Mary Risley primary focus in undergrad was on sculpture and ceramics. But when she learned from her aunt, a silversmith, how to work with metal, she quickly fell in love with the medium and went on to study jewelry design intensively at the Penland School of Crafts.  Mary works from her studio in the hills of western Massachusetts in the bustling community of Northampton.

“As soon as I finish a piece,” she says, “I put it on and see how it feels and moves. I love that jewelry is wearable art that is a visual extension of our personality. It’s one of the only art forms that we take with us wherever we go.”

When designing a piece, Mary arranges the components to see the interaction of positive and negative spaces. She is often drawn to asymmetry and incorporates textures and shapes that mimic nature. Mary has an eye for finding rich, unique stones to complement her metal forms.

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