Studio Tour

Studio Tour | O Bliss Jewellery

Shop:  O Bliss Jewellery

Owner: Maria

Studio Location: 

I live on a 1.5-acre property in the Gold Coast hinterland of sunny Queensland Australia with my husband of 22 years, 2 teenage children (my eldest has flown the coop), my mother-in-law, an Australian cattle dog, a cat and 3 chooks. With golden beaches 20min east and a world heritage national park 20min west, it truly is a fantastic place to live. My lovely little studio space is situated next to the family room so I can tinker away in the evenings while still being involved in family life.

Maria in her family room, just outside the entrance to her studio.

Maria in her family room, just outside the entrance to her studio.

History and Inspiration:

I have always been a maker and thankfully have always been able to make a living from some sort of creative pursuit. Upon completing a Bachelor of Visual Art in my early 20’s, I ran a successful family ceramic business for 10 years. When my youngest child commenced school I returned to university to qualify as a high school art teacher. While I am passionate about teaching, after a few years that longing for my own artistic venture returned. If you told me 2 years ago that that would take the form of a jewelry label, I would have laughed. But then I mistakenly landed in a one-day silversmith workshop and to my complete surprise, loved it so much that I signed up for night classes. Inspiration comes from various sources but mostly I am intrigued by the interaction of shape, form and texture. At this stage I have restricted my materials to sterling silver which has limitless possibilities and suits my pared-back aesthetic.

various rings designed by Maria

various rings designed by Maria

Tools:

Setting up a silversmith studio has been an expensive exercise and the acquisition of new tools has enabled me to create more complex pieces. But if I had to choose 3 top tools, they would be:

1) a soldering torch - as soldering metal together is my very favorite thing to do.

2) a Fritz Chasing Hammer – it not only adds a lovely texture to silver, but gives my biceps a great workout.

3) a jewelers saw - despite the fact I always break blades when cutting shapes out of sheets of sterling silver, this is indeed an essential jeweler’s tool. 

a view of Maria's work space and just a few of her tools

a view of Maria's work space and just a few of her tools

Music or Silence:

Oh I absolutely need music playing - doesn’t everyone? I play music in my art classes, put on music to do housework and even fall asleep to music. So naturally when I am unmotivated to make orders, nothing turns that around like music. At the moment my playlist rotates through Muse, Alt-J, The Nationals, Bright Eyes, Mumford & Sons, Passenger and Radiohead, to name just a few.

sketch book and jewelry

sketch book and jewelry

Rewards of Creating Handmade Goods:

Recently a shop assistant complimented me on the rings I was wearing and asked where she could buy them. I smiled and handed her an O bliss card. It is a huge honor when someone actually wants to buy my jewelry and the ultimate affirmation of what I do. However the greatest rewards are found in those magical moments when ‘play’ results in an exciting new design. When running a creative business it is tempting to focus on the latest trends, but there is absolutely no satisfaction in doing so. Like all designers I want to present a unique aesthetic and hope to bring something fresh to the marketplace.

jewelry in process

jewelry in process

Scarlet-Maria's Australian cattle dog

Scarlet-Maria's Australian cattle dog

A big thanks to Maria for sharing her amazing studio space!

Want to learn more about Maria? 

Check out her shop , blog, and facebook.

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