Feature Friday Q&A with Mara Yafe

I know that I've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again...I love rustic jewelry.  I love character and handcrafted works of art.  This week's Feature Friday artist, Mara Yafe, comes to us all the way from Kadimah, Israel and her pieces are chock full of character and historical inspiration.  Not to mention, she uses a lot of recylced materials in her wearable works of art and who doesn't like that?!?!

Mara's amazing designs can be found in her two Etsy stores: Earth Diamond and Marajoyce Designs.  MaraJoyce Designs utilizes some amazing mixed metals work that features ancient coins and stunning gemstones while the focus of Earth Diamond is in capturing the natural, inherent beauty of rose cut and rough diamonds.  Regardless of whichever shop appeals to your fancy the most, you will certainly find something to love by Mara Yafe!

So please enjoy this week's Feature Friday Q&A artist, Mara Yafe!

The beautiful & talented, Mara Yafe.

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
I always liked designing “things” didn’t matter what - until one day someone suggested that I try jewelry design.  After one hour I was literally hooked.

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
No way in the world can I narrow that down.  I like so many different styles, materials etc., and at some point they are all my favorites - vague as that sounds!

Well, Mara my not have a favorite, but I do!
From her Marajoyce Designs, 
Tanzanite & yellow gold gemstone & diamond necklace, $485.

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
The perfect jewelry days are when everything just flows.  Ideas come out straight to my hands…from there I figure out all the logistics and they all work well.  Then I can physically do my plan and it just naturally works, without a hitch, and then the end result is even better than I anticipated…in a perfect world!

From Earth Diamond, her 22 kt yellow gold & diamond band is perfect for stacking, $650.

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
When I finally managed to overcome a difficult type of technique that I have been working on for literally years.  Then I had a lightbulb moment, that cleared up all of my issues with it!

Tourmaline gemstone 14kt & 22kt yellow gold ring & 4.5 carat tourmaline cocktail ring from the Marajoyce Designs' line, $580.

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
Definitely from ancient jewelry- as far back as ancient Egyptian.  I love the look of tool marks in jewelry, and the purity of the materials that were used then.  I try and incorporate these into my everyday pieces. 

Marajoyce Designs' Ancient Christian Coin Statement Ring with gold accents on a silver band, $190.
The coin is of 5th Century Roman  origin, truly a one of a kind piece of artwork!

6.  In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
Probably necklaces, if only for the fact that they are not noticeably “on” since I work with my hands all the time.  I don’t wear rings as much as I would like to.  My hands always look like I have been working in a machine shop - never a nice backdrop for pretty rings! 

This amazing ring from Mara's Earth Diamond shop features a rough diamond on a silver twig
band & yellow gold accent leaf, $188.

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
I love to mix metals and styles.  I think ancient and modern can find a nice balance together. 

The Marajoyce Designs statement necklace features a Roman coin wrapped in sterling silver on a single-strand
 gemstone necklace, $128.  The coin, depicts the face of the Roman ruler, Constantinus.
He was the second son of Constantine & Faustes.  He ruled from the years 337-361

8.  Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look?  How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings? 

Perfect for layering, the rose-cut diamond stacking rings in sterling silver & yellow gold feature a .76 carat
natural yellow diamond by Earth Diamond, $285. 

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
Words of wisdom:  when you start to learn jewelry design, try and think outside of the lines.  There is so much of the same stuff floating around, that I think what makes the difference, is a new take on things.  Take classic techniques and styles, and put a twist on them.

The same goes for collectors, don’t just stick to one thing you like.  Find things that you might not think are really you and you'll be surprised how your style ideas can bend in many directions.

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?

Rose-cut diamond ring in 22 kt yellow gold engagement ring from the Earth Diamond line, $660.

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