Mary Merkel-Hess

Mary Merkel-Hess grew up in the farmlands of Iowa, where she still lives and works. Studying both metalsmithing and fiber for her undergraduate degrees, Merkel-Hess received an MFA in metalsmithing from the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Professor Chunghi Choo.

Merkel-Hess creates what she calls “landscape reports.” Working with reeds, paper cords, and a mixture similar to papier-mâché, Merkel-Hess creates sculptural basket-like forms inspired by the natural surroundings in Iowa.