Madeline Maier of Peters Valley School Of Craft

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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    Madie Maier received her BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University from the Department of Craft/Materials Studies. With a focus on jewelry, Maier makes playful, toy-like objects. She is also a collector of glass marbles with an affinity for nostalgic toys. In her work, she blurs the lines between wearability and play with her marble cages, large rhinestones and magnets. She believes that there are endless ways to build without instructions and hopes to entice an experience for unending play.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: My jewelry is hand fabricated in the studio and each marble is chosen from my existing collection. My work focuses on kinetics and requires me to consider both the interior and exterior of a piece to make the moving parts work. I choose to assemble all components of an individual work, visible or not, out of sterling silver. In the studio, I design to encourage playful experimentation as an essential part in both making and learning.

    A: Metal as a material humbles and challenges me. It is also be endlessly recyclable. These qualities keep my hands and mind engaged while allowing space for trial and error. The ability melt down my work grants me the freedom to make mistakes. This is crucial to my learning process as a maker and aligns with my philosophies on play and experimentation in making.

    A: I started using marbles in my jewelry because I did not know how to set stones. Building silver cages was a really roundabout alternative to more traditional techniques in metal smithing. However, the nostalgic quality and playful nature of the material fit well within the themes of my work and, even as my skill set grew, the marbles stayed.

    A: Yes, my mom and my grandpa. My grandpa was a craftsman and woodworker. I spent my childhood helping him build projects for his house, farm and family. He taught me how to make objects with care and how to build solutions for myself. My mom raised me as a single mom and a teacher. She taught me to love learning, to value collaboration and to problem solve with those around me. My involvement in her classroom greatly influenced my own philosophies and integrated itself into my studio practice.

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