An Artistic Journey—From Soap to Jewelry
When did you first know you were an artist?
I come from a long line of creatives. My earliest memories are of my whole family tinkering around and making things. I attended La Guardia High School of the Arts in NYC and this is where I found a passion for working in clay. Pottery was my main art form for many years. My ceramics were primarily functional and I always considered myself more of a craftsman than a fine artist.
In my 30s, I founded a business making natural soaps and body care products. My products were artisanal but not fine art. In 2006, I was in a car accident. The injuries I sustained made me unable to do the heavy lifting required by ceramics and my soap-making business. I sold my small business and returned to school, choosing Metalsmithing as my major with the intention of starting another creative home-based business.
Going to art school as an adult was one of the richest experiences of my life. I love learning and having my assignment to be my most creative self. It reminded me that being an artist is a huge part of who I am.
As a jeweler, my bread and butter come from the sale of my more playful and simple pieces which are less expensive and, therefore, more attainable for most people. I have found that a lot of the work I do involves fabrication and creating reproductions. That being said, all of my production work is made with care and artistry and I make sure to set aside time throughout the year to hunker down and create one-of-a-kind fine art pieces.
Favorite medium(s) you use to make art…
Metals and Gemstones
What are the most interesting new trends in your field? Is your work changing as a result?
A lot of jewelers have been working with digital designing and 3D printing. There is something so cool about this, but it does not affect my work. My style is very organic and the digital process does not resonate with me and my work.
My work is more often inspired by gemstones, plants and examples of classic jewelry from yesteryear. I strive to show the touch of the hand in my pieces and to create a feeling of timelessness in my work.
Talk about your creative process – where/when do you get most of your ideas and how do you know a piece is ‘finished’?
Much of my work is inspired by the elements that I am working with, including gemstones, botanicals, and the tools in my hands. Oftentimes, my creative process starts with taking walks, being outdoors, looking at gemstones, and soaking in the wonders of nature. I am inspired when I look at plants, rocks, and even sunlight dancing on water. Mother Earth is my muse.
I usually sketch out my ideas and then make prototypes in paper and base metals to see how best to execute a new idea. Metalsmithing is an art form with many steps. When working on a piece, I know it is done when I have filed, sanded, polished and set the stones. A feeling of calm comes over me when a piece is done. I usually wear everything I make for a little while before it leaves my possession to make sure that it wears well, that I love it, and that it is perfect.
Do you also teach or are you strictly a creative artist? Who was your most influential mentor and why?
My most influential mentor is not just one person: I am constantly mentored by other artists! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by inspiring and creative people. I find that through these relationships, we can support each other and learn so much.
I have taught metalsmithing classes at Hudson Valley Silverworks and at the Lawrence Arts Center. I am currently focusing on my own artistic pursuits.
What are you working on now?
I am getting ready to move into my new studio!
The fall and winter shows I was a part of were great for me and I have sold out of all of my one-of-a-kind art pieces. My plan for the winter is to settle into my new space, do a little exploring, and begin creating a new body of work.
I have several projects lined up which will push my skill set and I am eager to try some things that I haven’t tried before.
How has being in Kingston enhanced/inspired your work? What do you like best about living in Kingston/being involved with MAD? How long have you been here?
After growing up in New York City and then spending 20 years living in the Midwest, I am thrilled to be back and living close to family and old friends in New York. I love the landscape of the Hudson Valley and am in awe of these beautiful mountains every day.
My husband and I moved to Kingston in the Summer of 2017. When we first moved to the area, we rented a studio apartment in the Brush Factory, which is a building filled with small businesses and artists’ studios and residences. It was an amazing opportunity for us to be able to get our bearings and for me to have a place to make my work. Most rentals will not tolerate all of the noise I make with my hammers, not to mention the use of a torch! We bought a house in Midtown Kingston and moved in on January 1, 2018.
We have been attending the monthly MAD Meetups for about a year and have met such a diverse array of artists who live and work in Kingston. We have made many wonderful friends here and I have found the community to be so welcoming and supportive. I sell my work primarily at galleries and events throughout the region. The opportunities that I have been offered and the response to my work have exceeded my expectations.
Other information you wish to provide.
I love my gold hoops by Marysa. I wear them almost every day!!! Classic, light-weight and beautiful.
I love the cast ring I bought from Marysa 2 years ago!
Great product! My grandma loved them and received compliments all day!
I wear them everyday!! Love them!!
Wow! What artistry! Marysa delivered the most exceptional set of abalone earrings and a matching necklace for me from my requests! Simply gorgeous and definitely pieces I’ll enjoy every time I want to feel like a goddess!
I own three pairs of earrings from Marysa and they are all beautiful and excellent quality.
Gorgeous ring. Fast shipping. Truly a work of art. Proud to wear it.
Gorgeous! Beautifully crafted, lovely weight.
The perfect size. Beautiful, raw and natural. Thank You!
Links to stuff about me:
Marysa Sacerdote Jewelry