I create modern jewelry that merges my graphic design and furniture making backgrounds, with my interest in mid-20th century design.
Matthew Smith began his creative career as a freelance graphic designer. Through his years in this field, he developed what he terms a “visually concise” design language. He also maintained a long running hobby as a woodworker and furniture maker. When a move to a new city required a dramatic downsizing of his studio, Smith began to focus on jewelry as a compact way to merge his diverse interests. He found inspiration from the jewelry designers of the mid-20th century who’s work emphasized strong design and alternative materials, over precious metals and gems.
Smith’s pieces begin as a graphic design which is worked and re-worked to develop the most concise expression of the concept. Design elements such as line weight, color, and pattern are translated into silver thickness, resin tint, and wood grain. Recently Smith has begun working with a new non-toxic casting resin made from soybeans and peanuts, which he tints with non-toxic painter’s pigments.
Matthew Smith received his BA in Fine Art from Wake Forest University. While there he focused on printmaking and sculpture. His education in silversmithing began by taking classes at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, Ohio as well as a jewelry class at the Penland School of Crafts. He has combined traditional silversmithing techniques with his woodworking skills to create a hybrid method of jewelry making.
Matthew's work can also be found at the following museum stores and non-profit shops:
Asher Gallery, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, Texas
Craft Alliance Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri