Mary Ellin D'Agostino



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Writings by Mary Ellin


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Mary Ellin's Metal Clay Products




Mary Ellin D'Agostino, is a lifelong teacher and artist, who has trained and worked in pencil, pastels, oil and acrylic paints, ceramics, photography, jewelry making and all types of metal clay.  She moved from the east coast of Florida to attend college in California and fell in love with the Bay Area.  She completed her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998, specializing in Archaeology, Material Culture, and Museum Studies.  She has worked on and developed numerous museum and art exhibits.  After completing her graduate work, she was drawn back into more artistic endeavors, choosing to create and teach art.  She is an award winning artist and teacher with over 20 years of experience teaching students of all ages a variety of academic, artistic, and physical activities. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, and teaches introductory and advanced metal clay classes nationwide.


Artist Statement

I have always been attracted to artistic endeavors as social commentary and as “feasts for the eyes.”  My most effective work combines both beauty and cultural meaning.  My training in Anthropology and Archaeology has helped me to refine my vision and methods of expression.  My Academic and field studies have exposed me to different cultures, both past and present, focusing my interest in the meeting of cultures and human interaction.  I find art to be the most immediate and satisfying means of expressing and exploring these interests.

I have trained and worked in a wide variety of media including pencil, pastels, all types of paint, wood, cloth, glass, metal, and clay.  In creating fine jewelry with silver, gold, gemstones, and enamels, I have found a medium that really speaks to me and for me.  Rather than an object d’art that hangs on a wall, this art becomes part of a person’s declaration of self-identity.  Wearable art and personal embellishment are an essential part of what makes us human and my efforts with metal clays have allowed me to create pieces that express the wearer’s mood and sense of self.

Specializing in Archaeology, Material Culture, and Museum Studies, I completed my PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1998.  I have made teaching a significant part of my life and have been granted awards for my work with students.  I have over 10 years experience teaching students of all ages in a variety of academic, artistic, and physical activities.