Mary Merkel-Hess

116mm Transparent, Mary Merkel-Hess, paper, 13” x 19” x 19”, 1996, $4,200

Mary Merkel-Hess

61mm Sun Series (Orange), Mary Merkel-Hess, reed, paper, 6" x 24” x 24”, 2013, $2,900

Mary Merkel-Hess

62mm Olin, Mary Merkel-Hess, reed, paper ,24" x 9 x 9, 2003

Mary Merkel-Hess Last Light

202mm Last Light, Mary Merkel-Hess, paper, paper cord, 14” x 31” x 15”, 2018, $3,200

Still Crazy

199mm Peninsula, Mary Merkel-Hess paper, paper cord, 22” x 22” x 44”, 2016, $7,200


51mm Mary Merkel-Hess, Long Basket, bark paper, reed, wood, 8" x 9" x 24", 1993, $1,600

187mm Mary Merkel-Hess, Tall Reed (2), reed, paper, 28.5" x 16" x 9", 1998, $3,600


175mm Clare, Mary Merkel-Hess, reed, paper, acrylic paint, 37" x 26" x 10", 2008, $4,400

Mary Merkel-Hess Wall Sculpture

194mm Dark Woods, Mary Merkel-Hess, architectural board, paper, wood, 22" x 75" x 2”, 2014, $8,000

Selected collections and exhibition venues:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York (Dual Vision: the Chazen Collection); Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas (The Art of Contemporary Fiber); Barbican Centre, London, UK (Threads: Contemporary American Basketry); National Gallery of Irish Craft, Kilkenny, Ireland (Fiber: A New World View); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Fuller Craft Museum (Pulp Function); Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; LongHouse Foundation, East Hampton, New York; Renwick Gallery, national Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen, Denmark (Celebrating American Craft); Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Informed by Nature, solo exhibition).

red merkel-hess

190mm Ray Series, Mary Merkel-Hess, paper, reed, 24" x 24" x 6" , 2012, SOLD

My works usually begin with some sort of image, which could be very abstract. It might be a line of a grass, sometimes it’s just a color, sometimes it’s something about the quality of a whole landscape. And any inspiration I get, I usually feel has to result in more than one piece. Because a life of constant creativity, you can’t afford to pass up any good ideas. And then I usually go and make a scale drawing of the mold I’m going to build, or of the basket as I want it to be, or both. And sometimes I’ll have an inspiration for a long time without being able to think how to make the shape. So I have a notebook where I keep these things. And then I build the mold. Then I make layer upon layer of paper with these inclusions of reed or cord or whatever, and build it up. Eventually it comes off the mold, and then it needs to be shaped and painted. And I go through periods of using lots of color and then using no color and just concentrating on the form.

Mary Merkel-Hess