Maracole Bijoux

Maracole Bijoux

About The Artist

Mara Colecchia • Ojai, CA

My research as a bead smith is centered on the interpretation of a weaving technique called "cubic right angle", a dimensional stitch used to create sturdy sculptural meshes, based on the repetition of a unit made of 12 seed beads. Working with minuscule seed beads forces a weaver to be attentive, as a small mistake implies undoing the weaving. This technique is methodical and necessitates the creation of a meditative state of mind; When I begin a new project and start to deal with this peculiar quality of weaving, I find that the practice is also the message.  The values I uphold in my practice are those of labor through intense artisanal skill, the quality of the work, and the enduring nature of a piece of jewelry.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I work with seed beads size 11 and 15, because that size suits my vision. I utilize a fishing line as a thread, and the most expensive materials, to give a sense of quality and luxury to my work. I hand-weave each and every piece that I design and it takes many hours to accomplish a piece of jewelry. I use a lot of precious materials such as 24K gold plated beads of the best quality (such as rare 'Charlotte cut' Czech seed beads), water pearls, and semi precious stones. I love repurposing, so I utilize vintage lucite beads from 1970 that I scout online and at a trade shows, which are limited in number, and that is way all my collections are limited editions. I repurposed used baseballs to create large Avantgarde wearables to make a statement about luxury in modern times, and overall I can stitch and bead whatever material suits me (one of my oldest collection was made with silly straws). Challenge to me is combining up-cycled materials to seed beads, and make it look beautiful.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I have been an artist and in particular a sculptor for all my life, having my first exhibit at age 16 in my home town, Pesaro, in Italy, where I was born and raised. I have transitioned from dioramic installations to wearable art because I was performing as a character model for animators in the greater Los Angeles area, so I started creating accessories such as Venetian Noses and Totemic Hats. I am passionate about making voluminous and sculptural pieces that one can wear to enhance some personality trait, and I believe that this passion of mine comes directly from my professional experience in character animation and children entertainment.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

My work is definitively whimsical and daring; some have called it Avantgarde, especially the collection that I created in 2020/2021 with up-cycled leather from used baseballs (@maracole_boldwear). Concepts generate from a specific vision, that my work and photography are infused with; I could never leave behind my experience as a character designer and performing artist in the animation industry, and I think it shows in the way I present my work: my art direction of model photography, the staging of my pieces and the narrative behind my videos are possibly 50% of the conception of my work. It's just part of it, and people should be aware of it when wearing my voluminous beaded pieces: their life expands way behind a decorative purpose.