Mary Ellen O'Connor
My life as an artist has always been intertwined with my love of nature and wildlife. My rural studio is surrounded by forests, gardens, fields and ponds. Located on Whidbey Island, in Puget Sound, salt water and snow covered mountains inspire me on a daily basis.
After earning a BFA in Silversmithing from the School for American Crafts in Rochester, NY, I began my career as a metalsmith.
Over the years, I have developed several techniques that allow me to combine metal, nature and color.
One technique involves piercing sheet metal with a jeweler's saw, and adding hand colored resins. These resins are as tough as they are beautiful, which is critical when used in belt buckles.
I also work with hammered copper or silver to create boxes, cuffs, and earrings. I add my beloved flowers and animals by gilding with 23K gold. I use my torch to create beautiful patinas.