A self-directed passion for silver-smithing and ancient metalworking techniques led Shelley Ping Ashfield to combine studies in engineering and art. At NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, this included bronze casting with William Underhill, as well as original research in flash-plating and chemical finishes in the chemistry department. Costume sewing for stage productions led to study at FIT in NYC and a brief time as production jeweler for Tess Sholom during Tess' collaboration with Jimmy Galanos.
With a pre-computer-age BS in Graphic Design, Shelley worked as technical illustrator and draftsman for ad agencies, a glass manufacturer, and a site planner before continuing study again under Morris River School painter Pat Witt at the Barn Studio. Pat gave Shelley the tools to confidently negotiate painting techniques, from sfumato and grisaille of the Old Masters, to Maxfield Parrish's palette to "paint with light".
Shelley works at Boeing, 25 years ago creating illustrations and training materials on drawing board and computer for LH-X, CH-46, CH-47F, and HC MkII. Her work was rendered obsolete by CATIA; for the last two decades she has earned her living as a logistics analyst on V-22 and now Combined Rotorcraft logistics.
Resuming study at Wallingford CAC, Shelley continues under the tutelage of Georgian-born painter Matiko Mamaladze and sculptor Olga Nielson. She thanks God for their friendship and for their successful efforts to revive technique and craftsmanship that had been lost to the West for decades.