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‘Take Five’ with Lucille Hautau

Lucille Hautau worked for more than 20 years in the registrar’s office and became assistant to the provost in 2005. She’s also a master metalsmith. She recently received the “Best of Show” award at the 4th Annual Pyramid Hill Art Show. This self-described “best kept secret underground artist around” agreed to “take five.”

Was it a particular artwork or a body of work that received “Best in Show” at Pyramid Hill?

Best of Show is awarded for outstanding creativity and quality and execution as well as professional presentation and booth design. I also received the award for Excellence at the Pyramid Hill Art Fair in 2005.

How did you get your start as a metalsmith?

I studied metals through industrial education at Miami while earning my B.A. in graphic design in 1972. I returned to Miami to study metals full time, earning a master’s in 1979.

After graduation, I learned many bench tips working as a commercial bench jeweler but didn’t find sizing rings and repairing chains a creative outlet. I have been extremely lucky to study with many of the best metal artists in the world through CraftSummer. I’ve also learned much from teaching jewelry, both at the Middletown Fine Arts Center and more recently, through continuing education here at Miami. I’ve learned the most by working on my own projects in my own studio.

We love your “married metals” Web site. What’s that about?

My specialty is custom wedding and commitment rings in colored gold with diamonds and other fine gems. I combine or “marry” contrasting colors of gold, silver and platinum with heat and solder. Customers can choose from 16 colors of gold. I then fabricate jewelry from the patterned married metal. My most popular rings are stripes, herringbone and brocade patterns. Some rings contain as much as 12 feet of gold wire each. You can see samples on my Web site:
What’s the most unusual item you have ever made?

I was once assigned to make a road map of my life. I hammered out my life in three-dimensional copper and framed it. It was bumpy and crooked but I entered it in a competition anyway. To my surprise, it won an award for excellence and sold immediately.

What’s coming up for you as an artist?

Most of the shows in which I exhibit are out of state, but my husband, Rick Powell, and I will host the 23rd annual Willys-Knight Holiday Open House in College Corner, 5-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. This exhibit and sales is a rare chance to view the work of other local “underground” artists, many of whom, like me, work at Miami.

Miami artists this year include: pottery by Carty Ellis (DARS), photographs by Joyce Fernandes (zoology), pottery by Jay Harris (art center), jewelry by Sally Harrison-Pepper (Western), gourd art by Larry Sherman (EDP), birdhouses by Mike Smith (planning and construction), lampwork beads by Leah Tuscany (IT services) and watercolors by Marcia Waller (international programs). On Saturday, Dec. 2, I will be exhibiting at the Oxford Holiday Festival in the Oxford Community Art Center.

Date Published: 11/09/2006
Volume: 26   Number: 9


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