Marilyn O’Hara has been a studio goldsmith for more than 45 years. She opened a gallery/studio on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey in the mid 70’s where she designed and produced her own line of jewelry. She went on to earn a BFA degree from University of North Texas in Metalsmithing and did post graduate work at the University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Dallas. She has also studied Advanced Stone Setting and Diamond Grading at Gemological Institute of America.
Marilyn has specialized in restoration of antique jewelry and has been commissioned for one-of-a-kind pieces from major companies, including Bachendorf’s and Zale’s. Since 1989, Marilyn has worked as a 'ghost designer' for several top designers in the US, where her work has been purchased by Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Hillary Clinton and Wynonna Judd, to name a few.
Today, Marilyn designs and creates limited-edition and one-of-a-kind jewelry in her Dallas studio. But, she still has her hands in multiple disciplines, including teaching. Teaching is very significant to her. She feels it is important to give back and to build community by sharing knowledge. Teaching has also made her grow as an artist and greatly influences her own work. She is very involved in her community as the Chair of the Metals Department at the Craft Guild of Dallas. Marilyn teaches advanced classes at the Guild as well as teaching in her private studio.
Over the years, I find certain shapes and concepts reappearing in my work. The repetition of similar forms has been showing up and I wasn’t even aware of them until recently.
This has created excitement for me to see the progression of this simple shape become fully incorporated in my work creating elegant forms in limited editions and “one-of-a-kind” pieces.
Each piece is hand fabricated from sheet, wire and tubing. And is entirely made by hand, combining silver & 18kt gold and unusual stones --Aquamarines, Beryls, Opals, Tourmalines, Turquoise, Pearls, and colored Diamonds.
I start by cutting and bending strips of metal to shape the individual parts, then rearranging them into different patterns and shapes to tell the story. They are often very labor intensive and can take weeks or even months to produce.