Besides collecting and providing hundreds of vintage or antique treasures for hundreds of happy clients these 30+ years...
I retired as an RN at a young age to pursue creativity and to open my first shop.
Unfortunately there is not a sexy list of BFAs and MFAs earned, nor a litany of master smiths under whom I have studied, as I am completely self taught. Not by choice but by circumstances that have foisted a more reclusive way of life upon me, more so after closing my third and last store in 1999. Fortunately for me a love of art has been with me since childhood.
My creative interests have always been so numerous, pushing me to experiment and to see "if I can do it by myself" with minimal tools, resulting in a few decades of trials and errors to achieve the look that pleases me. Running one's store 60 - 70 hours a week, left no time for art lessons. The creative output occurs in a vacuum with only the collecting patron providing the feedback.
Current trends are of little interest to me preferring usually the quirky and odd look. That many, many patrons have shared my affection for my pieces is the ever coveted icing on the cake.
I have absolutely no desire to produce shiny, commercial jewelry store looking work, instead preferring to create naive looking yet more soundly sculptural pieces. My jewelry may appear naive yet be a well constructed heirloom.
Paintings: my wish is to provide archival painted work often void of the usual academic rules, except for the most important one: the "fat over lean" rule is seriously obeyed here! Much fun is often had with proportion and perspective.
My paintings, were it not for the fact that they are portraits or of places I have visited, would probably not be titled. Pieces that have been or may be entered in art show exhibits are titled to facilitate the jurying and program process. Currently there are over 100 oils that have never been made available for viewing.
By the same token, my metalwork jewelry is not named. For others it is so cute, but for me it would be the silliest thing that I could do!
You may not find me describing the meaning of my metal work, because that too could be tedious. Of course once the piece is acquired, when asked by the collector, what fun to share my possible inspirations and we can name the piece together.
The pieces may develop as a result of the journey that my passion, my heart and my hands take or just because that is what is.
Regarding my paintings: there may be hints, questions, hidden symbols or even possible inspirations. Thank you in advance for allowing me my musings...
My wish is that if you enjoy collecting my works only half as much as I enjoyed creating them, then I am indeed blessed!
PS:You will Not find me on any social sites. The only authorized sites are www.mimideeartwear.com; mimideeoriginals.com; Trocadero.com; modernsilver.com; chicagosilver.com, & readingart.org. That is it! Any other info found elsewhere is incorrect, unauthorized and out of date.
Most pieces be they pendants, bracelets, pins, rings, etc. are hand fabricated, in a private USA studio, from beginning to end from ONE piece of precious metal without cutting or soldering. Almost like making a sketch without lifting your pencil.
Also find signed 14K or 18K Gold, 99.9% fine silver, occassionally with high standard14K heavy clad goldfilled and even less frequently hand hammered copper, also at very fair competitive prices.
To create these pieces completely by hand , just as primitive jewelry was made centuries ago, without the use of modern tools. In fact, just like the Arts & Crafts period jewelry makers of 100 years ago disdained the use of modern tools, none are used here. Look for tiny tool marks capriciously left behind as a testament to the proud wearer and serious studio jewelry collector that one pair of hands, not machines, made this very special, collectible piece!
Search for this Maker's Mark: HANDMADE MIMI DEE
STERLING on the studio pieces, more recently
.999FS (purest silver) and the HANDCRAFTED
IN USA MIMI DEE STERLING tag on the other usually
handknotted jewelry, which is sure to make your pieces quite
collectible, as a book is in the plans of this artist's
CLOTHING: Now less frequently
and for established apparel clients only:
To create artful jackets that never go out of style, that
'forgive' the wearer when weight is gained, and that
are un-lined so that they may be worn 10 months a year.
To create them with natural fiber such as silk, linen,
cotton, tencel, etc., using designer fabrics, such as
Lauren, Ungaro, Buchman, Tracey, to name a few.
To create these wearable art pieces with pre-washed
designer fabric, that can be hand-laundered or
dry-cleaned. To create & embellish these happy pieces
using 100 year old buttons or to handpaint them using
...lastly, as each piece is made, to 'send'
good intentions to the wearer:
Mimi, an American, signed
sterling silver studio metalwork jewelry
artist, art to wear apparel artist, and painter is
completely self-taught. A "Southcentraler",
she retired as an RN at a young age to pursue
her creative dreams. While living out West,
she (born, remains a girl) met & fell in love with her
"New Englander" husband (born, remains a boy).
They married here and still live in New
Miss Dee operated her third and final store/gallery/studio for several years until 1999. The philosophy always being to create one-of-a-kind, signed pieces and give the best, courteous customer service one can give. It was not uncommon to spend 3-4 hours with one client, seeing most on an appointment only basis to provide this "Southern Style" service complemented with snacks, beverages and fine chocolates.
A psychologist use to come in to the store between patients for some "retail therapy". More recently, sadly, while viewing a December 2012 tragic event on TV, the superintendent of schools being interviewed is none other than a client who in 1996 visited, collected and commissioned work from the once open Mimi Dee Artwear studio store.
On one occasion, a suitcase was packed full of newly commissioned art to wear apparel for a busy Reading, MA physician, who was on her way to Logan airport (6AM) to show at a televised dog show. This physician had commissioned this multi faceted artist to create a large suitcase full of wearable art apparel. One plastic surgeon wears Ms. Dee's artful jackets to her busy office. Why not, aren't they as comfortable as lab coats, but far more stylish?
A couple of attorneys wear this
artist's signed jewelry to the office & court, although
the ornate clothing not to litigate in! A well
known Boston sports writer wears MIMI DEE
ORIGINAL fiber art apparel when she appears
on T V while covering the Boston Red Sox and New
England Patriots. One client who had been ill,
"threw" on her Mimi Dee hand-painted denim duster for
her Dr.'s visit only to be
told, 'you look fabulous!'...even "curb delivery
service" was provided for wheel
chair bound clients.
Alas... This brick & mortar business no longer exists, but signed pieces continue to be created for the many clients, who reside in three continents. The sounds of their happy shopping voices are sadly missed. Current and commissioned work is available to interested select galleries and for this internet business of www.mimideeartwear.com. Keeping in touch by 'real' mail with many established clients and art patron jewelry collectors who continue to support and collect this work is a continued practice.
Ms Dee still creates and finishes all the work alone in this USA studio (not open to the public) and has never out sourced.