TOC introduction...

   ...a virtual gallery... highlights...

   ...marilyn's thoughts...

   ...thoughts about marilyn...

   ...links to others...

   ...2003 retrospective show...

   ...a guestbook...


M a r i l y n    D r u i n

Thoughts  about  Marilyn


From the Press....   From Fellow Artists...   From Her Family...      



From the Press....

THE NEW YORK TIMES: "...Ms. Druin employs an ancient technique called cloisonné.  Silver wires enclose each small area of color like outlines in a drawing.  Her beaded necklaces have the timeless opulence of crown jewels from an ancient realm.  Yet she has chosen humble motifs of nature: leaves and seed pods that seem to float in an autumn breeze..."

AMERICAN CRAFT MAGAZINE: "...The asymmetrical arrangement of the swatches of color and pattern, confined within the perfect circular format, elevates this piece (by Marilyn Druin) above simple decoration.  Like the collars of multiple layered kimonos, barely revealed at the neckline of a Japanese Empress, each slice of pattern has a rich multiplicity of color and design that makes the viewer want to see more of each. Restraint and containment in the design balance and at the same time set off the work's opulence..."

MID-ATLANTIC COUNTRY: "...The surface of one of enamel artist Marilyn Druin's cloisonné bowls consist of undulating bands of vivid cranberry, purple, and white, seemingly lit from within like an opal or fire agate.  Inside, the hammered silver bowl is glazed with clear glass to create an exquisite abalone-like surface, and its irregular rim is marked in 24-carat gold.  One can't imagine serving food out of this gemlike vessel; it is more like something found buried alongside ancient Chinese royalty..."

METALSMITH: "...Marilyn Druin's jewelry and goblets are more Medieval in presentation.  Deep reds, cobalt blues and heavy use of gold within ovoid shapes seem to convey almost magical properties.  One wants to wear her objects as talisman to ward away evil..."

AMERICAN STYLE: "...The colors in her work range from lavender to cobalt to ochre to crimson....The seasons play a part in choosing colors.  So do her travels.  She carries paper and pen with her to keep track of new ideas.  On a recent trip to New Mexico, Druin observed how her pieces looked against that landscape. 'I know the pinks and sandy colors I saw there will show up on my work sometime, ' she says."

LAPIDARY JOURNAL: "Of all the alchemy going on in the world of jewelry and metalsmithing, there is none quite so magical as that of the artist working with glass.  Here is a medium that almost defies the artist to succeed.  To truly master the medium of glass take agility, creativity, dexterity, vision, and as always, patience....These four artists are among a small group of brilliant jewelers working in this demanding medium.  Each has a different vision, a way of putting demands on the quality of the work....Druin puts more time into her work as the years go by. 'I just keep finding techniques that make it more time-consuming' But along with the demands comes new joys..."

PEARL EVOLUTION: "...Marilyn Druin combines Michael Good's metalworking with the traditional art of cloisonné and basse-taille enamelling.  High-quality glass is fused onto a silver or gold surface.  The coloured design was achieved by adding and melting various enamel components in miniature cells.  The fact that some pieces are fired up to fifty times bears testimony to the unparalleled care and attention that goes into every single work."


From Fellow Artists....

MARIAN SLEPIAN: "The professional enameling population worldwide is a tiny one.  When one of us is gone, we suffer a dreadful loss.  Such a loss was incurred on November 18, 2001 with the premature death of Marilyn Druin, a well known jewelry enamelist possessed of matchless talent and skill....Marilyn was a rarity, a big talent ever growing, and more alive than most anyone I know....(She) was the only person who shared my enameling life with me; who understood and felt as I did about our medium and our approach to it; losing her leaves an empty space that will never be filled."

SANDY KRAVITZ: "When we founded the Enamel Guild North East ten years ago Marilyn was our leader. She has always exemplified for me a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Nothing Great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.'  With her infectious enthusiasm and hard work she lead us to become the largest regional enamel guild in the USA, giving us all the opportunity to expand our horizons and have great fun along the way.  Marilyn’s enthusiasm and love for life certainly created greatness. We see this today in her wonderful glowing enamels and it is reflected in her family and friendships. We will miss her and hold dear her legacy."

