I was saddened to hear only today of the death of Mary Wondrausch on Boxing Day. Lots of people have lots of very different opinions on Mary, but I liked her. Why? Because she was real.
Mary was a customer of mine for many years. I made frames for her using a particular bare pine moulding that only she ordered, so much so that we named the moulding 'The Mary Wondrausch'. She used this bare wood moulding because she would usually extend her paining out onto the frame itself. I remember such a picture being displayed in an exhibition at the Lewis Elton Gallery. On arrival at the private view, Mary saw me, took my arm and led me to her picture. Mary was always happy to share her opinions, usually rather undiplomatically, and proceeded to give a rundown of every other picture in the show.
In later years, when producing turned pottery became more of a challenge for her, Mary started making tiles, and I would make the black box frames in which they were presented. They sold well and I often delivered a new batch of such frames to Brickfields, where I would dodge the deer on her drive (which she disliked because they ate her flowers), would be told not to touch anything in her workshop (but then so was everyone who visited) and was once told off for calling the tiles a 'product' - typical artist!
Although rather caustic at times, Mary was a real character and demonstrated a lot of warmth towards me, especially when I would recognise her voice when she called and I'd say 'Hello Mary', before she even said who was calling. She will be greatly missed.