Lis-el Crowley Vision Award
2023 winner Celie Fago
Celie Fago, 2023 Lis-el Crowley Vision Award Honoree
Within the metal clay community, Celie Fago is known for her generosity as a teacher, innovator, and author. A self-taught jewelry artist, Celie grew up in an artistic family and was encouraged to make a living in the arts.
Her extensive travels as a young woman and work in print making, oil painting, and sculpture heavily influence her jewelry in polymer and metal clays. She often combines these and other materials and also uses traditional metal smithing techniques in combination with metal clay. Her work is characterized by originally created textures in her tear-away technique, tiny elegant hinges, and rough edges in metal clay.
After a decade of painting in oils, Celie discovered polymer clay and was fascinated by being able to create not only in full color but also in three dimensions.
In 1998, she was introduced to metal clay and was soon recruited by Tim McCreight to be Mitsubishi’s liaison to the polymer clay community for the PMC brand. She is known for her experiments and help with developing open-air fired sterling (.950) as well as testing of early bronze clays.
Her tear-away texture sheet technique, tiny metal clay hinges, and expertise in the use of Keum-Boo on metal clay are well known by students and connoisseurs. Here, these tribally inspired bracelets feature richly colored and organically patterned polymer clay bangles decorated with textured, carved and sculpted rings.
Celie taught for more than twenty years in her rural Vermont studio which became a Mecca for metal clay students. She has exhibited and taught internationally and nationally for professional organizations, guilds and schools including Arrowmont, Haystack, The North Country Studio Conference, and the Mid Cornwall School of Jewelry in England.
Her work is featured in many publications and she is the author of Keum-Boo on Silver Techniques for Applying 24k Gold to Silver. She has work in numerous collections, including Mitsubishi Material Corporation of Japan and the Mingei Museum in San Diego.