When I came upon Maria’s booth at the Fenton Street Market, I nearly had chest pains. Her lovely little space was brimming with so much prettiness, I didn’t know where to look first! As a sewer, I am always drawn to lovely things made with fabric, and Maria’s creations were the prettiest fabric things I’d seen in a long time.
Maria makes a variety of jewelry and fashion accessories for her shop, called Little Blue Studio. She uses fabric, crystals, semi precious stones, wire, and even sea shells. Every item is a little bit different from the last, because she’s always looking for something new to make, and new ways to interpret old favorites.
In addition to her gorgeous flowers that become hair accessories, brooches, and necklaces, I was particularly impressed by her mermaid lures, jewelry pieces that are created from found sea shell fragments and pearls.
Not only did I find the concept of a mermaid lure undeniably seductive (like living in a fantasy novel!), I completely fell in love with her modern and unusual presentation of pearls. It’s so easy to dismiss pearls as old fashioned, but that would be impossible with Maria’s creations.
The imperfections in the found shell fragments are what inspire Maria to turn them into something gorgeous…to force viewers to see the beauty in something that was discarded and overlooked.
Maria comes from a family of makers. Sewing, cooking, gardening, carpentry, and many other creative pursuits made up her home life. Although she started her creative career as a painter, making jewelry became more practical as her family grew, and she needed to be more flexible with time. She was drawn to using fabric, because of her mother’s skill as a sewer, but is looking forward to incorporating more metalsmithing into her creations.
Maria’s favorite thing to make is always the item she’s working on at the moment! “When you make something, it carries an intangible to your customer,” she says. “The only way to do that, is to love what you are doing.” Maria believes that when you are no longer in love with the thing you are making, it’s time to move on.