Richard Mafong grew up in Mexico, Asia and the United States. As a young child he became interested in building things and working with his hands, which foreshadowed his love for craft making. His first official art instruction occurred in high school and from there he pursued the arts at San Diego State College majoring in painting and drawing. As an undergraduate student, he took several courses in jewelry and an instructor, Arlene Fisch, acquainted him with metal as a viable medium. With that introduction, he entered graduate study at Indiana University with a concentration in metals under Alma Eikerman. Mafong earned his M.F.A. degree and upon graduation, Georgia State University encouraged him to establish a metals program, specializing in jewelry making and metalsmithing; his undergraduate study took place at California State University, Long Beach. Richard Mafong was born in 1942 in Tijuana, Mexico.
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- Cactus Vase, 1992