Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburbs Mary was encouraged to draw and paint and do everything creative while growing up. She attended college hoping to teach art but took a different path to creativity when the professors told her there were “too many teachers”. She successfully pursued careers in landscape design, journalism and studio glassblowing before settling into a career in jewelry in her 50s.
Mary lives in Carmen, Arizona where she operates her private studio, Mary Donnelly Design, creating silver and gold jewelry for private collections and select galleries.
“I have always loved jewelry making and got my first exposure to the process while in high school. Although it took years to return to this medium, I never forgot the magic of carving a piece of wax and turning it into a wearable piece of art. My current work combines the ancient process of Lost Wax Casting with my whimsical perspective and passion for landscapes, animals and plants—natural draws to my personal peace and life rhythm. For me carving the wax models, which are later cast into fine metal, is a meditative time which allows me to connect in a thought-evoking and quiet dialog with each creation. The process refreshes my spirit. After 20 years in the Sonoran Desert I have become a “desert rat” tuned in to the vast horizons, bold colors, remarkable patterns and rich warmth.”
In her spare time Mary is an avid gardener, caretaker to her 100-year-old adobe home, part-time author and glass artist