Gretchen Mclaren Photo

About The Artist, Gretchen McLaren

Being an artist is not something that I do; it is something that I am. As humans, we are all the sum of our life experiences, and, as artists, our life experiences are expressed through our work. My work speaks of the simplicity of form through the qualities of quietness, cleanness and elegance while reducing elements to their simplest geometric forms of the circle, triangle and square. I search for the spirit in each piece.

There are defining moments in each life, and my own personal relationship with metal began with one of those moments, during art school. Initially I had intended to become a commercial artist, but, from the instant that I walked into the jewelry studio for the first time, I felt like I was home. The second defining moment came when I decided to become a blacksmith--the minute that my hammer first struck the anvil, I was enthralled. I have been a metalsmith ever since.

Education
1991-present. President Metalforms, Inc.
1990-present. Further studies in jewelry and blacksmithing
Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
1991 BFA Metals/Jewelry Design
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Exhibitions
2003 Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival, Winter Park, FL
2003 American Crafts Council Winter Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
2002 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
2002 Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair, Raleigh, NC
2002 Piedmont Craftsmen Fair, Winston-Salem, NC
2002 “Holiday Invitational” Group Show, Arts Council of Wilson, Wilson, NC
2002 “New Members of Carolina Designer Craftsmen” Group Exhibition
The Crafts Center Gallery, NC State University, Raleigh, NC
2002 “Discoveries” Group Exhibition
Greene and Greene Gallery, Lambertville, NJ
2002 American Craft Council Summer Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
2002 American Craft Council Winter Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
2001 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
2001 Piedmont Craftsmen Fair, Winston-Salem, NC
2001 Presenter , Craft Career Day,
Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
2001 Juror, Piedmont Craftsmen Standards Committee, Winston-Salem, NC
2001 American Craft Council Winter Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
2000 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
2000 Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair, Raleigh, NC
2000 The Hand Workshop Craft Fair, Richmond, VA
2000 “Finding Soul” Solo Exhibition,
Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
2000 Solo Exhibition, Tyler White Gallery, Greensboro, NC
2000 American Craft Council Summer Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
2000 American Craft Council Winter Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
1999 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
1999 Piedmont Craftsmen Fair, Winston-Salem, NC
1999 The Four Elements Show, Creative Metalsmiths, Chapel Hill, NC
1999 Juror, Durham Arts Council Emerging Artists Grant, Durham, NC
1999 Juror, Centerfest, Durham, NC
1999 New Members Show, Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
1998 Art Jewelry 98, Langman Gallery, Willow Grove, PA
1998 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
1998 Piedmont Craftsmen Fair, Winston-Salem, NC
1998 Judge, Centerfest, Durham, NC
1998 American Craft Council Summer Wholesale Market, Chicago, IL
1998 Center City Fest, Charlotte, NC
1998 Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park, FL
1998 Gasparilla Festival For The Arts, Tampa, FL
1998 American Craft Council Winter Wholesale Market, Baltimore, MD
1998 Valentines Day Show, Creative Metalsmiths, Chapel Hill, NC
1998 East Carolina University Alumni Exhibition, Greenville, NC
1997 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
1997 American Craft Council Tampa Craft Fair, Tampa, FL
1997 Creative Arts Workshop Celebration of American Crafts, New Haven, CT
1997 Centerfest, Durham, NC
1997 North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths Members’ Show
Jewelry As Art, Raleigh, NC
1997 Spotlight ’97, American Craft Council/Southeast Juried Exhibition
Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
1997 Boston Mills Artfest, Peninsula, OH
1997 Springfest, Charlotte, NC
1997 Apple Chill, Chapel Hill, NC
1997 American Craft Council Winter Wholesale and Retail Market, Baltimore, MD
1996 Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair, Raleigh, NC
1996 Festival for the Eno, Durham, NC

Awards
1998 Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park, FL
Merit Award, Metals
1997 Boston Mills Artfest, Peninsula, OH
Honorable Mention, Jewelry
1996 Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC
Emerging Artists Grant

Publications
2004 Metalsmith magazine, “Winter 2004” Advertisement
2003 Metalsmith magazine, “Exhibition in Print” Advertisement
2001 National Public Radio Interview, WFAE, Charlotte, NC
“The Healing Power of Craft”
2001 American Craft Council Charlotte Craft Fair, Charlotte, NC
“Opening Night” necklace featured on the cover of the ACC Charlotte postcard
2000 “Finding Soul” Solo Exhibition, Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC
“Until She Finds Her Heart” necklace featured on postcard for solo exhibition
1997 “When I Was In Love…” earrings featured in The Tampa Tribune
Tampa, FL December 5, 1997
1997 “Faithwind: Celebrating North Carolina’s Artistic Treasures”
Jewelry featured in this nationally distributed catalog
1997 Feature Article “Jury Is In On Metalsmith’s Merits” Sanford Herald, May 7, 1997
American Craft Council Winter Wholesale and Retail Market, Baltimore, MD
“Sticks and Stones” pin featured on the cover of the “Only Baltimore,
Only the Best, Only the Beginning wholesale brochure