Since 1976 Ted Muehling has been designing jewelry and decorative objects inspired by organic forms found in nature. With the help of a small staff in his New York City studio, he produces multiples as well as one-of-a-kind pieces using such materials as precious and semiprecious metals and stones, pearls, plastic and wood. An intimate observer of the natural world, Muehling has been inspired since childhood by plants, shells, retiles, insects, birds and other treasures discovered during walks in the woods and along the seashore where he grew up. He has described his work as an ongoing effort to experience the familiar anew, "to see an egg, a leaf or a shell as if for the first time."
Muehling was born in New Jersey, in 1953. He studied design at Pratt Institute in New York, where mentors included Gerald Bulotta, Rowena Reed and William Fogler - designers who encouraged an appreciation of form, proportion, and pure beauty, and who advocated the power of design to enhance everyday life.
Throughout the late 1970's and 1980's, Muehling has attracted attention for jewelry that refined such natural elements as rice grains, olive branches, pinecones, and insect wings. His eye and intuition gradually led him to expand his repertoire of iconic forms and create spoons, lighting, and other decorative and functional objects.
In 1990, Muehling opened his first shop on the edge of Soho in Manhattan. His unique presentation encouraged potential partners for design projects of increased ambition and scale. Muehling's collaboration with Porzellan-Manufaktur Nymphenburg in Germany, for example, has resulted in a broad range of functional production objects in porcelain.
An ongoing ten-year dialogue between Muehling and E.R. Butler & Co. has produced an elegant production line of candlestick and hardware in bronze, silver, porcelain and glass. Steuben produced decorative objects, some of them hand cut from massive pieces of blown lead crystal, and a line of barware. In his most recent collaboration, with Lobmeyr Glass, Ted has created a new line of glassware that exploits the engraving and hand painting skills of this venerable Viennese glassmaker.