Mary Ann EnglandFresh & Dried Floral Arrangements, Handmade Dolls
Growing up in the picturesque mountains and wooded area of North Carolina, I was inspired by the beauty of nature and its colorful seasons. One of my earliest memories of using nature to create art was at the age of seven. I was the oldest of nine children, and we didn’t have the finances to decorate our home. Wanting to bring nature and color into my room, I took flowers, paper and pictures and made what is now called a “shadow box”.
Because of our large family, my mother and grandmother sewed most of our clothes and taught me how to participate and to be resourceful. I continued the tradition by creating one-of-a-kind dresses and costumes for my four girls at every big occasion. Continuing the resourcefulness of my youth, I used old and new materials – from antique linen and fabric to anything we could find in the surrounding woods and fields.
Once my girls were raised I opened a store that featured dried floral arrangements and crafts. After my husband and I retired and relocated to the mountains of North Carolina, I was able to expand my abilities by attending classes in the Asheville area. Having the wide array of nature and colors in the Appalachian Mountains I continue my artisan passion by painting and crafting using items others may discard or consider useless: a recycling of nature and history.
Raised in North Carolina, Mary Ann England was professionally trained at the Paier College of the Arts, Asheville Buncombe Tech and Penland School of Crafts. She is proficient in many creative productions including sewing, knitting, painting, as well as fresh and dried floral designs. Because of her talent she has won many awards for her creations and has participated in projects throughout the United States. She inspired her daughter with her creative passion, and her daughter is now an artisan herself as an established weaver. Mary Ann has participated in improving and renovating the Smith-McDowell House Museum, as well as the City Court House in Asheville. Her dried flower arrangements, paintings and other artistic creations have been enjoyed and exhibited from coast to coast.