Architecture inspires Marie-Pierre Pulcini, whose gift is building. Her one-of-a-kind creations are intricate necklaces, earrings and her favorite — innovative rings that are a bit on the wild side.
“Stones are a secondary element for me,” says Marie-Pierre, who everyone knows as MP, speaking in a delightful French accent. “If you ask many jewelers, they say the stone is going to make the piece or the stone is the piece. I’m just the opposite. My pieces are more about the metal.”
Shapes fascinate MP and you’ll find them in every size in her home studio space in the Catskills she shares with her three kitties, Mookie, Claudine and Emile, who double as models on occasion. She solders together handcrafted shapes similar to the way an artist applies paint.
Both parents influenced MP’s creative process. Her mother was an artist the miniature portraits on many of the pieces in the Limoges Porcelain France collection.
Her father was a scientist. “Basically, you would enter our house at any time of the day or season and there would be thousands of pieces of metal or engineering things that my father would try to put together,” she says. “I would love sitting next to him and we would sit at a table and put things together all day.”
Born in Paris, MP attended Boston University, falling in love with the city while majoring in classical piano with a minor in painting. After graduation, she worked as a graphic designer and art director in addition to doing set and costume designs for the Albany Berkshire Ballet.
“I actually did one ballet for Bill T. Jones,” she said, referring to the renowned choreographer.
MP later transitioned to large scale oil paintings and exhibited in Manhattan over a six-year period, though she was forever on the hunt for studio space that was sizable and affordable enough to continue. At the same time, she enjoyed carving, and as a resident of the West Side of Midtown Manhattan, she would immerse herself in the designs found throughout the Diamond District.
“I’m self-taught in the field of metalsmithing,” she says. “I would meet people and they would teach me to do certain things if I ever wanted to become a jeweler.
That’s how she mastered “the lost wax process” or casting a single metal object from a wax model. Doing so altered her focus to smaller pieces that did not require the vast studio space she struggled to find for the large scale paintings. “I would carve the wax to make a multitude of shapes,” MP says. “I enjoy making all kinds of different styles.”
She takes those shapes and puts them together with an eye on precision and beauty.
“I have thousands of shapes that I’ve built over many, many years,” she says. “I create unique pieces from all those shapes. I usually start with the shape. I’m not a jeweler. I’m more of an expressionist through metal.”
While MP expresses her feelings and moods through her art, she continues to be inspired by architecture, particularly the work of Zaha Hadid, a transformative figure who favored aggressive geometric design and movement.
MP started her own Marie-Pierre Collection and exhibited at several wholesale shows for a decade. When she married her husband, Emmanuel, he took over the operations of the business so she can devote her time to the art. They were close to opening a retail store on Sullivan Street in Manhattan, set to sign a lease on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
“We were on 44th Street and as we were signing, 9/11 was happening,” she says. “We were very close to where it happened.”
The tragedy changed those plans, but since the fall of 2020, they have operated a retail space in the Hudson Valley, MP Art Jewelry & Objects.
MP began exhibiting at the Rose Squared Art Shows in 2022 and adores them. Plan to visit her booth at Anderson Park, Sept. 23-24 and Brookdale Park, Oct. 21-22.