Mary Ennes-Davis admits publicly that she doesn’t know how to measure. There is a gentle irony to the fact that many of her works of art feature rulers.
Though she grew up in a family of artists, Ennes-Davis pursued a marketing career, and had “little time to create with [her] hands.” But a sailing trip to the Soviet Union revised her course of direction:
I saw a country lacking in many of the things that we take for granted. This changed how I saw the world, and rather than throw away used objects, I began to incorporate the forgotten pieces into jewelry designs. Whether a copper washer, an old key or a poker chip, I used the recycled pieces and invested them with a new life in the design process. As my art began to sell I realized I wanted to return to my creative roots and work as an artist.
The themes in my work are universal: family, nature, play, celebration, making connections with others. My art work is a vehicle to share laughter, grief, self awareness, our differences and our common threads.
Her remarkable Guardian sculptures “rose out at the ashes of September 11th.” Mary fashions these beings from cast off items~used brushes, rulers, game pieces, casters, fishing reels, chopsticks~and manages to imbue them with the spirit of “hope and laughter, honor and friendship, protection and love.”
The Guardians brought her work to another level:
Selling guardians was very different than putting earrings on somebody. They have a different connection to people. There’s a heart-string emotion with the guardians that’s different from other art. (Art’s Alive! by Bev Crichfield in The Skagit Valley Herald)
As she testifies in her instructor bio for an Art and Soul Retreat:
I believe that there are common threads that connect us; emotions, experiences, what we do for fun, how and where we live. I try to share those threads in my art. I want to help people pause and consider how we are all connected. I believe that if we find those connections then there is a hope for peace.
I am so pleased to have found this fervent recyclist, who incorporates the used, cast-off, and forgotten to create something new and unforgettable. Mary Ennes-Davis doesn’t just tell others to walk gently on the earth; she shows amazing ways to achieve this through art.