Maressa Tosto Merwarth Biography
Maressa's work is about the materials, the process, and the interaction between the artist and wearer
While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, Maressa quickly realized that metalsmithing was her passion. Upon completing her BFA at Syracuse University, she immediately began a bench jeweler internship with a small fine jewelry manufacturer, where she learned all aspects of the business from jewelry repair to model making. During this time, she also earned an MFA in Metals from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was able to explore her creativity while continuing to fine-tune her technical skills at work.
After eight years with the jewelry manufacturer, she left to start her own company, focusing mainly on custom design pieces while developing her art jewelry line. Her studio is located at a winery in Upstate New York which she owns and operates with her husband and family, all of which provide her with an endless source of inspiration.
Maressa's dedication to her craft resulted in her being selected as the American Jewelry Design Council's winner of the 2013 New Talent Contest. Her work tests boundaries – what delineates jewelry vs. sculpture, wearable vs. non-wearable, precious vs. non-precious, and beyond that, craft vs. fine art. It is less about defining what she makes and more about the materials, the process, and the interaction between the artist and the wearer.
Each piece challenges and engages through its use of common-place shapes and/or materials to reveal the stories within. The interpretation of what is being expressed is different for everyone, creating a complex and intimate relationship between the wearer and the artist, with each one playing a necessary role.