Studio Tour

Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally

by Garrett Fleming

After years of working in the floral industry amping up the atmospheres of weddings and countless events, Marcy Lally decided it was time to make a change. She adored flowers and natural elements, that much she knew, but floral design simply wasn’t inspiring her as it once had. Marcy had a hunger to pursue something different, something a bit riskier. She wanted to become an artist. And with the help of family and friends, that’s exactly what she did.

To get started, Marcy rented a studio in Kansas City, MO’s Hobbs building. A kitchen, lounge and enough room to really spread out and create have made the studio perfect for the growing artist. On any given day, you can open the doors to Marcy’s place and find her sculpting and firing flowers to attach to porcelain figurines. Into the wee hours of the morning she mounts these floral creations onto found, naturally-shed animal skulls, each piece honoring the cycle of nature — from bloom to death to bloom again. After around 30 hours of work, the completed piece is then hung proudly on the studio’s walls. They each shine as a testament to Marcy’s fortitude and how fearlessly she took the leap to follow her dreams.

While she’s shifted her creative focus away from snipping and arranging flowers, Marcy loves how her new gig still keeps her closely tied to nature. The difference is now she’s no longer simply making pretty things out of earth’s bounty. She’s creating art with a message and a point of view that honors the natural world, and that’s something she couldn’t be more thrilled about. Click through to take a peek at the space where all of her beautiful creations come to life. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Kelly Kruse Creative

Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Marcy's studio is located in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, MO. It's a popular spot for artists and vintage lovers who flock there for sales and hidden treasures. Marcy's building in particular -- The Hobbs -- has housed six floors worth of creative studios for over 15 years. She keeps her pieces on display while she works so that anyone who comes in gets the vibe of her style right away.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Artist Marcy Lally takes a breather in her cozy Kansas City studio. She says the space has given her the chance to reconnect with her artistic self and find her creative voice again.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Marcy's practice started with a goat skull. She attached a flower, bobbles and bits atop it, and then sold it. As she got a better grasp on her aesthetic and worked her way around the tools, she began sculpting the flowers herself (step one of her process). Now each of her creations features one-of-a-kind florals.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Step two: Attaching the fired florals to shed antlers.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Step three: jazzing it up. Marcy has an impressive collection of accessories ready and waiting to decorate her skulls. It's in part thanks to her friends and colleagues. Whenever they downsize or are on the move, Marcy pops in and takes their tchotchkes off their hands.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Each one of Marcy's pieces takes between 25-35 hours to complete. That includes the time it takes to sculpt flowers, fire them, attach them and then decorate around each one using her large collection of figurines and accessories. All of the skulls Marcy uses are found. No animals are harmed in the making of her artwork.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
The lounge area of the studio features a flourishing plant. Greenery grows well here in the studio, and keeping this guy alive gives Marcy further motivation to get to the space and work.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Marcy makes the tags for her works here on this vintage typewriter.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
The studio even features a modest kitchen.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
The occasional late night means this sofa doubles as a bed.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
When the previous tenants moved out, they left behind this enamel cabinet. Marcy added the red handles and now uses it as the studio's first aid station and primping area.
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
Marcy believes that "art is a way of memorializing a feeling." The skulls and flowers featured in her work act as a reminder of "the cyclical aspects of nature."
Studio Tour: Artist Marcy Lally, Design*Sponge
"When my mother-in-law passed away, I inherited her curio cabinet along with a lot of small figurines that no one else wanted. I painted the curio black and set it up in my booth at an antique mall. I named my booth 'The Black Curio' and made hang tags that had a tiny illustration of her black curio cabinet on them. It's stuck with me all these years," Marcy explains.

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