Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Ideas

Whilst working on my Pollen Series earrings...

...I kept breaking sawblades when trying to cut the looped wire.

Being a jeweller means:

-:- Constantly finding solutions to problems,
-:- Committing the solutions to memory
(I should really use that leather-bound notebook for this)
-:- And jumping for joy when experimenting
and it all goes to plan
(and adding to your silver scraps box
when it all goes horribly wrong)

On this particular day...
(which was hot and sunny, then hot and rainy, then hot and sunny again)
...the problem aforementioned was solved once and for all.
You see, when sterling wire is wrapped in large loops on a mandrel,and especially when it is quite thin,it doesn't hold its shape very well when one decides to saw-pierce them into separate little circles.
Thus, sawblades are broken, other loops below the one being cut are gouged by the sawblade, and Mariann gets very upset.

So the solution was to hold the looped silver in place,
and hold it there with masking tape at opposite sides.

With the sterling silver loops held in place...

... saw-piercing them was a breeze!

I hope this helps you too!
What tips have you learned along the way?

- Mariann -

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She Wears High Heels...

... in the workshop ...

Oh, yes she does!

- Mariann -

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Pollen Series...

... truly organic ...

My mind is so mechanical.
Observing the symmetry of life.
Calculating angles,
and dimensions.

But I can't help but be influenced by the organic,
side of nature.
As such, my pollen series earrings emerged.

Oxidised sterling silver, dyed coral, quartz
and some with glass beads.

Listing in the shops midweek.

- Mariann -

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Wedding

 Damascus Steel, 9ct White Gold, Diamonds

 The Kiss

 My niece and our family friend's little boy

Signature canvas
courtesy of Lee from Lily-Lee Gallery and Studio

I am still speechless.
The perfect wedding can do that, you know!

A big thank you to Jonathan from
for our amazing photos
Home of the 2010 JBWere Masters


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Road Trip to Kyabram

I love a good old fashioned road trip.

I stare out the window,
and have only a few words to say,
as I'm lulled by the scenery that speeds past the car window.
Country Victoria is so green at the moment, rather than the parched, sandy fields that I recall from childhood weekend holidays.
It is a welcome change and so refreshing to be heading into summer with the blessing of an abundance of spring showers.

The sheep and cows were so fat and healthy.
All the dams were full to the brim.

A delightful day.

We stopped in at Shepparton on the way home from Kyabram.

'Mooving Art' Sculptures in Shepparton.

A delightful day,


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Hungarian Heritage

You find yourself.

Before you even knew you were lost.

And a new chapter opens.
But a page is taken from the chapters that came before.

This is where I find myself.
Looking to my past,
and finding a new path to a brighter future.

I was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary.
Surrounded by chickens and grape vines and nettle leaves.
Tapestry hung from the walls, with decorated plates adorned with colourful folk art flowers.

I step back to these childhood memories,
and leap forward to the designs swirling in my head,
flowing out onto paper,
being filed and soldered into the jewellery I am creating now.

Folk art tapestry of old,
created with sterling silver and stones.

From a part of me
I hope you can cherish, too.

- Mariann -

Monday, November 1, 2010

Marianna's Day

Today is the Hungarian Name Day for Marianna.

All the days in the calendar have a name for them in Hungary.
Name Days are often celebrated as one would celebrate a birthday, with flowers and cake and big hugs from grandma.

And today, it's my Name Day.

(Simon and I - dancing a traditional Hungarian dance on our wedding day. Oh, how I love my man!)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Been Stranded on an Island...

... in the Andaman Sea ...


Away on the best kind of holiday...


Fresh from the ocean...

swimming with tropical fish ...
... the salt still on my skin

... kissed by the coral ...

Relaxing in tranquility by day...

... resting in bliss by night.


you've left us mesmerised.

And I am completely rejuvenated.
I haven't moved from the workshop in days.
(and that's just the way I like it)

- Mariann -

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Little Desk That Could

...and tales from the typewriter...

