Hi there! We're Deirdre McGrath and Aaron Margolis, the duo behind Rusted Pulchritude. Our studio is situated in a renovated horse barn in Ellsworth, Maine, and all of our wares are created from salvaged trees sourced from our local woods.
We carve and craft our spoons, bowls, sculptures, and other wares by hand from wood that is green, or freshly-cut. 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, 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
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-Sept 2018 "Lost Art of Handiwork" Museum L-A · Lewiston, ME
· July 2018 "Construction/Deconstruction" The Harlow · Hallowell, ME
· July 2020 · Interview with Daniel Marcou of Wooden Spoon Carving
· May/June 2020 · Creative Maine
· March 2020 · The Republican Journal · Belfast, ME
· Dec 2018 · New England Makers: Rusted Pulchritude · t.e.l.l. New England
· Jan 2018 · The Ellsworth American
Giving Back: Where do we donate?
Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine
Artsworth - Community arts organization in Ellsworth, ME
Surry Children's Backpack Program - Food Insecurity in Surry, ME
Families First Community Center - Homelessness in Ellsworth, ME
Have a donation request? Reach out to us: