Maine artist Stephan Mitman of the Silver Beehive Studio is best known for his unusual, cast, textured sterling silver ring forms. Mitman’s creative, sculpturally playful forms are designed to “Intensify the personality” of the wearer.
Mitman was an ‘artsy’ kid who loved blocks, Lego, clay, drawing, and art class in school. He received his BFA in Ceramics and Art Education from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan in 1989. As a senior he took his first metalsmithing class and was instantly hooked, having found his creative medium. “If MSU had a jewelry program, I would have changed my major immediately."
After graduation, Stephan and college sweetheart Christi were married and moved to Maine. For the past 29 years, he has been a K-12 public school art educator helping 1000’s of students discover and develop their creative potential.
Stephan continues to deepen his metals education with workshops, including those at the Haystack School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine, with artists such as J. Fred Woell, Tim McCreight, Joe Wood, Sharon Portelance and William Fiorini. Beginning in 2016, Mitman spent nearly 3 years in self-imposed studio isolation to create, experiment, elaborate and develop new ring forms and collections.
"Above all, I am most interested in the creative process, how to uncover, grow and develop new ideas. 'Quantity leads to quality' is my studio mantra, where, unlike many other metalsmiths who focus on creating refined, meticulously finished jewelry with amazing craftsmanship, I focus on cranking out LOTS of new ideas in silver, exploring new ideas, wondering ‘what if’, failing frequently and occasionally discovering something worth sharing, very few of my designs reach a ‘truly finished’ state!”
Mitman is inspired and influenced by the natural universe, in particular, the forest, mountains, coastline, insects, fossils, curves, holes, and cosmology. He is equally interested in the human-made universe, including the Art Deco and the Atomic Age design movements, as well as the works of Alexander Calder, Albert Paley, Piet Mondrian, David Hockney, the music of the B-52s and pop culture.
Created in 2016, the Silver Beehive Studio, located in Strong, Maine, is named after the ‘beehive hairdo’ as a tip-of-the-hat to Mitman’s favorite music group the B-52s. Here, he primarily works by fabricating with wax, texture and found objects to create cast sterling silver ring forms. His work ranges from one of a kind small sculpture to production collections which can be found on the Silver Beehive Studio website.