Maine Crafts Association announces the MCA 2018 Master Craft Artist Award Recipient: Patricia Daunis-Dunning, Master Jeweler and Craft Community Leader

The Maine Crafts Association (MCA), a statewide non-profit organization promoting the work of Maine’s craft artists, has named master jeweler and craft community leader Patricia Daunis-Dunning of Portland, Maine as a 2018 recipient of the MCA Master Craft Artist Award. Steve Cayard of Wellington, Maine and David Wolfe of Portland, Maine are also 2018 recipients.

Recipients are selected for demonstrating excellence in craftsmanship, inspired design, a singular voice or style, and a career of service to the field.

A Celebration, Awards Presentation and Reception for the 2018 Awardees will be announced at a later date.

In recognition of 10 years of the MCA Master Craft Artist Award, all recipients from 2009 through 2018 will be featured in an exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA in 2019. Exhibition dates are June 8-October 27, 2019 with a public opening reception on Sunday, June 9, 2019 from 2-5pm.

The 2018 MCA Master Craft Award nomination process began in late 2017 with submissions from past award recipients, members of the Maine Crafts Association, and the public. The 2018 recipient was selected by Andres Verzosa, an art advocate, collector, curator, and writer with a distinguished history of service to Maine artists and arts organizations.

Verzosa writes, “We have a lot to be proud of in the Maine arts community, the state is rich with master-level artists. From the long list of stellar nominees, I’ve selected three who are highly regarded by their peers, possess accomplished bodies of work, demonstrate long histories of working in their communities, and have achieved significant recognition in their field. Patricia Daunis-Dunning’s designs have been worn nationally for decades, and her studio is a place of growth for many up-and-coming jewelers. Steve Cayard was a catalyst in the renaissance of birch bark canoe-making with David Moses Bridges (deceased in 2017) and is included in the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial.  David Wolfe is a leader in the Portland printmaking community; his print house serves as hub and resource, and places Portland on a national scale map for printmaking.”


Esteemed jeweler Patricia Daunis-Dunning considers jewelry “site-specific sculpture”. A Maine native, she founded Daunis Studio with her husband William Dunning in Portland in the early 80s.  Over the years Daunis has employed and inspired many young artists and helped them to develop into confident crafts people. Nationally renowned in the field of jewelry and metalsmithing, Daunis-Dunning has been recognized with many awards, among them DeBeers’s Diamonds Today Award, World Gold Council’s Grand and First Prizes, the MJSA’ Custom Design of Distinction (1st and 2nd Prize),
and the Jewel Award from Jewelers of America. She has authored numerous articles for Jewelers Inc. Magazine, and has been featured in
Contemporary American Jewelry Design by Ettagale Blauer and Metalworking for Jewelry by Tim McCreight, 
among many other craft and industry publications.Her work has been shown regionally and nationally, including exhibitions at the Museum of Arts & Design (formerly American Craft Museum) and the Fuller Craft Museum. Daunis-Dunning has taught at Boston University and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Book artist and 2015 Master Craft Artist Award recipient Rebecca Goodale remarks, “I remember my own studio at the time was just a few doors down the hall from Patty’s in the State Theater Building (she has since relocated across the street). She has been determined to pursue a career in metals since her days as a student at RISD. It is something to admire, a crafts person who has found her way to excellence over a long career, and Patty is a terrific example of that. In addition to her countless awards and her contemporaries who hold her in high esteem, she has inspired many young jewelers over the years and helped them to develop into more capable and confident crafts people.”

In the tradition of the Master Craft Artist Award, Daunis-Dunning will teach at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle ME for MCA Workshop Weekend in May of 2020.