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Since 1976 Ted Muehling has been designing jewelry and decorative objects inspired by organic forms found in nature. With the help of a small staff in his New York City studio, he produces multiples as well as unique pieces using a variety of materials including precious and semiprecious stones, metals, pearls, plastic, horn and wood. Born in New Jersey in 1953, he studied industrial design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Mentors included Gerald Gulotta, Rowena Reed and William Fogler who advocated the power of design to enhance life and encouraged an appreciation for form, proportion and balance.
Avoiding the conventions of industrial design, he works on his own designs in an artisanal fashion. Working directly with materials allows serendipitous surprises to occur.
His unique presentation, including inspirational natural artifacts, helps to inform and explain the work. In 1999 he began a collection with Nymphenburg Porcelain factory in Munich resulting in an ongoing range of functional and decorative porcelain. A continuing dialogue with E. R. Butler & Co. has resulted in an elegant production of candlesticks and cabinet knobs. Another collaboration with the iconic American company, Steuben Glass, realized beautifully hand-cut lead crystal pieces. A collaboration with the venerable Viennese glass company, Lobmeyr, exploits the extraordinarily thin and delicate "Muslin" glass that they are famous for. The copper wheel engraving, hand painting and painstakingly cut pieces are a testament to their old word artisans. Muehling's latest collaboration is with the Vienna Silver Manufacturer (WSM) which includes a series of delicate hand raised vases and candlesticks.