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Marcia Macdonald, 1958-2010

We are very sad to report the death of our friend Marcia Macdonald, who passed away on July 21 after a long struggle with cancer. Our thoughts go out to her friends, family, and her husband Steve. Marcia was wonderful jeweler, a superb teacher, and a brilliant human being. She was smart, funny, beautiful, talented, hard-working, generous, and full of life. It’s almost impossible to believe that she is gone.

Penland’s program director Dana Moore, who was in close contact with Marcia during the last year, said, “So many of us have lost so much this week with Marcia’s passing. Nobody could have loved life more or have instilled more passion in students, colleagues, and friends. The pain of her loss is matched only by our gratitude for having known her.”

Chicken brooch by Marcia Macdonald
"Fat Old Chicken" a brooch by Marcia Macdonald

Marcia taught regularly at Penland beginning in 1993. She also taught at Arrowmont and Haystack. Her work appeared in many publications and exhibitions and received numerous awards. She was a former board member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

In addition to her work as a jeweler, during the last year of her life she managed the sales gallery at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art in Greensboro. Laura Way, who is Green Hill’s director, sent us this note about Marcia. “Her short time working with us here, bringing her great vision AND organizational skills to our shop, was a special time for all of us—getting to know and love her—her honesty, creativity, intelligence, generosity and sense of humor. Every day she was here, she made it a special day.”


Necklace by Marcia Macdonald

Marcia donated this piece to this summer’s Penland benefit auction. It’s a bit of a departure from her earlier work, and it came with this note: “The past year has presented me with some serious health issues. This has affected me on so many levels, how could it not also affect my work? Cherishing every moment, trying not to sweat the small stuff, simplifying my life, and doing exactly what I need and want to be doing at any given time are my current goals. This piece represents structure, strength, cell growth, and a shiny little window of hope.”


"Necklace for Marcia" click to see it bigger

In November, the metals community came together to create a necklace for Marcia that brought together elements made by more than fifty artists. Although it is magnificent, it is only a token of the love and affection that she inspired.

The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) has set up a memorial page on their website, which includes a series of tributes from her friends. And here’s a link to Marcia’s obituary in the Greensboro paper.


Goodbye, Marcia, we will miss you.

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