Mark Needham grew up near Knoxville, TN, the son of a home-builder and the grandson of a mason who was also an iron worker and blacksmith. He has been around construction all his life and has learned from his elders how to build things – which he has continued to do since entrusted as a child with his first tools. Mark took every shop class available to him in school and has continued to learn by doing. Mark has a complete wood working shop in addition to his metal working shop.
With a degree in architecture from the University of TN, Knoxville, Mark came to KY in 1972 to join an architectural firm and work as a graphic designer and architect. This background has guided him towards jewelry designs that are simple, free of fussy ornamentation and feature unexpected interactions of forms and textures.
Mark admires Scandinavian and Japanese design and works in aircraft-grade aluminum, which is very resistant to oxidation or tarnishing, takes a variety of finishes, and is lightweight. No tarnishing means that he can design for settings without having to worry about how the piece will be cleaned. The lightness of aluminum allows him to make large pieces that are comfortable when worn.
Works by Mark Needham can be found at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, KY; Glassworks, Louisville, KY and Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.