My intention is to make beauty embraced by concept. I am a scavanger of nature. My central theme is one of
interpreting the natural world around me. Literally or metaphorically I use and reuse natures forms to build my
visions and intentions. One recurring theme is that of utilizing common objects and exalting them to precious
status. The primary vehicle is jewelry where I blend/combine/meld beach-stones and twigs in high karat gold. The
simply ordinary is elevated due to association with nature’s most coveted material.
I think and work in three dimensions. My brains are in my hands, and my vision and imagination is expressed through my fingertips. Rather than research through sketches and working out details in advance, I prefer to work directly with the materials. The important thing in my mind is not to say no, but to allow any absurdity to take place. To move fluidly from piece to piece with accumulated knowledge learned from the previous exploration. I want to allow this to expression to flow, so the ideas are not hampered by technique or self doubt.
Artistic and creative impulses cannot, should not be suppressed. A creative mind is a blender of ideas, each cross fertilizing the other, making hybrids, generations and illogical progressions from one idea to the next. I surrender myself to creative impulses. Typically I prefer simple over complex, formal over narrative and bold over tentative.
My sense of place, coming of age on an island in Maine, deeply informs my sensibilities. This immersion in natural beauty has baptized me and shows up all over the work of my hands and mind.
Shaw was inspired by the dramatic and sensual landforms in the American West which prompted him to declare a geology major in college. During these studies, a consistent interest in Art propelled him to the sculpture studio where he received a second degree in Art. Visiting the Alexander Calder retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1976, convinced him that a life of Art was his calling.
Shaw moves to Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1976 to live in the landscape he loved as a youth. He works in a local jewelry store and boatyards developing his skills. Makes a yearlong trek around the world, visiting remote and exotic nations. Visits all 50 states.
Enters Rhode Island School of Design as graduate student in Jewelry Light Metals under Louis Mueller, and Robin Quigley. Opens small gallery in Northeast Harbor after dissatisfaction with Craft Show circuit. Initial body of work is kinetic, linear and playful. In mid-80s, starts using natural beach stones. Also using fossils and gemstones with appreciation to geology days. Exhibits widely at galleries and museums. Has many professional affiliations in local and national communities.
Marries Jane Tawney, and produces two daughters, Hannah and Lucy.
Development of store/gallery. It is a venue for Shaw to present his own work, as well as that of his friends and peers. Hires jewelers to fulfill his designs. Gallery expands and becomes more successful. Gallery shows become more prestigious.
Shaw's jewelry becomes focused on landscape issues. Using natural unpolished beachstones to explore the nature of the land about us. Issues of precious and non precious become central in much of his work. There is much use of contrast and juxtaposition of seemingly opposite elements.
Shaw develops Twig Collection which replaces beachstones as primary jewelry grouping. Gallery hits its stride and is enlarged. Exhibitions of jewelry and painting become more adventuresome and theme based. Five full time jewelers in studio increase production and work is exhibited widely. Refinement of website. Development of Maharaja jewelry collection and website. Sam is divorced and spends winter in different cities.