Hi there! We're Deirdre McGrath and Aaron Margolis, the duo behind Rusted Pulchritude. We live and work in Downeast Maine in our restored barn studio.
We carve and craft our spoons, bowls, sculptures, and other wares by hand from local freshly-cut wood. We thoroughly enjoy exploring and experimenting with bygone production techniques in our work, and pass along that curiosity to others by teaching handtool-oriented woodcarving classes throughout Maine, from multi-day intensives to one-time workshops to instill creativity at local community organizations.
Our inspiration comes from the natural beauty of Maine, European and American folk and outsider art, the Swedish slöjd educational craft tradition (and the skills it promotes), and the Japanese concept of wabi sabi: finding beauty in the imperfection of the materials with which we work, and in our own abilities as the creators of these objects.
Our mindset comes from the intense man-made environment of New York, where we were both raised. We are self-taught craftspeople with an artistic bent, and were both shaped by the ethos and drive of the diy punk scene of NYC.
When not creating with wood, we can be found selling our wares at fine craft shows from Maine to New York and experimenting with other natural materials, including metal handtools and wild clay. When we're really not working, we can be seen hiking the trails and beaches of Acadia with our rescued pitbull, Bella.
Fellowships and Grants
In 2020, Aaron was selected as a recipient of the Maine Artist Fellowship Award provided by the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
June 14 - September 15, 2018 · "Lost Art of Handiwork" Museum L-A · Lewiston, ME
July 6 - 28, 2018 ·"Construction/Deconstruction", Member Show at The Harlow · Hallowell, ME
May/June 2020 · Zest Maine
March 2020 · The Republican Journal · Belfast, ME
December 2018 · New England Makers: Rusted Pulchritude · t.e.l.l. New England
January 2018 · The Ellsworth American
Handmade in the Woods of Downeast Maine