The Heart of the Ocean (handbag)
Photo by: Yu Mao; Medium: Moss, resin, plastic tube, seashell; 15x6x3 in
Touch the Nature? (sculpture)
Photo by: Yu Mao; Medium: 3D-printed acrylic, resin, LED lights; 13x7x8 in
Jellyfish 1 (sculpture)
Photo by: Yu Mao; Medium: 3D-printed acrylic, resin; 5x8x5 in
Jellyfish 2 (sculpture)
Photo by: Yu Mao; Medium: 3D-printed acrylic, resin; 8x5x5 in
Jellyfish 3 (sculpture)
Photo by: Yu Mao; Medium: 3D-printed acrylic, resin; 8x5x5 in

Yu Mao

Jewelry & Metal Arts / MFA

Yu (Michelle) Mao is from Kunming in Yunnan Province, China. Since she was young, her parents have always encouraged her artistic pursuits. Her passion for handicrafts was inspired by her father, from whom she was exposed to many art forms. Michelle’s first introduction to jewelry-making and fashion came when she was studying fashion design during a one-year elective course in Hong Kong. Later, she went to Britain to study in an art and design foundation program, where she learned to build an architectural scale model, use found materials to create realistic textures, and produce technical drawings. Making things by hand gave her a sense of achievement, but she desired to bring something else to people in the form of art, whether through a combination of materials, forms, or composition.

In the fall of 2015, she came to San Francisco to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry & Metal Arts at Academy of Art University. During her four years of study, she acquired knowledge about methods and techniques in jewelry-making, such as 3D printing, wax carving, forging, forming, and casting. She has been able to discover her passion for the art of jewelry and develop a better understanding of herself. Based on her education and background, Michelle’s work is influenced by both Chinese and Western culture. She believes contemporary jewelry design is not only about valuable materials and gems; it is also a way for her to express her feelings and yearning for better things. Her love for jewelry continues to grow as it represents art that people will pass down to later generations.

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