I recently found out that merry renk passed away and feel an obligation to say something in fitting tribute. In a time when yesterday is so often considered "old hat", it is wonderful to know that merry renk lived long enough to see her jewelry from mid-20th century recognized in major museum exhibitions.

Merry Renk Necklace

What made the work by merry renk so special?

Merry Renk Folded Crown

merry developed a signature style with simple materials and techniques.

In the video below you will see crowns by merry renk.

Hair ornament below by merry renk.

Merry Renk Permanent Collection

Every catch and closure by merry renk was carefully integrated into the whole design. In the necklace below titled Arizona Conference merry designed her own catch. (The necklace included images of Cactus Wren's Arizona's state bird. )The tips of the horizontal rod include a cactus blossom. I love how she integrated every aspect into the whole concept.

Merry Renk Catch for Necklace titled Arizona Conference
                                                         Catch for Necklace by merry renk titled, Arizona Conference.*

Merry Renk Sparks Catch
Sparks Necklace Catch by merry renk*

Merry Renk Chick Egg Catch
Catch for Plymouth Rocks Necklace by merry renk 1980-81*

merry shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the field as a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area Metal Arts Guild. In this 9 minute YouTube video below merry reminiscences about fellow founder and first MAG President, Margaret De Patta. Interview by emiko oye. San Francisco, CA. April 15, 2012. 

Images shown are:
1. "We open Seven Fifty Studio 1947" (memory painting, merry, 1995);
2. "my jeweler's tattoos" by merry;
3. young merry dancing;
4. April 2012 - Christine Dhein, emiko oye, merry renk, Shana Astrachan;
5. merry renk's jewelry studio (2012);
6. exhibition poster for merry renk's retrospective, 1981;
7.reverse side of exhibition poster, drawings by merry renk.

MerryRenkjewelerstattoosmerry continued to attend Metal Art Guild events regularly sharing her smiles and enthusiasm. 

Listen to an oral history interview with merry renk from the Archiv... Link to podcast of merry renk interviewed by Arline Fisch.

The transcript of an interview with merry renk is in the public domainand may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with merry renk, 2001 Jan. 18-19, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

*The ideas for these catches by merry renk were shared with me in 1988 when I was teaching a Hinges and Mechanisms Workshop.

Please feel welcome to add a comment about merry renk.

In remembrance of merry during what would have been her 91st year, please join the community in these following events to celebrate her life:

Celebration for merry’s Life
Sat, July 14, 1:30-4:30pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church
1187 Franklin Street at Geary
San Francisco, CA 94109

Harriete
Merry Renk waving

Views: 177

Tags: area, arts, ask, bay, berman, estel, francisco, guild, harriete, jewelry, More…mechanisms, merry, metal, renk, san

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A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

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