Maria Cristalli

Awarded 2019

As a practicing metal artist for 27 years, my work has evolved over time. The first part of my practice was learning the craft of blacksmithing. It is a difficult craft to learn and it takes decades to master. I spent the first years running a small shop and apprenticing for 5 years with two master smiths to further my learning. I made gates, railings, home furnishings and other projects with them, and in my own studio. At one point, I designed and made very traditional railings and gates in bronze for an estate in Seattle. In the last 5-8 years or so, I have figured out my personal expression in forged steel. My functional work is very modern and it is evolving towards sculpture. I am enjoying the limitlessness of my ideas in making art as pure form instead of function. I recently have been awarded two public art projects in my local rural community, and also have a rather large sculpture that I would love to make. My aim for the rest of my career is going to be making artwork. I hope to keep doing public art as well as artwork to show in galleries. I am very well regarded for my design and quality of craftsmanship in the blacksmithing community, as well as forward thinking of the craft, which tends toward traditional ironwork made by men.

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