Meet the Artist: Meghan Patrice Riley

Meghan Patrice Riley is a jewelry designer from Brooklyn who looks to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Tell us about yourself and your art background.

I am a self-trained artist and originally went to college in California as an economics major. From there, I took jewelry classes for fun in San Francisco at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and my hobby really took off. Once my career as a jewelry maker started taking off, I continued to take every class and workshop possible and began to build my home studio.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show was the first show I ever did, where I was part of the emerging artists in 2011.

Starting with an economics background isn’t something we hear every day. It’s clear you were inspired by something to make this change – what influences you and your work?

My art is influenced by the idea of making connections and a lot of my work is playing with ideas and how to connect the materials. Often, this leads to back and forth with materials as some are easier to bend while others are not.

My biggest inspiration is childhood – the idea of playing dress up and putting an outfit together, as outrageous as possible. This creative process of experimentation to create beautiful and wearable pieces influences me.

How do you choose your material for each piece?

A lot of the way I choose materials for my pieces is through trial and error. I sketch a lot and have many ideas but from there, anything can change during the fabrication process. I am always adapting to changes throughout the process – if I sketch a piece and go to make it, the material may not work so I am constantly adapting and changing.

What do you do day-to-day in your studio?

We are keeping busy! Day to day in the studio is always changing but we are working on orders from museums and stores as well as working on new designs. We do have to do the business side as well, such as paperwork and emails but for me, the best part is when I can sit down and fabricate.

It’s been great learning about your process. For those attending this year’s Show, anything they should know prior to stopping by your booth?

The Show is an amazing curated experience! The international focus is great and not something I see often in the states. The same goes for the quality of craft. My work and the work of others is some of the best in the country, so I hope people come and buy something, I know I will be!

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