Meet the Artist
About This Artist
Mew Chiu is a contemporary studio jeweler and enamelist based in New York City.
Before starting her jewelry career, Mew was trained as a potter and printmaker. She strives to make jewelry with harmonious proportions, appealing textures, and sense of modernity, along with a touch of whimsy. Regardless of the material or design, each piece must be comfortable and conform seamlessly to the body.
Mew received her BA in art history and studio art from Barnard College. She also studied ceramics at Massachusetts College of Art and the University of the Arts. Her jewelry and enamel education is from the Jewelry Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Q&A With This Artist
A: At the start of the pandemic I moved my studio from a shared space downtown to my home. I have a compact work space with a jeweler's bench and an enameling kiln in in my dining room and can fabricate most of my work from home. However, I do miss sharing ideas and receiving feedback from a community of artists and makers so I continue to take classes at the 92nd Street Y, where I started my jewelry education almost a decade ago.
A: I love all aspects of making jewelry. The qualities of silver and gold are different and amazing in its strength and versatility. I love to create hollow forms because it enables a piece of jewelry to have volume and lightness. I also can't seem to stop myself from collecting unique gemstones. They are an immense source of inspiration and even a small pop of color and sparkle can enhance the line or curve or a piece. And finally, enamel can have infinite combinations of color and texture.
A: I think people have a pre-conceived notion of what enamel is or can be. One of the best compliments of my work is when people tell me that they have never seen enamel used in the way I have in some of my pieces. It is a great opening to start a conversation about my process.
A: One of my favorite pieces of jewelry came about when a hollow form I was closing up exploded because water that was trapped inside became steam and had no where to escape. The exploded piece landed on my studio floor in the most alluring open pod form. I have tried to replicate that serendipitous shape ever since.
I am also drawn to the transformative nature of vitreous enamels - the additive and subtractive process as well as textural qualities created by different firing temperatures. The element out of my control - the alchemy of heat on metal and glass - is the most appealing and wondrous aspect of working with enamel.
A: Rather than a person in my life, it is New York City that has inspired by work for the past 25 years. The colors of construction sites, repetition and patterns of high-rise windows, and the vast networks of parks and museums have all inspired my work.
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