Mary Jane Elgin was born and raised in Altadena, California. As she grew up, drawing, painting, sewing and calligraphy filled her free time. She graduated with a major in studio art from Pomona College and headed for Japan where she lived for two years, studying sumie painting and weaving. Upon returning to the Pasadena area she continued her studies of weaving and fiber arts at a local studio. She also began to study in-depth figure drawing, painting and collage at UCLA, Otis, Art Center, and the Pasadena Arboretum. In the early 1990’s she began a serious exploration into the world of ceramics at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre and developed the technique of piercing her ceramics to create botanical and landscape scenes, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
She has taught art classes and been a freelance muralist and illustrator for the last thirty years. She has exhibited in various art fairs and shows including Descanso Gardens Art Gallery, the Autry Museum, and the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena
Her artistic vision has led her on a search for ways to combine the themes and forms which resonate with her. To create a new and unique space, she has been refining her ceramic techniques, bringing to the viewer to a fresh consideration of form along with a new appreciation for materials and esthetic. Mary Jane says, “I am intrigued by the tension between the interior and exterior form and the way that the shapes I create reference each other.”
She is now living on Orcas Island with her husband, Bruce Wilson.