Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wire Art Jewelry by Mary Lee Hu

By on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4 Comments

Many of you may already have come across Mary Lee Hu's amazing wire art jewelry. This renowned and pioneering metalsmith has been making fluid and elegant designs since the 1960's.



Her fascination with metals began early. She already decided to work in that medium when she was just 16.  She later obtained both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Fine Arts. Now based in Washington, she has had an amazing career, winning numerous awards and exhibiting her work in many places.  She also taught at the University of Washington for 16 years until her retirement in 2006 when she became Professor Emeritus.



Her innovative textile approach to wire design is incredibly captivating. The intricate weaving or twining do make the wire pieces look like fabric. She said, "My twining process is based on my study of a Northwest Coast Native American basket that I bought when traveling here for the first time in 1966, but I was living in Ohio at the time."











Picture Sources
Some of them are showcased in Facere Jewelry Art Gallery which is a selling venue for top designers from the US and abroad. A few are also from a preview earlier this year of a retrospective exhibition of her best work held at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle.  Check out her interview for that show as well as additional pictures of her work here. 

There is also a beautiful book  Knitted, Knotted, Twisted, and Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu which celebrates 100 of her designs over the years.  There is apparently a section on wire techniques.


Hat tip to Lisa van Herik of Beadifferent for inspiring this post.

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4 comments:

  1. gasp!! those are stunning! wow does she have a way with wire!

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  2. She is undoubtedly a master of wire !!! I never realized that wire could be manipulated in such ways, with me it kinks or folds up on itself into a tight little knot.
    I guess I would call Mary Lee Hu a "Wire Whisperer", as she definitely has a way of making wire do what she wishes it to. Simply amazing.

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  3. Wire whisperer is so apt for her. She is truly an innovator of wire weaving.

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  4. Her work is just amazing. I would love to see a picture of someone modeling the large, woven green necklace... Her pieces must look amazing when they're worn. Thank you for introducing me to her wonderful, inspiring work!

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