Pittsburgh Metalsmith Katie Rearick Creates Quality Objects In a Mass Produced World

Metalsmith and sculptor Katie Rearick works her chosen medium with precision and sensitivity.

an aerial shot of a metal working station from Katie Rearick

Metalsmith and sculptor Katie Rearick remembers, as a small child, selling painted rocks on the beach in northern Michigan. She feels fortunate to have a family that encouraged her to pursue the arts, and a high school that offered a metals and jewelry class. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in metal/jewelry from Western Michigan University, and then a Master of Fine Arts from SUNY New Paltz.

Steel City Adventures

Rearick moved to Pittsburgh in the fall of 2014 to teach metals and jewelry at Waynesburg University for seven years, before resigning to take care of her newborn daughter. She founded the Allegheny Metals Collective in 2015, is currently running workshops at Contemporary Craft, and also maintains a home studio. Her work ranges from small-scale body adornment to large sculptural installations that utilize personal narrative as a starting point.

on the left, metal pieces in the shapes of 3D triangles. On the right, dark blue metal circles

“Using a jeweler’s saw, I meditatively hand-pierce steel and silver to become sculptures and one-of-a-kind wearable jewelry,” she explains. In addition to solo work, she works collaboratively with her wife, printmaker Rachel Saul Rearick. Their most recent body of work, Sculptural Landscapes, utilizes lines and bold mark-making. The resulting interplay of shadow, light, and pattern is fascinating.

Up Next

Rearick is curating an exhibition titled Archives of the Allegheny Metals Collective, featuring 15 Allegheny Metals Collective members that will run October 12 through November 10 in the Jodee Harris Gallery at Seton Hill University. She’s also developing a new body of artwork focused on motherhood and play.

Rearick greatly appreciates quality objects in a world that heavily focuses on mass-produced items. “A well-crafted item made by an individual can often last a lifetime, and makes up bodies of heirlooms across cultures,” she adds.

BE Galleries also sells collaborative work by Rearick and her wife.

Story by Corinne Whiting / Photography by Laura Petrilla

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