Raised in Santa Clara, California, Merry-Lee Rae began making jewelry as a teenager and her fascination with enamels and precious metals has been her lifelong passion. Her formal education was in mathematics and she fully intended to pursue a respectable career in Silicon Valley but as luck would have it, Merry-Lee got too busy doing what she loved and never had time to go to work. Instead, she found herself participating in the American Craft Council Shows including Rhinebeck, Baltimore, West Springfield and San Francisco and later JCK Las Vegas in the Design Center.
Cloisonne enameling has been her focus since 1976, she has honed her craft with the enthusiasm of an artist and the intensity of a mathematician creating works of intricate detail fusing glass on metal. She is guilty of thoroughly enjoying her work.
“I see myself as a dedicated romantic, expressing love of life through my art. Using glass and gold, I create sunshine shouts of joy or murmurs of quiet remoteness. The resulting cloisonné jewelry is my voice. What really matters is the people who are touched by it in some way.”
Merry-Lee currently devotes much of her time and energy to teaching cloisonne and especially enjoys mentoring, she is honored to pass along four decades of experience and hard earned expertise to those who would venture into her chosen field.
“It is with great pleasure that I join with the members of AJDC in promoting the vision and commitment that jewelry design is artistic expression in its purest form.”