Artists & Designers

Ted Muehling (b. 1953)

Ted Muehling graduated with a degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute, where he was mentored by Gerald Gulotta (who had been a finalist in the international competition for flatware and whose submission was exhibited in the associated Designed for Silver exhibition in 1960). Muehling, neverthless, found his métier in jewelry design, although he did acknowledge Gulotta's influence on his work. In the mid- to late 1980s, Muehling began making objects for his own use and as gifts for friends, experiments that led to the very limited production of silver pieces for the table. The shapes were restrained and abstract while still capturing the essential grace of a shell, a branch, or a stone, all natural forms that Muehling recalled from summers spent on the beach in Nantucket when he was a child and later explored further in making jewelry. Dishes in the shape of a shell, a spoon with a twig handle, another with a petal-shaped bowl, a twisted fork, and a cream pitcher, all subtly modeled and exquisitely proportioned and balanced without any extraneous detail, are typical of his tableware. In the early 1990s, descriptions of these objects began appearing in articles in the New York Times Magazine, House and Garden, Harper's Bazaar, and other publications. Muehling's table accessories were sold primarily in his own shop in New York City, in art galleries in the United States and abroad, and, like Dweck's Home Collection, in Bergdorf Goodman. For his evanescent sterling Queen Ann's Lace tea strainer designed in 1999, Muehling used a computer to create a template for etching the intricate patterning. Muehling's works merge his experience of industrial design, craft, nature, fashion, and technology.

Adapted from

  • Jewel Stern, Charles Veneble and Kevin Tucker, ed. Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design. (New Haven: Yale University Press. 2005), 307.

Web Resources

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
See pictures of Ted Muehling leading museum members through his studio.