Mary Ann Simmons MA (RCA) uses the box form in simple and complex shapes to design and create a range of silver work. Inspired by the making process itself, her craft has evolved from cubes to an exploration of both symmetric and asymmetric, multifaceted forms...
“Creating individual commemorative pieces is one of my main objectives, and photo etching helps capture and preserve the character of an image which I apply to the interior and exterior of a commissioned piece.”
Biography At present Mary Ann is working in a studio in Wales fulfilling commissions and designing new work for upcoming exhibitions. She undertakes photo etching for other designers which include complex artwork and applying images to both flat sheet and 3D objects. She completed a 3-year term as Chairman of Contemporary British Silversmiths. Their most recent exhibitions have been at the V&A ‘Idea to Object’, Belton House, UK, Koldinghus Museum, Denmark, Christie’s, London and the V&A.
She was made a Liveryman of The Goldsmiths’ Company in 2013 where she continues to be actively involved. Currently she is working on a project for the V&A with the renowned jeweller Vicki Ambery-Smith and another commission for the Past Overseers Society who have for their tercentenary. Mary Ann Simmons began a career in metal work in Canada studying jewellery design and making at George Brown College, Canada. On graduating she was awarded an Honourable Mention at the Metal Arts Guild annual student show. After working with a gold casting company and a small, private jewellery firm, she joined a team of designers at Burkhardt Jewellers (worldwide suppliers to the retail industry) who were augmenting their traditional collections with contemporary jewellery.
Mary Ann’s suite of silver and gold jewellery became a top seller and a tricolour gold bracelet was featured on the cover of Canadian Jeweller magazine. Work in the film and television industry offered experience in designing and making jewellery for the costume department. After a move to London, England she continued producing private commissions while undertaking study at the London Guildhall University gaining a BA (1st Class Hons).
She won awards from both the Jerwood Foundation and the Goldsmith’s Company. An initial interest in jewellery was, by now, eclipsed by an introduction to silversmithing and work was scaled up to include tableware and boxes. An active year followed which included participation in various exhibitions until she gained a place at the Royal College of Art and completed her Masters in 2000. Her show entitled Inside Out featured boxes made in etched germanium silver. Since then she has participated in themed exhibitions in the UK and abroad, selling exhibitions including Goldsmiths Fair and the Chelsea Crafts Fair, Elements, Edinburgh and MADE London. Her work have been exhibited in many museums and galleries including the V&A, London, Fitzwilliam, Cambridge, Ruthin Craft Gallery, Wales and National Museum of Wales.
Mary Ann’s commissions have included work for the actor Kevin Bacon and the King of Greece as well work for private commission. Her work is represented in the Goldsmiths’ Company collection, the British Museum’s Coins and Medals collection and the Past Overseers Society of St Margaret and St John the Evangelist Westminster.