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.

Heron Cuff Bracelet   
sterling silver with resin inlay

Poppy Cuff Bracelet
sterling silver with resin inlay

Owl Cuff Bracelet
sterling silver with resin inlay

"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." 

Eagle Treasure Box - brass with resin inlay

Mountain Treasure Box - brass with resin inlay

Mountain Treasure Box - brass with resin inlay

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.

Manatee Treasure Box - sterling with resin inlay

Owl Treasure Box - brass with resin inlay

To purchase or inquire about Mary Ellen's currently available work.
please contact the gallery at 800/858-5063.

 

Pendants

Dragonfly Pendant
sterling silver with resin inlay

Night Puffin Pendant
sterling silver with resin inlay

Red Puffin Pendant
sterling silver with resin inlay

Heron necklace
sterling silver with resin inlay

Barn Owl Pendant
sterling silver with resin inlay

Penguin pendant
sterling silver with resin inlay

Sunrise Heron Pendant - sterling with resin inlay

Heron Pendant - sterling silver with resin inlay

Belt Buckles

Frog Belt Buckle
brass with resin inlay

Frog Belt Buckle
brass with resin inlay

Heron Belt Buckle
brass with resin inlay

Inspiration

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.