Mary Beth Fiorentino

contemporary jewelry | graphic design

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Bio

Mary Beth holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She began her career in San Francisco as a graphic designer for Levi Strauss & Co. and later as a children's book designer for Chronicle Books, a forward-thinking publishing company that focused on California culture and the arts.

It was in San Francisco where she discovered handmade jewelry and her passion for making. She started working Saturdays making books at a custom bookbindery and began to teach classes in letterpress printing and hand sewn books at SF Center for the Book, a local non-profit organization. Eventually, she started her own design and letterpress company which she maintained for twelve years. Still, she thought about handmade jewelry and longed for the day when she could actually learn to make it!

During the summer of 2006, she decided to move back to New York with a drive across the country. During a stop over in Santa Fe, NM, she walked into her first contemporary jewelry gallery and walked out with pieces on her ears, wrist and finger! By the fall of that same year she completed the first two items on her agenda: get a puppy and enroll in jewelry classes at PrattMWP. It took ten years, but she finally got the courage to apply to MFA programs in the hopes of transitioning her career from design to jewelry.

In the fall of 2016 Mary Beth quit her job, packed up her belongings and moved to the Hudson Valley to begin graduate school. In May of 2018, she earned an MFA in Metal from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She teaches metalsmithing and design classes and has her own studio practice. And, the puppy is now 12.