Photography by C. Whitney-Ward
JACK, MARIAN MILLER & MATT REPSHER
She makes stunning contemporary jewelry.
He makes equally stunning wheel-thrown ceramics.
And they do this from a light-filled studio that they share, just behind Midtown Bistro on W. San Mateo Road. I met this charming couple last spring (they got married this October) when I went to their studio show. They have another show this Friday and I thought it would be perfect timing to talk with them and 'shoot' their new work for CHASING.
MARIAN has a graduate degree in art therapy, but gradually began to take classes in hand-crafted jewelry and apprenticed for several years to hone her technique. Her work space is filled with the tools of her trade...
She works with gold, silver and steel finessing them into elegant pieces that are contemporary but with a strong connection to the past. I was quite taken with a necklace that she was working on and asked her to talk
about the beautiful pendant.
"It's dendritic sandstone embedded with fossils and it fascinates me," she explains. She buys them each year from a special vendor at the Tuscon Gem Show. "They're ancient and I like the surface, it has an underworld quality that represents our deeper part - our soul. It's where art comes from."
She cuts a series of round windows on the side of the bezel that show how the sandstone is ground to a lovely patina.
And another window on the back frames the word SOUL, snipped from a vintage dictionary, reinforcing the ancient power of the fossil.
Art, says Matt, was an integral part of his childhood, supported and encouraged by both his parents (his Dad is also a ceramic artist) . But his passion and 'playground' he says, was the forest near his Pennsylvania home. He had plans to study forestry management in college, but a class he took in high school 'jump started' his journey into ceramics. " He has a degree in fine art ceramics from Indiana University and has taught ceramics, most recently at the University of New Mexico, where he was an adjunct professor.
I asked Matt to describe how he sees himself in his work.
"My pieces tend to have soft surfaces that reflect a softness in me; I'm not a hard person. They are very architectural which has a real history for me. My Dad studied architecture and I always paid attention to his aesthetic and that comes through in the structure of each piece. And the materials that I use - the clay - keeps me connected to the earth...the forest."
This Friday, December 13th, Matt and Marian are having their Winter STUDIO SHOW - a perfect opportunity to do some one-of-a-kind
Matt is represented by Santa Fe Clay now featuring a joint show with Matt and his Father - REPSHER + REPSHER - thru Decmeber 14th.