VIENNA – The Maine Crafts Association (MCA) has named metal artist Tom Ferrero as the 2019 recipient of the MCA Master Craft Artist Award.
MCA is a state-wide nonprofit organization that promotes the work of craft artists in Maine.
Ferrero recently shared information about his career as an artist.
“I knew very early on what my priority was and I devoted most of my energy to this pursuit,” he said.
He attended a public high school that supported the arts. He has taken all of the art classes on offer, including drawing, graphics, sculpture, ceramics, and two-dimensional design. He enrolled in the jewelry and goldsmith class of his first year of high school.
“I only really signed up because I had taken all of the other art classes on offer and it was one of the last classes I hadn’t tried,” he said. “I discovered a medium that combined my two-dimensional obsession with detail with a material and technical process that was endlessly fascinating and exciting. The technical side of my brain could understand the orderly building processes required to create a part. Procedures such as handling metal by hammering and securing two pieces of metal together using a torch in the welding process delighted me and still delight me today. I was eventually shown a medium that supported my two-dimensional love of design and ornamentation and also provided a vehicle for bringing these ideas into a three-dimensional realm.
Ferrero said that growing up in an influential film series, with quests full of adventure and exploration led by a hero in search of something valuable, spurred his imagination. They fueled his curiosity and fueled his creativity. This cinematic genre with its expressive use of visual imagery is still a major source of inspiration for his work.
Ferrero said other interests influence his work as well. When it comes to metalwork, he enjoys designing necklaces and pendants as well as small portable items. He appreciates the flexibility and freedom that these objects allow.
“My jewelry and ironwork are very sculptural. It is not intended to be worn or used (at least not comfortably). My works of art use jewelry and common objects like knives as a vehicle of expression. I want to see how far I can take people’s understanding of what jewelry can be before it is seen as anything else, ”he said.
Ferrero used a variety of mediums in his artistic endeavors. They include precious and semi-precious metals and precious stones; alternative materials such as enamel, resin, stone, bone, plastic, wood and found objects; ceramics / pottery both hand building and wheel throwing; painting, mainly acrylic on panel / canvas and Photoshop or digital manipulation of images.
“A common question I get asked often and find it difficult to answer is, ‘Where do your ideas come from? Although I can define some general themes present during the design; contrast, repetition, architecture, science fiction and fantasy art, the flowing lines of art nouveau, current discoveries of space exploration, maps, anomalies and an interest in intricate patterns and shapes, it is difficult to say with certainty the impulse for anyone specific idea. Often a few gestural lines in my sketchbook will trigger inspiration for a room. Just as easily, something I see on one of my trips can trigger a flash of inspiration, ”he said.
Ferrero has exhibited his work in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
He won several awards. The awards he is most proud of are the Saul Bell Design Award which he has received twice and the most recent, the Master Craft Artist Award.
“These two represent some of the best prices in the field and in Maine and validate the years of hard work it took me to get to this point in my career,” he said.
Arts education is important to Ferrero.
“Teaching is important to me because it’s a way to help another person develop their skills and experience the same joy I feel when I create works of art. Teaching art made me a better writer, better speaker, better at math, made me more aware of my own thinking, gave me confidence, time management skills and taught me manage failure and approach problem solving in non-traditional ways. way, ”he said. “Teaching art is not just about introducing students to new techniques and helping them to do beautiful things. It’s really about showing students a way of life and empowering them to pursue what they are passionate about. Also, teaching art keeps me cool and makes me a better artist. Some of my best ideas come from time in class. For example, I only started painting professionally after I had to teach a painting homework assignment class. And the Dao Niger Vallis Mars necklace that I created was a direct derivative of a plaster sculpture workshop that I taught my students at camp one summer.
Ferrero has worked for artists and companies like the Barbara Heinrich Studio and New England Sterling. At the Barbara Heinrich studio, he worked as a goldsmith and made high-end earrings and necklaces in 18k and 22k diamonds. At New England Sterling, he was the assistant head silversmith and worked on pieces designed for Tiffany & Co.
He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002. In 2003-2004, Ferrero received a US Fulbright Fellowship in New Zealand where he lived and worked in the Auckland area and has attended the University of Auckland at the Manukau Institute of Technology. There he obtained his graduate degree in jewelry design.
In 2008, Ferrero graduated from Indiana University with an MA in Fine Arts. He taught at NSCAD University in Halifax, Canada.
Currently, Ferrero is a part-time instructor at Maranacook Community High School where he teaches a selection of courses in drawing, painting, darkroom photography, sculpture and metalworking. In addition, he is an occasional lecturer at the University of Maine at Augusta and offers 3-dimensional design courses.
Ferrero is the head of the metallurgy department at Camp Laurel in Readfield, Maine. There he develops and manages the goldsmith program and teaches jewelry making classes for children and young adults.
Ferrero will have an upcoming solo painting exhibition at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine. It is called “Intermediate Places”. The opening night is June 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with food and drink. The show runs until July 27, 2019. His paintings feature many local scenes from across the state.
For more information, visit Ferrero’s website www.TomFerreroStudio.com. He can be found on Instagram at #Tom_Ferrero_Studio.