Maya Kini

jewelry and objects

Selected Exhibitions

2018 Sculpture by Bay Area Women, STUDIO Gallery, San Francisco, CA,  Modern Classics, Shibumi Gallery.Berkeley, CA, Cut from the Same ClothShibumi Gallery, Berkeley, CA, Cast: Art and Objects, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

2017 Tiny, STUDIO Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Holiday Exhibition, Taboo Studios, San Diego, CA

2016 The Men’s Show, Shibumi Gallery. Berkeley, CA, Enamel Exhibition, Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2015 All the Glitters, Petaluma Arts Center, Petaluma, CA, So Fine!, Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA

2013 Silk (solo), Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, CA, Ferrous, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA 2013 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C., OR.IRON Gallery Project, Sacramento, CA

2011  Our House, Louise Smit Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA

2010  Ju-Ju Magic, Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA

2009  500 Enameled Ohjects, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA, American Enamels, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, Something about Love, Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, CA, American Craft Council Exhibition, Baltimore, MD

2008  Equal Footings, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN, New West Coast Design, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA

Each day, when I look, I wonder where my eyes were yesterday -Bernard Berenson

Maya’s process stems from a belief in perfection and symmetry but with the knowledge that these qualities often hide within imperfection and asymmetry. She brings a love of research, a minimalist sensibility, and a sculptural approach to making. Maya investigates materials and their capacities to perform physically and poetically. Her work emerges from the belief that no material is static and that there is beauty to be found in the changing surfaces of objects as they are worn.

Maya was born in 1977 in Boston. She studied sculpture and literature before going on to receive a graduate degree in Metalsmithing in 2007 from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She lives in San Francisco, California where she is a studio artist, mother and educator.


2007 MFA in Metalsmithing, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI

2001 BA in Literature, Reed College, Portland, OR

1998-1999 Fugi Studios, Florence, Italy

Awards and Publications

2009 Sienna Gallery Emerging Artist Award
2009 American Craft Council Searchlight Award
2006 Advancement in Craft Scholarship, Penland, NC

2017 Cast, a book, Schiffer Publishing   2013 Ferrous Exhibition Catalog, Crafthaus
2012 500 Rings Showcase Lark Books  2009 500 Enameled Objects, Lark Books

Materials + Philosophy

Maya Kini uses recycled gold and silver to craft her pieces. Her studio will facilitate refining old jewelry using a sustainable process for credit toward the purchase of new jewelry. Maya Kini Jewelry supports the work of Ethical Metalsmiths and their efforts to ethically source both newly mined and recycled precious metals. In custom work, Maya Kini Jewelry works with clients to choose certified recycled and conflict free diamonds.

The entire ship is attacked from all sides.  Blowtorches cut through its steel skin, giant hammers break up its iron and wood structure.  Everything from that huge animal lying on the beach has a use.  Iron and steel will be melted down and given new roles as utensils.  The entire ship will be turned into what it once carried: machines, knives and forks, hoes, shovels, screws, things, bits and pieces…and the ship itself will be carried away.

Sebastiao Salgado The Workers

I encountered this passage from Salgado’s book years ago and the words have woven themselves into my hands and through my thoughts.  Why do we work with metal?  Because it is, in the end, a sustainable material.  And what does that mean?  That we are always beginning in the middle, starting a piece with the scraps of another, stringing together shards of many works to make a new thing.  Gold is material that can be stretched to the heights of skyscrapers and then melted down and reformed.  Gold jewelry can withstand all but the hottest of fires and is therefore responsible for telling our histories.  This capacity of gold to change forms, to have many births but to endure as a material is what motivates us to make and unmake.  It is with this hope that the things we make might persevere that our hands stay busy, skirting the edge of the scrap yard, the rim of the crucible.