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Nancy McNary Smith has been a professional potter, working primarily in porcelain but also with other clay bodies, for more than 40 years. She has also devoted time to teaching, usually working with a small group of other artists in her studio.

Smith lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in St. Michaels, Maryland. Her work has appeared in shows at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Society for Contemporary Craft, and other galleries. She is represented in the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Pennsylvania, in the Peat Marwick Collection of American Crafts, in Pittsburgh, and in private collections.