P e t e r   M a c c h i a r i n i   S p e a k s  :   A u t o b i o g r a p h y

e a r l y   y e a r s

I was born to Italian parents on the Wohler Ranch, a hopyard and vineyard spread on the Russian River near Santa  Rosa, Sonoma County on August 27, 1909. I attended grammar school and high schools in Sonoma County until the age of fourteen at which time my parents returned to Italy. There I took preliminary courses in the Italian language and having decided on an artistic career, took the entry examinations for the Art Academy Pietrasanta, Province of Lucca, and was accepted. At the Academy I received basic training in marble carving, clay modeling, architectural drawings and general sciences.

Peter Macchiarini
early pendant


Peter Macchiarini
female sculpture 

1 9 3 0 S

wood and ivory dot ring

In 1928 I returned to the United States and was gainfully employed as a stone carver with several San Francisco Bay area firms. I continued my art studies in San Francisco at the California School of Fine Arts, taking night courses. In 1936, I worked on projects  under Beniamino Bufano and Ralph Stackpole.

Peter Macchiarini
mask sculpture

Macchiarini satellite pin

w a r   y e a r s

cubist guitar pin

Samurai pin

I first made jewelry in 1936 and ventured into the avant-garde aspects before World War II. I was not able to open my own business and devote my full time to making original contemporary jewelry until the end of the war. Since I was one of the first in the field of avant-garde jewelry at that time, in addition to doing the creative work it was necessary for me to put forth an extraordinary effort to build up a selective and discriminating clientele. It has been gratifying to me that my work and position with respect to creative design have consistently gained favor with the public as well as with museums and other art institutions. This has enabled me to maintain myself and my family by devoting all of my time to creative work.


modern pin

guitar pendant

I helped organize and took part in the first San Francisco outdoor Art Festivals in Hotaling Place and the Ferry Building in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Because of its nature, the Art Festival fills a need for both artist and the public that the more structured form of the museum cannot encompass.Therefore I was also active on the committee in 1946 which secured city sponsorship of the San Francisco Art Festival and have taken part in every one during its existence. Over the years I have won more awards in the Art Festival than any other individual artist. I also helped organize the Berkely outdoor show and took part in the first Sausalito festival. I was on the committee that organized the Upper Grant Avenue Street Fair, the first merchant sponsored art fair in the Bay area, and have directed it many times.


Daniel Macchiarini
opal and brass pin

Although my current creative work and projects have prevented me from engaging in the teaching profession,  I gained teaching experience by holding classes in my shop in the late 1940's. During the 1952 and 1955 six week summer sessions at Mills College, Oakland, California, I was an instructor in jewelry and metal sculpture. In 1953 I conducted a jewelry course in Lafayette, California.

Daniel Macchiarini
three cuff bracelets

l a t e r   y e a r s

abstract plaque

I have lectured extensively throughout the Bay area on jewelry and metal work for various museums, private organizations, radio and television. My sculpture and jewelry are represented in the permanent collections of the State of California, the Oakland Museum and the City and County of San Francisco, the Walter Benisek Gallery, the Montreal Museum, the Metal Arts Guild (of which I was one of the original organizers), and many private collections.

Daniel Macchiarini
opal, wood, and agate pin

"Peter Macchiarini's work is currently on exhibit in the Montreal Decorative Art Museum's "Messengers
of Modernism" traveling exhibit, alongside the work of Margaret de Patta, Sam Kramer, Art Smith,
Harry Bertoia and Alexander Calder.

Macchiarini terazzo floor design

For the building at 1422-24 Second Street, Santa Monica, California, Peter Macchiarini created designs for the two terrazzo circles at the two entrances using his "Dot Matrix design concept". Macchiarini explains: "The size of the dots in the design field create depth and spatial relationships. In actuality all the dots are the same size but are at different distances from the viewer's eyes. This is the same as star-gazing where a certain 'bright' star may look closer but in actuality a 'smaller' less bright one might be the same size but further away. The designs I have made where lines are integrated into the dots create a more unified entity within a given design field. Historically, I first created this concept in 1955 and I have integrated it into various ring, sculpture, pendant and bracelet designs since then. I am glad that it is now possible that it will be integrated into an architectural building design."

Macchiarini terazzo floor designs

Peter Macchiarini in 1999 on upper Grant Ave.

San Francisco

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