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Mary May wood carving residency at the Gibbes

Staff Pick

Working out of a rambling estate tucked away off of River Road on Johns Island, professional wood carver Mary May told us this past winter that she thinks she was “born 200 years too late.” An old soul with nimble hands, May hosts students from around the world (a few months ago she hosted a rocking horse carver from Australia) in her little backyard workshop, teaching them how to turn plain wood into ornate artwork. May was chosen to set up her workbench in a Gibbes visiting artist studio, inviting school groups and museum goers into her creative space, letting them witness an old school trade turned elevated art form. “This generation, from the age 35 and under, has not had a lot of real opportunity for hands-on experience,” said May. “You never know who might look at that and it will spark their interest, like it did for me.” —Mary Scott Hardaway

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