The business grew and spawned a small community of ceramic production studios in the Boothbay Region. The cluster industry taught the skills of ceramic production to the local community and created it’s own pool of skilled labor.
Mackenzie attended Pratt Institute and lived there after in New York city for several decades where she was involved in a series of arts related enterprises, never quite finding what she was looking for until she returned to Maine to carry on the family ceramic art and design business.
The Andersen family business was established with a mission to create a hand-made product affordable to the middle classes. Andersen Stoneware was born in the golden days of plastic and of the American middle class – a time when the diistribution of wealth took the form of a bell curve with the largest amount of wealth distributed amoung the largest number of people, as Mackenzie’s dad would often say. The Andersen lines of wild life sculpture and contemporary functional design became symbols of the Maine life style, widely recognized nationally and internationally. All the while, Andersen stoneware remained committed to retaining an identity as American made craft and design.
As a second generation member of a family business, Mackenzie has her own mission to achieve, which is to re-conceptualize Andersen Stoneware as a business that can be transferred and continued through a community larger than family. The present political socio-economic climate presents huge challenges to that goal, which at times may make the option of manufacturing overseas seem more realistic. However in honor of the long and difficult struggle in which Mackenzie’s parents persevered before achieving success, giving up on the idea of preserving Andersen Studio- Andersen Design as an American made craft is “unacceptable” - as the president of our country would say
To that end, political commentary and investigative research has become another element incorporated into the continually evolving process of preserving a creative micro-economy business in the contemporary world.
Mackenzie Andersen contributed to the former online Maine political magazine, The Augusta Insider
Read More about how Mackenzie Andersen became involved in reading and reporting on legislation passed by the Maine State legislature at The Turning Point