Denman Island metalwork artist Mary Hicks traces her inspiration all the way back to King Tut. Photo submitted

Denman Island metalwork artist Mary Hicks traces her inspiration all the way back to King Tut. Photo submitted

Denman metalwork artist showcasing jewelry at craft fair

Denman Island metalwork artist Mary Hicks traces her inspiration all the way back to King Tut.

Or more specifically, to the renowned international exhibition called The Treasures of Tutankhamun, which toured the world from 1972 to 1979, sparking global interest in the life and culture of this Egyptian Pharoah, who ruled 3,000 years ago.

At the time, Mary Hicks was a pre-teen living in Chicago. Already a lover of art, Mary spent much of her spare time visiting the city’s many museums, galleries and sculpture gardens. When the King Tut exhibit came to the Chicago Natural History Museum in 1977, Hicks braved the long line-ups, and was not disappointed.

“I remember maneuvering through the crowds to get to the front of the showcases and being so struck by the beautiful metalwork, the brilliance of it, the play of light and the enduring quality of it. These things had been created so incredibly long ago and still remained. For me, that was the start of wanting to create objects of beauty that will arouse emotion or intrigue.”

It took a couple of decades, however, before Hicks began working with metal. In her formative years she attended California Institute of Arts, and was an art photographer/mixed media artist for over 30 years prior to becoming a sculptor.

It was literally a search for light that led Hicks to metalwork. She wanted a wall sconce for a bedside light, and decided to make it herself, out of copper foil. “When it was done, there was something about the quality of light when it hit the metal. It was so warm, so vibrant, so alive. I was completely captivated, and while photography will always be one of my main passions I have worked primarily with metal ever since.”

Metal offered the opportunity to move beyond the two-dimensional realm. Hicks began creating sculptural pieces, exploring weaving, grids and multi-layered patterns.

“I’ve always been drawn to abstraction,” says Hicks. “In my photography, I’m often shooting the innards of flowers. It’s the patterns of things and the quality of light—that’s what has always fascinated me.”

Hicks also makes art jewelry.

“People started asking me to make jewelry. They’d see my sculptures and say, ‘I’d wear that if it I could.’ I have woven copper jewelry pieces, pendants, earrings and hair barrettes.”

The jewelry will be the main feature at Hicks’ table at the Denman Island Christmas Craft Fair, set for Dec. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m to noon, along with small sculptures, ornaments, and photography. Hicks has been vending at the Denman fair for 10 years, and says the event is a highlight of the season.

“I’m honoured to be part of this community of incredible artists. I’ve attended several fairs and this is one of the best,” she says. You can see Mary Hicks’ artwork at www.maryhicksmetalarts.com

There will be a free shuttle from the ferry to Denman Island Christmas Craft Fair, for anyone who would like to walk on the ferry at Buckley Bay.

Home-made meals and treats available all day. For more information, visit the Facebook page or https://denmancraftfair.wordpress.com/

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Cumberland will be looking to a parcel tax to cover debt for its new water system. File photo
Cumberland plans for parcel tax to cover water debt

Parcel tax review panel would take place March 22, if necessary

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read