Denise Barr

Denise Barr & Richard Marquis


1973 Summer Scholarship, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA 
1977 BA, Fine Arts in Design, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA


" I have been involved in the process of making jewelry for over thirty years, originally working and teaching in Los Angeles, then moving to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990’s.  I currently live on a five acre parcel in the woods, on Whidbey Island in the Salish Sea, where I have a small home, a large studio, and a lush vegetable garden. 

I have always used found objects in my jewelry. I believe they help tell a story.  These objects remind us of our own memories and shared experiences. When I bezel a found treasure, it becomes more precious and it can hold it’s own next to any gemstone.

My 2017 work has incorporated murrine glass pieces made by Richard Marquis. Richard is a renowned glass artist who was one of the first Americans allowed to work in the Venini Factory on Murano, Italy in the 1970’s.

I met Richard Marquis several years ago and we found we have a lot in common. I appreciate the playfulness he has around his artistic vision. I share his obsession with collecting Americana and found objects. The juxtaposition and use of these objects in his work, I find brilliant.  Oddly enough, our collections overlap. For example, we trade bottle caps, small Japanese screen-printed tin cars, old dice, vintage pins, etc.

When Richard saw my jewelry, he suggested the possibility of including some of his murrine into the mix.  The intricate work that goes into one of his murrina is astounding to me. They are truly special handmade little jewels. I am honored to be given the opportunity to include Richard’s murrine in my jewelry"