Mary Burkhart

Mary Burkhart
Our Little World Studio
Brown County stone carving, calligraphy, and jewelry
October hours:
10–5 Tue–Sun; closed Mon

2210 Wallow Hollow Road, Nashville
Instagram: mburkhart11


Mary Burkhart works in both stone and calligraphy.

“When I can tie the two together, I try to,” she says. “I love letter forms.”

Mary carves brown county stone into jewelry, candleholders, wind chimes, and sculptural pieces.

“I like finding the rocks and letting the shape help determine the design,” she says.

Most of the items tie right back to nature.

Mary draws inspiration from her surroundings, which include the wooded land in Brown County. But her full-time work as a creative director also inevitably influences her work.

“I see so much art every day,” she adds.

Mary enjoys working in three dimensions. That, and an overabundance of brown county stone on her property, led to her stone carving.

Her property in Brown County has a little creek running through it.

“One day, skipping rocks in the creek with my daughter, I thought, ‘I bet I could carve these rocks.’”

She had carved wood before, but soon found she preferred stone. She does have a degree in fine art and graphic design, but she has taught herself to carve through trial and error.

While most stone carvings are intended to be displayed outside, Mary’s carvings are on a smaller scale.

“I try to make most pieces functional in some way.”

Some carvings have a more graphic or contemporary look, but are still very earthy and rustic looking.

“I’m always on the lookout for functional items I can carve,” she says.

She keeps learning and trying new things. Right now, she’s experimenting with soldering wire for use with some of her stone carvings.

Her graphic design background applies more directly to her other love – calligraphy.

“I’m always working to improve my calligraphy,” she says. “Right now I’m most focused on brush lettering.”

Her calligraphy work extends to her stone carving as well.

“I’m working on a stone with calligraphy that I’m then carving,” she explains.

Since she works full time as a creative director, she doesn’t yet have unlimited time to focus on her artwork.

“I can’t wait for the day I can spend all my time on my art,” she admits.