Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1991 Maria Hanson has been continuously involved within the subject of Silversmithing and Jewellery both as an Academic and as a Designer/maker. She has also been involved with many external organisations during this time and was an executive committee member of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery from the inauguration in 1997 until 2001.She became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and the City of London in June 2006 and Freeman of the Company of Cutlers’ in Hallamshire in August 2007.
Recent commissions include an 18ct Gold and Lapis Lazuli necklace for the Goldsmiths’ Company Modern Collection; and the 2007 Sheffield Assay Office, Millennium Punch cup, presented to the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield during the inaugural Galvanize festival in November 2007.
She began teaching in 1994 initially as a regular visiting lecturer at Loughborough College of Art and Design and as a half time member of staff at Liverpool Hope University College. In 1997 she joined the team of staff at the University of Central England’s School of Jewellery in Birmingham, initially as a Senior Lecturer and then as Course Director for the Bachelor of Arts programme. She took up her current post as Research Reader at Sheffield Hallam University in July 2003, where she is also subject tutor for MA students in Metalwork and Jewellery.
She is currently a member of Sheffield’s Galvanize festival committee, is a mentor for the Starter studio scheme for silversmiths at the Yorkshire Artspace Society and has been an advisor to Arts Council Yorkshire. She has co-ordinated a number of external projects between companies in South Yorkshire and Sheffield Hallam University including the recent commission for the new permanent St Leger Classic horse racing trophy for Doncaster racecourse.
She believes that continued participation in relevant internal and external academic and professional networks and organisations is essential in order to focus and define the relationships and developments between academic research, practice and industry.
She established her first studio workshop in 1991 at the South Bank Craft Centre in London designing and making collections of batch production jewellery alongside one-off and limited edition pieces for exhibition and commission. In 1995 she relocated to Sheffield where she currently lives and work.
She has participated in many national and international exhibitions, which include 6 solo shows. Her current work crosses between contemporary studio jewellery and small scale domestic and ceremonial objects. She was short-listed for the Jerwood Applied Arts prize for Jewellery in 2000 and recent exhibition have included ‘Objects and Ritual’ at the Harley Gallery, ‘Collect’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum; and ‘Hanging in Balance’, an exhibition that toured the USA.
Maria’s work can be seen in a number of public collections, including the Crafts Council, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the National Museums of Scotland, the Goldsmiths’ Company and the Sheffield Millennium Gallery.