BARBARA MINOR: "...(Marilyn and I) shared so much together that is unique to our friendship and that I will passionately miss-- movies and junkfood after a long craftshow; the trials of setting up, taking down, designing and packing 'the booth'; long walks on the wonderful beach near the home she and Mel created together; hours on the phone sharing and solving things of mutual concern; attention to detail; enthusiasm for growth towards something better in life, art, craft; informing others about enameling; and knowing that we were both terribly loved by the other as a fellow-enamelist and valued friend.

MICHAEL GOOD: "Considering that we came from such different disciplines, we found our connection remarkable.  Marilyn's focus as an enamelist was in color and light.  Mine, as a metalsmith is on movement and form.  Like yin and yang we knew we were two parts of a whole...For four years we worked steadily to create a stream of pieces.  Snapshots of a deepening conceptual vision.  Despite the fact we lived 500 miles apart, had full-time businesses, saw each other only occasionally, and talked often only briefly, our bond was solid.  We were in a timeless place where words were irrelevant and boundary non-existent...For me, and I am sure for all those who knew her, Marilyn's light continues to shine brightly in her art, her family, and our hearts."

HARLAN W. BUTT: "Human history has been punctuated by contributions of artists: Michelangelo's David, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Emily Dickenson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Georgia O'Keefe's  Black Iris, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.  Is it going too far to add Marilyn Druin's name to this list?  Each of these individuals during their lifetimes was among the very best in their chosen field of artistic endeavor.  I would say no less of Marilyn.  In a 1998 review in American Craft I chose seven 'treasures' from an exhibition of 127 objects which I felt exemplified the finest work being done in contemporary enameling.  One of those pieces was Marilyn's Byzantium, an enameled pendant with chain...Since that time I was privileged to see a number of other works by Marilyn, including her pieces in the first International Indian Enamel Exhibition...The care and skill, the attention to detail and sensitivity to color, form, and pattern could only be described as exquisite.  It was a thrill comparable to the handling of a Faberge or a Lalique."

JEAN TUDOR: "...Marilyn showed me a world of amazingly rich color and texture, something for which to strive.  We may not have Marilyn, the flesh and blood person, but Marilyn the colorist, the artist, and the friend is still here and will be as long as the work lasts.  And that is a wonderful thought: people in the future will marvel over the color, design and texture as we do..."

LOIS GREBE: "...I remember the first workshop I attended at the Newark Museum.  It was led by Bill Harper and I was intimidated by being in such company and by the naive quality of my work.  I happened to sit next to Marilyn and she made me feel at home.  We talked about our lives, our children, and our work.  By the end of the day, I was invited to come to a board meeting and as they say--the rest is history."

JANET ZAPATA: "Every once in a while you meet someone whom you know right away is special.  Such was the case when I first met Marilyn Druin several years ago... As I gained exposure to her work, I became increasingly impressed with its  quality and the effort she put into it, not only in actual execution but also in the research she drew upon for inspiration.  I remember a very enlightening discussion of the impact that the Byzantine art exhibition at the Met had on her work...She touched my life with her goodness as I know she touched others...She will be missed by many..."

MARY Chuduk: "I remember the first time I met Marilyn Druin.  It was the first conference I had gone to in Cincinnati in 1989.  I didn’t know anyone and I was positive that no one knew me.  Marilyn approached me, staring at my nametag.  She introduced herself and Marian Slepian and told me how she had admired my work in Laval, Quebec, which was the first show I had gotten into out of the country.  She and Mel immediately adopted me as a friend and thus began my affiliation with the Druin clan...My fondest memories were of the hours in Marilyn’s car, commuting in and out of the city while I was teaching workshops, sharing ourselves and our histories.  Mar and I would talk art and family and artists and friends and dreams and goals.  And always enamel…Marilyn thought enamel was the most glorious, demanding medium, unequalled to any other..."

