Q&A WITH HELEN SHIRK

A Show of Mettle

Metalsmith and jeweler Helen Shirk is professor of art emerita and head of the jewelry/metals program at San Diego State University, where she has taught since 1975. She received her MFA degree from Indiana University and is a Fellow of the American Crafts Council. Influenced by botanical forms and inspired by the resiliency and endurance of the natural world, Shirk has focused primarily on creating sculptural, vibrantly colored metal vessels. A recipient of Fulbright and NBA grants, her pieces have been exhibited internationally and are in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Art and Design in New York City, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and San Diego's Mingei International Museum. Her latest body of jewelry work will be shown at Taboo Studio in February.

Opposite and above: Helen Shirk in her Mount Helix studio working on her latest jewelry series. One of her nature-inspired colored copper vessels is on the worktable.

Right: Shirk's silver-and-hammered-gold Brooch AS8 from 1994.

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