Profile picture of Mary Frisbee Johnson

Continuing my past explorations into humorous narrative imagery done through metals and jewelry, the brooches in the Cartouche series are fabricated from sterling silver, copper, and brass combined with lithographed tin from advertising tins, product containers, and toys manufactured over the last one-hundred-thirty years. The lithographed tin images represent an excellent overview of popular culture, and I find them to be rich and interesting in both design and printing. In each brooch, two images are juxtaposed within the shape of either a single or a double cartouche; this lozenge shape in ancient Egyptian culture represents a person's name through hieroglyphs. The tin images are sandwiched between two layers of metal and fastened with tiny bolts or rivets. The complex surface of each piece is achieved either through etching (employing my own goofy hieroglyphs) or by using a technique in which I draw with Prismacolor pencil onto a gessoed metal surface. The sum of these parts makes for an intriguing, tongue-in-cheek narrative in which the viewer can share.

Mary Frisbee Johnson (MFA, University of Cincinnati) currently serves as Professor of Drawing in the Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa-Cedar Falls. Johnson's work in drawing, metals/jewelry, mixed-media sculpture, and installation sculpture has been exhibited extensively in over one hundred national and international exhibitions, including twenty-two solo exhibitions; and one of her brooches is in the collection of the British Museum, London, England. Her work is represented by Vale Crafts Gallery, Chicago, IL. Selected recent exhibitions: Solo exhibition. Cartouche, Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Tech, Smithville, TN, 2016. Wichita National All Media Craft Exhibition 2015. Wichita Center for the Arts, 2nd Place Award. Create/Adorn National Exhibition of Contemporary Jewelry and Metalwork, Delurk Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC. Tales From The Toolbox - Chapter Two, crafthaus Material Matters, Jenkins Fine Arts Center, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.  La Frontera. Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City, Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, CA.    Fine Contemporary Craft. Artspace, Raleigh, NC. Ferrous. Velvet da Vinci Gallery and crafthaus, San Francisco, CA.Books featuring her artwork include: Snyder, Jeffrey B. Art Jewelry Today 2 and 3. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2008, 2011. Simon, Marjorie. 500 Brooches. New York: Lark Books, 2005.

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.