Profile picture of Olga Starostina

Casting has always been my favorite metalsmithing process. It was during experimentation with free casting aluminum that I came to discover and appreciate aluminum as a material of unexpected beauty.
I employ scrap aluminum such as aluminum cans, gutters, ladders and car parts as source material for my work. I melt and pure aluminum in my backyard using “free casting “ techniques without any preconceived form, letting it solidify freely using a homemade furnace.
I am mesmerized by the fact that a material can change so drastically from smooth and industrial in appearance to an intriguing organic form with a delicate texture. It is as if during recycling an object not only assumes a second life but reveals its true identity. The beauty of the surface which emerges when molten aluminum is poured fascinates me. It reminds me of rebirth and soul transformation which inspire me the most.
Over the years I’ve come up with several techniques for cold connecting aluminum. Piercing aluminum parts and stitching them to leather has become my primary process and visual language for expressing my ideas. This peculiar connecting technique bears a special meaning to me, showing that hard and soft materials don’t necessarily have to contradict each but rather can be intertwined and represent two sides of the same entity. Just like tendons and ligaments in the human body connect bones and tissue, my cotton or corer threads unite aluminum parts with each other or with fibrous materials creating a common body for my newly born artistic creation.

Olga Starostina is a Houston Metal and Mixed Media artist, born in Moscow, who works primarily with recycled aluminum. Starostina studied metalsmithing at the Glassel School of Art under Sandie Zilker. She is currently a full-time studio artist in Houston, TX. Starostina has exhibited throughout the United States Canada and Mexico at the Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City, Mexico, Indiana University, Kokomo, Indiana, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA, SNAG, Toronto, Canada, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, and the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX. Starostina’s work is in a number of private collections throughout Texas.

2006 - 2015 MFAH Glassell School of Art,   Advanced Student, Jewerly and Enameling Department, Houston, TX



Means to NO End: collaboration with Vladyslav Krasnoshchok, Hooks & Epstein Gallery, Houston , TX , July 15 - August 15




Memento: Halsted Design Challenge - Society of North American Goldsmiths online Exibition, 14 AUG

Exibition in Motion: Unmasked, Conceal & Reveal, Society of North American Goldsmiths, New Orleans, LA,  MAY 27th

51st Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show, Joseph A. Cain Memorial Gallery, Corpus Christi, TX, 17FEB – 5MAY

Rojo Y Roso, Equinox gallery, San Antonio, TX 12-30FEB

(UP) Setting the Stone - Society of North American Goldsmiths online Exibition, 21 DEC- MAY



Spirit and Matter, Jung Center, Houston, TX 2- 28NOV
Co-Operation: Garnish, Thomas Mann’s Gallery I/O, New Orleans, LA, 29APR - 25JUN
FOTOFEST 2016 BIENNIAL, International Fine Print Auction, Houston, TX, 21MAR
As heart grows, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX, 7FEB
Co-Operation: Garnish, Brooklyn Metalworks, Brooklyn, NY, 5FEB - 4MAR, 2016
Co-Operation: Garnish, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD, 11DEC-8JAN

DEBTFAIR, Occupy Museums, New York and Art League Houston, Houston, TX, 20NOV

COURSE OF ACTION: 50 Years of Jewelry and Enamel at the Glassell School of Art
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, 9MAY - 29AUG

Co-Operation: Garnish,Velvet DaVinci Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 19AUG - 20SEP
Co-Operation: Garnish,CORE GROUP exhibition SNAG Conference, Boston, MA, 20-13MAY

Perimeter Gallery Departmental Focus Series Jewelry & Enamel/Works on Paper , MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX;

La Frontera, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX
Studio School Annual Student Exhibition, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX

La Frontera, Velvet da Vinchi Galllery, San Francisco, CA
La Frontera, Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City, Mexico
PERLesque: Exibition in MotionBlack+White+Pearl, SNAG Toronto, Canada

BodypArts, Goldesberry Gallery, Houston, TX
Earring SLAM JAM, 18 Hands Gallery Houston, TX

Interwoven III, 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX
Green Jewelry, Recycled/Upcycled (winner: best use of the recycled material), 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX


Where to Buy

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