Mariana Sammartino is a Houston-based metalsmith artist working with precious materials and repurposed industrial metals. Combining modern, industrial, austere stainless steel and titanium with traditional silver, gold, and bronze, and transforming them into sensuous and graceful objects that suggest imaginative and simultaneously contradictory possibilities is a dynamic that resonates deeply within her, based on the shifting backdrops and diverse cultures that have colored her life.
The materials and techniques, both traditional and innovative, determine the focus and form of her work – which includes wearable art, sculpture, art installations and functional objects. With regard to aesthetics, her work references the intersection of the organic and the designed/manmade. With regard to process, her work switches back and forth between the intuitive and the logical. She intentionally allows materials to show their straightforward expression; using methods that reveal their inherent characteristics -- what’s already in the material, without paints or glazes, and leaving them uncoated to continue developing the patina of time.
Sammartino’s roots are in Argentina, where she started her architecture studies -showing from an early age her calling for handcraft. Her interest in working with metal was sparked as a student in Colorado, where she earned a degree in Industrial Design at the Colorado Institute of Art. She discovered her career path as studio artist training at the Jewelry program at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Since then, she has been honing her skills with renowned art instructors in the U.S., Italy, and Argentina. She currently keeps a studio in the thriving Washington Avenue Arts District of Houston, where she welcomes collectors and art enthusiasts during studio events and by appointment.