I'd like you to meet

(the wind picked her up and she landed in my path)


..the retro orange typewriter.

Dorothy has such heart.
Every scratch,
and broken handle
has so much to tell
of her long
adventurous life.

And sweet little Ophelia.
Your presence in my home
and the clickity-clack
of your creamy bakelite keys
makes my heart skip a beat.
You will write many tales
and thank-yous
to the lovely people I meet
and greet
through the humble
little gems that I so dearly
love to create.

What new addition to your home has you
dancing in circles,
and whistling,
and singing songs?

xx  All my love  xx



Saturday, August 14, 2010

There she is...

... at her workbench,
making and creating
on a windswept Saturday night.





xx M xx

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Offering

I've made a decision.

I'll open my heart
to you.

When I sit at my workbench, you will be with me.
We will sit side by side,
and laugh,
and smile,
whilst wires, stones and sheets of silver dance along the benchtop
and come to rest on our fingers, in our ears and near our hearts on a necklace.

This will be my offering,
my contribution to my fellow jewellers,
and the lovely friends I meet along the way.

Seeing the process,
and the result.

It's as though the jewellery making process is a sacred, guarded secret. But I want to share it with the world, a world that is so full of mechanically made, identical, quick-fix jewellery and components.
They have no meaning,
no feeling,
no story
and no strength.

My aim is to let you see the handmade process,
and for you to share in the journey of each and every piece.

Care to join me?

Let's start with this pretty ring... follows on from the picture in my previous post.

The components, the bezel and the ring shank were soldered.
The stone is now ready to be set in the ring

I created a bezel pusher from a nail head when I studied at NMIT.
It has been my trusty setting tool ever since.

The bezel pusher is pressed against the bezel at opposing sides of the stone until the bezel is nice and snug against the stone and the stone does not move within the setting.

A ring clamp holds the ring secure during setting.

A burnisher helps to smooth out the marks left from the bezel pusher.
I made this burnisher from the pointy end of a nail.

A quick sanding with fine emery paper helps to smooth out the bezel.

I use Jax Oxidizing solution to give the ring an antique finish.
Several coats are needed for a deep, black finish.

A quick rub with scotch brite helps to highlight the layers on the ring.
I like to use fine pumice powder and fine steel wool to soften the metal after the scotch brite.
The result is a lovely satin sheen on the silver.

Floret ring in sterling silver and chrysoprase.

This evening I will be adding more patina to this ring to really give it some serious definition.
It will then be photographed and listed for purchase tomorrow.

..all my love..

- Mariann -

Friday, July 2, 2010


Working full time means my creative urges are sometimes left unfulfilled.

This pains me to my very core.

I cannot begin to tell you how much of my waking hours are spent thinking about jewellery,
thinking of jewellery designs,
thinking of jewellery tools that I must acquire to make the most fabulous pieces...

My head is left muddled..
..did I finish that ring tonight?
..I remember having made it. Or was it just another daydream that got mixed up with my
reality of all the jewellery thoughts swirling around in my cluttered mind?

My workshop sits quiet and still in the frozen air of the evenings of late.

I promise to thaw it out.

I'll show you...

...but you must be patient...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To My Fellow Jewellers and Artisans...

... a poem ...

"For the times when we sit at our workbench,
touch the cool silver
and let it warm in our hands
pound our hammers
to the beating of our hearts
and feel our souls burn
a thousand

                                                                                     by Mariann Monika

I wrote this poem a little over a month ago.
I can't remember the last time I wrote a poem.
This one was written on a whim after I received an email from Lark Books
to say that my submission for their '30 Minute Rings' project had been accepted.


A big thank you to fellow jeweller
for kindly posting about this project on her blog.
I send you a big THANK YOU and *hugs* across the oceans and the continents,
I could not have done this without having found you and followed your blog.
My achievements in life have been few and far between,
but you have helped me realise that anything is possible!
 ...Thank you, Valerie!

'Rough & Smooth' 
Reticulated Sterling Silver Ring

... though the day is dreary,
there's a smile on my face ...

Happy Day!