Ellen Buie Niewyk

Artist's statement and Profile:

"I am fascinated with the beautiful designs, textures, and shapes associated with ancient metal techniques and processes, and I apply them with a contemporary twist in my own work."




Ellen Buie Niewyk received her BFA from the University of North Texas in 1976 and her MFA from Southern Methodist University in 1978. She studied silversmithing with Edward Mattil at UNT and later attended classes and workshops at the Craft Guild of Dallas and the Jewelry Arts Institute (a school that concentrates in ancient metal techniques) in New York City. She has also studied with John Cogswell at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina, Marilynn Nicholson at the Taos School of Metalsmithing and Lapidary Design in Taos, New Mexico, and Jean Stark, an authority in the field of ancient metal techniques.

Her interest in ancient metalworking stems from her study of Greek art at SMU and serving as the Eugene McDermott Graduate Intern at the Dallas Museum of (Fine) Art during the Pompeii A.D. 79 exhibit in 1978 - 1979. She employs such techniques as granulation and classical chain making, using fine silver (.999 silver), sterling silver (.925 silver), and gold with various types of semi-precious beads and stones. She also uses the ancient Korean technique of "Keum-boo" (sometimes spelled "kum-bu") which is the application of pure gold (24 k) onto sterling and fine silver and is currently exploring the use of "Shibuichi" (a copper and silver alloy) in her work.

Ellen's work was featured in the Dallas Morning News article, “Golden Links to the Past” (March 29, 2007) and on the Southern Methodist University website ("Ancient Art Influences Modern Fashion"). Her work was represented at the Dallas Museum of Art Museum Shop in conjunction with the exhibition, From the Ashes of Vesuvius, In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite, July 8–October 7, 2007, and at the Meadows Museum, on the campus of Southern Methodist University, during the exhibitions From the Temple and the Tomb:  Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany and New Light on the Etruscans:  Fifteen Years of Excavation at Poggio Colla, January 25-May 17, 2009.   She also presented an evening lecture, "Taking the Mystery Out of Ancient Metal Techniques," in conjunction with the exhibitions at the Meadows Museum, and in April, 2009, she presented an ancient jewelry demonstration in conjunction with the exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Ellen joined Southern Methodist University in 1987 and currently serves as Curator of Bywaters Special Collections located in the Hamon Arts Library.  She is the author of Jerry Bywaters:  Lone Star Printmaker (SMU Press, 2007).

E-MAIL: ellen@voicesinvitational.com





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