GERALDINE VELASQUEZ: "...(Marilyn) reached and stretched her work just as she reached out to other craftspeople through teaching and sharing and collaborating.  Her shapes changed, her colors changed, her range of technique changed.  But Marilyn stayed the same...Being led around the International Enamel Guild Conference in Hampton, Virginia in 1995 by Marilyn was to see enamel work through the visual mind.  She educated me to the varieties of techniques, the regional and national differences, the distinction between outstanding and adequate forms and colors.  She made it fun and her interest in the other artists made me an advocate for enamel from that time forward..."


Beloved friend
Beautiful person
Consummate artist
Inspiring colleague
Trusted confidant
Irreplaceable being
How I shall miss you!"


From Her Family...

MELVIN DRUIN: "Marilyn and I were married 39 wonderful years and we were life partners who were truly blessed.  We were brought great joy by our beautiful and loving daughters, Allison, Erica, and Lauren, our three granddaughters and our shared career experiences.  Marilyn loved the art of enameling and never stopped expanding and developing her skills to higher levels.  The changes and growth in her enameling, jewelry, and metal work over the past 10 years were dramatic.  Her recent collaboration with Michael Good was inspirational.  She truly believed her success as an enamelist was greatly influenced by many important people.  She found unending support and encouragement through the dear and lasting friendships she made during her many active years in the Enamelist Society, the Northeast Enamel Guild (NE/EG), and while teaching in the Newark Museum....I will miss this happy, beautiful, sensitive and loving woman who always looked for the bright rainbow in life that always came after a storm..."

ALLISON DRUIN: "As I sit here in my mother's studio, the workbenches are filled with scrap mettle, tweezers, raw enamel, pictures, shells, and memories.  On the walls I am surrounded with blue and purple award ribbons, sketches of future designs, thank you cards, notes and business cards.  Everywhere I turn reminds me how much I miss my mother.  My eye is drawn to one poster on the wall.  Something I made for my mother when I was in high school, 20 years ago.  It contains the words of Shel Silverstien: 'Draw a crazy picture. Write a nutty poem. Sing a mumble-gumble song. Whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance 'cross the kitchen floor.  Put something silly in the world, that 'aint been there before!'..."

ERICA DRUIN: "I am blessed to have received so many priceless gifts from my mother.  Through her I learned the true meanings of love and friendship, the ability to see beauty in the everyday, a sense of humor and adventure, and of course a love of enamels.  My mother meant so much to so many people.  I find it impossible to put into words all that she meant to me.  Suffice to say... I love you my friend and you will always be with me."

LAUREN DRUIN GRIFFIN: "My mother gave me a gift.  She gave me life and an enthusiasm to live.  She taught me, and was my friend.  She told me that we all have our own special talents.  She made me feel that I was the most important person in the world to her.  My mother gave me the most precious gift of all.  She always gave me her love."

KAREN MAGENTA: "We were 8 years old together and we were sixty years old together and all in-betweens.  We met at a new school in the fourth grade.  We went to girl scouts.  We were teenagers, brides, mothers, and grandmothers.  We shared pride in each other's professional achievements.  We went to pro-wrestling at the Paterson Armory.  We went to Rodeo's and ice shows.  We planned dances and played volleyball.  We swam in wool suits.  Sat in the steam room with old ladies draped in towels.  We married our true loves and shared our children.  We had parties and holidays.  Laughed and gossiped.  Loved each other unconditionally..."

CAROLE UNGER: "Marilyn always wanted to share her home with friends and family.  You always felt her love and everyone loved her.  As a family we shared Thanksgiving, New Year's and summers at 'Club Druin'....Marilyn loved being with her daughters and talking on the phone to them and seeing her granddaughters.  Her eyes lit up when she saw any of them.  And no one could have loved their mother more than Allison, Erica, and Lauren..."

ARLENE MAZZUCA: "I never met a person more loved in all my life than Marilyn.  She had a talent for art but also a talent for taking care of people.  I will always miss her..."


"Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on golden grain, I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awake in morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in flight.
I am soft stars that shine at night.
So do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.  I did not die."