Thomas Markusen

The unique work of Thomas Markusen has a timeless appeal. The coarse, fiery grandeur of his hammered copper pieces evokes images of historical metalwork, yet he utilizes distinctly American materials and contemporary forms.

Artist: Thomas Markusen

From: New York

Medium: Copper and metal

Pieces: Wall sculpture, candle holders, vases, mirrors, wall plates

As one of the premier fine craft artists in the United States, Thomas Markusen is dedicated to the excellence and growth of American metalsmithing. During the past three decades, he has established himself using copper, brass, bronze and silver in a variety of forms and concepts. The various colors observed in his work are achieved by the application of patinas, acid based solutions which change the surface of the copper, as well as by the application of heat in varying duration and intensity.

The unique work of Thomas Markusen has a timeless appeal. The coarse, fiery grandeur of his hammered copper pieces evokes images of historical metalwork, yet he utilizes distinctly American materials and contemporary forms. He creates his candleholders and vases from seamless copper tubing, a post World War II material that was refined in the United States, and which is manufactured here in numerous sizes.

Markusen was commissioned to create a set of raspberry patina candleholders for The White House Collection of Contemporary Crafts. He also has pieces in the Vatican Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City, Wustum Museum in Racine, WI and many private collections.

The various patterned incisions, which can be seen throughout Markusen’s 700 Series, are created using a tool called a plasma cutter. A plasma cutter is a type of cutting torch which employs an electrically neutral, highly ionized gas, composed of ions, electrons, and neutral particles, allowing the artist to cut very fine designs in the metal.

A dawning appreciation of craft as a valuable art form, and as an aesthetic and cultural expression, has been especially pertinent in the United States where enterprising artisans like Thomas Markusen have revolutionized the Contemporary American Fine Craft/Art Movement.

His large wall collages, furniture, and architectural work continue to give collectors the opportunity to select dramatic, vibrant, and metallic focus points for their home or office. The metal works of Thomas Markusen are available from a Scottsdale art gallery – The Marshall Gallery of Fine Art.

  • Art/Objects USA Nordness Gallery & Johnson Wax Foundation
  • Lannan Foundation Lannan Art Museum, Palm Beach, Florida
  • Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York City
  • Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
  • First Universalist Church, Syracuse, New York
  • SUNY College at Brockport, Brockport, New York
  • Newman Center, Brockport, New York
  • Niagara University Chapel, Niagara Falls, New York
  • American Red Cross, Rochester, New York
  • The White House Craft Collection, Washington, D.C.
  • Summit at Brighton, Rochester, New York
  • Youville Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Private collections of David Rockefeller, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estevan and Wesley Snipes

Photo by Brendan Moore for Phoenix Home and Garden