“I love to work in metal. I am seduced by fire, by the tools, the malleability and transformational qualities of the materials.
I use bone carvings in some of my pieces, creating the tiny moon faces and bas relief carvings that characterize this work. Each is different: I collect expressions, sketching faces and capturing moods to use in new pieces. I am now introducing animal-human faces into some of my pieces that are inspired by Celtic transformation myths. I’m trying to capture the surprise a critter- or person- would experience once the perhaps unintended transformation has begun.
Pieces evolve from these carvings, from stories, photographs of memorable places or times and interesting stones. I have been experimenting with textures and patinas in combination with imagery to create narrative pieces that work like miniature paintings. I am also working on more three-dimensional pieces like my pods, and using fold-forming on a small scale. These pieces have organic but imaginary forms.
I want my pieces to have presence and scale, but to remain light and always wearable.
I am always learning and exploring of ideas, materials and fabrication techniques. As long as there are technical and creative challenges, I will hammer on.”
Barbara Mullally lives in Clayton, Ontario with artist Robert Pauly. Together they have operated Moondance Gallery for over 40 years.
‘Floraison’ series of hand-cut sterling silver and semi-precious stones
‘Henry’ enamel brooch series, in honour of a favourite feline
enamel series inspired by the 1960’s abstract expressionist movement