERY DECORATING------Judy

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Judy

Judy has been working at MacKenzie-Childs for just under a year. She says the really loves painting the Honeymoon collection, saying, "It's fun, pretty, as well as very elegant." She positively enjoys watching the growth of a MacKenzie-Child's piece from raw clay into a finished masterpiece. She comments, "I'm proud to think that piece I paint may become an heirloom in someone's family." Judy's Stamp: JQ



Eileen------POTTERY DECORATING

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Eileen

Eileen is knowledgeable of everything MacKenzie-Childs, which is expected of someone who has worked for the company since it first began. She has twenty-three years of experience with the company. She is proficient in both wax and glazing, and she uses her proficiency to help MacKenzie-Childs' studio to grow into the large company we know today. She loves to work with her hands and states the work is "tiring, but never boring." Eileen believes her perseverance and persistence helps her be a successful artisan. Eileen's Stamp: EW



WAX AND DIP------Jason

MacKenzie-Childs Artist Jason

Jason believes that his dedication to music helps make him a skilled artisan. He states, "I play the guitar, and therefore have good hand-eye coordination." Jason learned about MacKenzie-Childs through friends and now has four years under his belt. He has worked in departments like kiln operations, lustre, waxing and glazing, and pottery decoration. When Jason talks about the atmosphere at MacKenzie-Childs, he says, "The people that work here are great!" Jason's Stamp: JG



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