Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/crafts you make.
My name’s Maria. I’ve been known for doing things in my own kind of way. I simultaneously studied business and philosophy to “balance my brain out” as I said. There are a lot of philosophical undertones to my work. I remember taking a Greek Philosophy course and discussing the term “cosmoi” which loosely translates to “orderly balance” and comes from their term for the universe, or the cosmos, which was thought to be the most orderly system that we should aspire to mimicking. The Greeks considered jewelry to be little wearable bits of “cosmoi” that would bring greater order and balance to their lives and in a sense that is the foundation for most of my work. I want to create wearable works of art that give you a greater sense of self and presence or bring a specific relation to a more immediate awareness in your mind.
Which part of the creation process do you like the most?
My favourite part of the creation process is turning an idea into something tangible that represents the idea that inspired it- transforming a thought into a trinket. You’ll see the phrase “marvel, muse, manifest, materialize” on my shop homepage and on my blog and I think that captures my love of creating items that can become personal symbols and representations for the people who come to own them. I wrote a small blog post about it.
For those of us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/city?
I live in the city of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, which I have called home for all 28 years of my life. It’s not too big and not too small, and is home to the University of Guelph and the Ontario Veterinary College. The constant ebb and flow of students helps to keep the city young and vibrant, and although the University boasts is science programs the city itself is very artistic at heart. You can find live music any night of the week, and there are lots of little cafes with a lot of heart and soul.
One of my favourite city landmarks is the Begging Bear, an outdoor statue that is part of the MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery’s permanent collection, and for a statue it sure does a lot of interacting!
City residents frequently leave things in its outstretched paw- an orange, an old shoe- and adorn it with sweaters and scarves in the winter, hats and sunglasses in the summer, and any number of themed outfits on various holidays. Guelph hosts a lot of festivals as well- the Guelph Jazz Festival, the Hillside Music Festival, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Multicultural Festival, and Faery Fest to name a few.
What is your bestseller?
The Quantum Squiggle Earrings are currently my bestselling item. My customers like them so much because they are unique and no two pairs ever turn out exactly alike. People that purchase them from my Etsy shop are always surprised by how lightweight they are, very easy to wear as often as you like. They are available in many colour combinations and a simple request can get you your own pair in customized colours which is especially fun if you have a favourite sports team or a colour combination that you wear a lot in your daily life. Each person vibrates with their own distinct frequency and the Quantum Squiggles are designed to reflect your own uniqueness, your own particular quantum signature in this crazy experience called Life.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the universe- to put it generally. I love the connections that we take for granted, and the search for answers in so many different realms of life. Did you know that the structure of our DNA has the very same pattern as the galaxy that we live in? Connections like that which somehow seem too weird to simply be a coincidence. I love the grey space in physics where classical mechanics become quantum mechanics and any realm of the sciences where everything comes together and the boundaries blur, I often peruse through my old philosophy textbooks and notes, and collect and read tarot cards- symbolism is in my blood. I also love anything that helps to awaken your inner child and remember what it was like to look at the world with fresh and curious eyes. I currently have 3 evolving collections- Quantum (inspired by quantum physics), Deoxy (inspired by DNA), and Whimsy (inspired by childhood).
What is your goal for 2011? What is your plan to keep it on the right track?
In 2011 I aim to make the inspiration and symbolism behind my designs more accessible to my customers. Currently, only glimpses of the wealth of information that I draw on are available in my shop descriptions and blog posts. I’m also working to design greater personalization in my offerings so that people can purchase something that is not only custom made, but also infused with symbolism that will only relate to them and help to create a cherished keepsake. I plan to make this happen by working in typical Maria backwards style; reworking and sorting through my ideas and redesigning my product packaging.
Anything else that you would like to share?
Laugh. Laugh all the time. When you’re alone, dance- or better yet, dance naked. Say no to the extra piece of pie (most of the time), but enjoy that cream in your coffee. Jump in puddles. Hang on to your inner child- it’ll make you a much more interesting grown-up.