Kansas City, MO

“There is a joy in fabricating with metals. Solving technical challenges in order to create the look and vision I want keeps me constantly intrigued. My current work explores oxidized silver that has been surface drilled to create contrast, sometimes suggesting landscapes or night scenes. Texturing metal with various techniques is another process that can be playful while adding surface complexity.”

Susan enjoys fabricating uses many techniques such as hand saw piercing, roller embossing, hammer texturing, and surface drilling to suggest a night sky or landscape. Often the interior of the piece is layered to create dimension and contrast in metal color and finishes.
“My interpretation of plants and nature are also integrated into the work. Often patrons will comment on the peacefulness or ethereal quality of the pieces, characteristics I take comfort in.”
Husband and wife team Bill Ruth and Susan Mahlstedt founded R/M Studio in 1985. For more than 22 years their collaborative work received many awards for creativity and skill, and was shown in galleries and fine art and craft shows throughout the country. Since Bill’s death to cancer in 2006, Susan continues to craft their cooperative designs in limited quantities to honor their partnership. While making new works, she knows Bill’s spirit lives on. Susan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Both degrees are in jewelry and metalsmithing.
“My jewelry expresses the peaceful and ethereal qualities of nature. A small respite for the wearer in her