My work is a physical practice that engages both my mind and body, and allows me to be completely involved in every phase of the creative process.  Working with tools in my studio, is where I love to be. Handling materials and participating in their transformation throughout production --fabricating from a flat sheet into a three-dimensional object, hammering into form, fusing with fire and sparks, painting with flame - brings me a special thrill that keeps me coming back again and again. I enjoy using both traditional and innovative techniques. Over the years I have also developed certain methods that are exclusive to my studio.

RUGA™ and PLICATO™ are two of the signature techniques for Studio Mariana Sammartino.

Aurum close up.jpeg


RUGA™  refers to the manipulation technique I use to create a wrinkled surface with metal that is inspired by Shibori, a Japanese textile resist dye method that uses folding, twisting, or compression to create a pattern. I create a three dimensional texture.

The beauty of this technique is that it takes on a purely expressive form.  I have an idea of what I am looking for but, once I begin manipulating the material, the process relies on a synergy of thought, hand, intuition, and material; all equally directing and performing in perfect synchronicity. As hands and tools interact with the material --gathering, crumpling, flaming, hammering, burnishing, they leave their unique gestural imprint, and the work reveals layers of rich textures, colors, transparency, and shimmer. Shifting perceptions of depth, opacity and brilliance occur based on the way light hits the piece.     


Aurum  | Aurata |  MURALIS Wall Treatments |



PLICATO™ refers to the folding into peaks and valleys I use to tansform a flat sheet of material into a three dimensional form; and the pleating patterns to create texture or solve functional challenges. Although it bears a relationship to the Japanese art of Origami in that the folding patterns determine the form, I use the technique as a means to an end, as opposed to making the technique the art itself.  The flexibility and resilient nature of metal mesh drives a different approach to these methods.

The process involves careful planning -with quite a bit of math and precision, to achieve the geometry I’m after. But the act of folding itself is quite meditative, rhythmic and soothing, so it is easy to become totally consumed by the process.  

The resulting organic forms and undulating contours soften the sharpnes and rigidity of the folded lines, as well as the precision of the supporting mechanisms.  Pleating patterns, at times over flame patina markings, create layers of intrigue, depth, richness.      


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