Diane Falkenhagen "Plexippus" brooch

Sawed, Soldered, Constructed: The Work of the Houston Metal Arts Guild

March 19, 2022 — May 7, 2022
Asher Gallery

This spring, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present Sawed, Soldered, Constructed: The Work of the Houston Metal Arts Guild, a juried member exhibition of the Houston-based guild comprised of jewelry and metal artists.  Featuring works by 36 artists, the exhibition was juried by Cindi Strauss, Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design and Assistant Director, Programming, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The exhibition celebrates the wide range of design, processes, and techniques used in contemporary jewelry and metalwork. The sleek sophistication of Nash Quinn’s Elytra Vessel (2022) presents a strikingly different interpretation of contemporary metalsmithing when compared to the patinated copper frame in Beginnings and Endings (2022), crafted by Tarina Frank. While some of these works are purely sculptural, several functional and wearable pieces, such as Mary Davenport’s Chinese Turquoise Necklace (2016), contribute to the diverse and impressive selection of the works on view.

About HMAG

The Houston Metal Arts Guild (HMAG) is a non-profit organization made up of people with varying interests and involvement in traditional and contemporary jewelry and metal arts. HMAG was founded to provide opportunities to exchange ideas and information, as well as offer affordable educational opportunities to its members and the public. The skills, energy, and enthusiasm of the HMAG members promote and sustain its successful programs. Learn more about HMAG at https://www.hmag.org.

About the Juror

Cindi Strauss is the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design and Assistant Director, Programming at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). She received her B.A. with honors in art history from Hamilton College and her M.A. in the history of decorative arts from the Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons School of Design. At the MFAH, Cindi is responsible for the acquisition, research, publication, and exhibition of post-1900 decorative arts, design, and craft with a specialty in contemporary jewelry. She has authored or contributed to catalogs and journals on decorative arts and design topics and has been a frequent lecturer at museums nationwide. Her most recent publication is the book, In Flux; American Jewelry and the Counterculture, co-authored with Susan Cummins and Damian Skinner.


Image credits:

  1. Diane Falkenhagen, “Native Species Series: Danaus Plexippus,” 2019. Stainless steel and graphite drawings on power-coated stainless elements. Photo by Diane Falkenhagen.
  2. Michael Gayk, “The Kiss,” 2019. Fabricated Pewter. 9 x 6 x 6 inches. Photo courtesy of Michael Gayk.
  3. Nash Quinn, “Elytra Vessel,” 2022. Steel and brass. 4.5 x 3 x 3 inches. Photo by Nash Quinn.
  4. Sandra Zilker, “Spikey and Curvey Stripes,” 2019. Sterling silver, 3D printing, resin, onyx. 3.5 x 3.5 x 2 inches. Photo courtesy of Sandra Zilker.
  5. Tarina Frank, “Beginnings and Endings,” 2022. Copper, oil on wood, photo on paper. 6 x 4 x 1 inches. Photo by Tarina Frank.
  6. René Lee Henry, “Cityscape-2,” 2021. Copper, paint. concrete, steel. moss, brass. 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches. Photo by Rene Henry.
  7. Mary T. Davenport, “Chinese Turquoise Necklace,” 2016. Leather necklace featuring shed deer antler, sterling silver, Chinese turquoise, 14K gold accents. 24 x 3.5 x 3 inches. Photo by PWLStudio.com. Photo courtesy of Mary Davenport.
  8. Dawna Gillespie, “Dissection,” 2019. Copper, brass, wire, velvet ribbon. 20.5 x 11.5 x 1 inches. Photo courtesy of Dawna Gillepsie.