Ted Muehling was born in New Jersey, in 1953. An intimate observer of the natural world, Muehling has been inspired since childhood by plants, shells, reptiles, insects, birds and other treasures discovered during walks in the woods and along the seashore where he grew up. He studied design at Pratt Institute in New York, with mentors including 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. Collaboration with the iconic American company, Steuben Glass, has produced decorative objects, hand-cut lead crystal, and a line of barware. Muehling’s work with Viennese glass company, Lobmeyr, exploits the extraordinarily thin and delicate glass that they are famous for. The copper wheel engraving, hand painting and painstakingly cut pieces are a testament to their old world artisans. Muehling’s latest collaboration is with the Wiener Silber Manufactur, which includes a series of delicate hand raised vases and candlesticks.
Ted Muehling 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."