American studio potter
Maija Grotell was an American studio potter and teacher. Born in Finland, Grotell studied painting, sculpture and design in Helsinki, Finland, then studied pottery for six years under Alfred William Finch. After emigrating to the USA in 1927, she studied under Charles Fergus Binns at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. From the early 1930s, she taught at various schools and institutions, most notably from 1938-66 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her teaching philosophy was to foster students’ creative independence.
In her own vessel-based work, Grotell used brushed-on colored slips and glazes. She won 25 major awards during her lifetime. Amongst her students she counted Richard Devore, John Glick, Susanne Stephenson and Takaezu Toshiko.