About Mary Mueller

Mary works at her dissecting microscope

As one of the world's premiere scrimshaw artists, Mary Mueller is in a class by herself. Her extraordinary jewelry and art is coveted by international collectors and individuals who have a true appreciation for the spiritual nature of her work as well as the attention to detail that this exacting medium demands.

Mary scrims mammoth ivory.

Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance believed there was a kind of soul in the marble they used, which only the most sensitive and caring artist could reveal. So it is with mammoth ivory. Each piece has a unique and special character. A result from its interaction with the earth in which it has lain for centuries and the materials it has absorbed, it is imbued with colors ranging from blue-black to caramel, even with tones of rose. Mary says that, unlike paper or canvas, it provides a new experience with each work she creates.

"You don't choose a piece of Mary Mueller's scrimshaw, it chooses you. There is a spiritual quality within her art that captures the wonder and beauty of Alaska like nothing I've ever seen before"

-G. Lynch

"I tune into the character of the ivory itself, and sometimes I don't even know what the image will be when I start the piece. When that happens, it is always one of my best works."

"INUA." Silver pin-back pendant by Mary Mueller.

"INUA." Silver pin-back pendant by Mary Mueller.

Mary's soul shines through her work.

Mary's exquisite jewelry and exceptional art is unique for many reasons, not the least of which is the method she employs to create each piece. Using a dissecting microscope with 10x to 20x eyepiece magnification, Mary etches in multiple fine lines and dots into her original sketch on the ivory, then completes the work by tinting it with oil pigments in subdued tones and natural colors. There is no margin for error with scrimshaw. One wrong stroke can ruin an entire piece. Yet through the technical restrictions, the soul of Mary Mueller shines forth–with the joy of a woman who has traveled the earth only to find that her happiness and her destiny lay in Alaska, the land of her beginnings, and in one of its finest art forms.

"THE SEAL HUNTER." Scrimshaw mammoth ivory tusk on curly maple base by Mary Mueller.

"THE SEAL HUNTER." Scrimshaw on fossilized walrus, maple base by Mary Mueller.

 

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