MARY ELLEN O'CONNOR - Fine Art Metalsmith
Metalsmith Mary Ellen O'Connor has always had a passion for animals and nature. After earning a BFA in metal-smithing from the School for American Crafts, she combined her knowledge of silversmithing with her passion for wildlife.
"When I first started this line of work, I knew I wanted to use color in my designs," O'Connor said. "In searching for a material to use in jewelry, belt buckles, boxes and knife handles that would be both tough and beautiful, I started to experiment with epoxy resin inlays. This material has continued to allow me to “paint” into my metal designs."
After working out the design, O'Connor uses a jeweler's saw to pierce her design into a sheet of metal. Once the design is cut and refined, she solders a backplate onto it. This creates a recessed area that will hold the resins. After adding findings to the piece, she starts the inlay process, mixing the various colors that will be used. After the inlays have cured, she sands and finishes the surface before finally polishing the piece.
To purchase or inquire about Mary Ellen's currently available work.
please contact the gallery at 800/858-5063.
For Mary Ellen Whidbey Island is a place of endless source material. "I spend hundreds of hours each year photographing birds, frogs, flowers, and landscapes in order to have the reference material for my fine-art metal work. I have found endless inspiration from this beautiful island!"
Additionally, she has incorporated her skills for creating wildlife art into architectural etched glass, silk painting and pastels.