Ancient Techniques Meet New and Personal Visions of Antique Jewelry
I met Marta Sanchez through the online handmade emporium www.etsy.com last year and recently i was featured on her online contemporary jewelry site called 18kt. Marta started her blog in 2006, and with an average of 20,000 visits a month it has evolved into a meeting place for jewelers around the world. (http://www.18kt.es)
Her Bio explains how her family and childhood influenced and encouraged her toward a life of artful joy.
"Marta Sanchez, a jeweler and gemologist, born in Vic, Barcelona, Spain, from a working family. She remember drawing and playing with clay, walking through the forest with her grandfather who taught her also to tie her shoes and fix a light switch. Her mother would always tell the story of how she only needed a pencil and paper to entertain her, or to let Marta get dirty making figurines with clay. They still conserve a mural she made with plaster on one of the walls of the house with only two years old!"
After school she would pass her time in her fathers wood shop where she made wooden toys and furniture. This work gave her a mechanical aptitude for working and controlling tools and machines. As early as age 18 Marta knew she wanted to make jewelry, and enrolled in Escola Massana at Barcelona, where she learned about metals, forging, micro fusion, stones, galleries and everything related to a jeweler. Fascinated with stones, Marta decided to study Gemology and earned Gemologist titles from the University of Barcelona, and the FEEG (Federationfor European Education in Gemology).
I find that Marta has a keen eye for the integration of metal and stone. There is a quality to much of her work which allows it to be very flowing and rustic at the same time, industrial and yet organic. Quite a bit of her work strikes a balance between the showcasing of the stone and the framing of the metal. In fact, it's so balanced that I find it hard to decide if the metals are framing the stones or the stones are ornamenting the metals. It is this balanced integration which i find fascinating in some of her pieces, since i am so often drawn to one or the other in my own creations.
Marta conceives jewelry as ornamental objects for the body. "A jewel is something we wear to beautify our body. As someone who gets a tattoo, changes their hair or gets a piercing, I change my jewelry every day depending on my mood. I like to wear my jewelry as much as I like to show off my tattoos."
There is a great precision evident in the crafting of Marta's pieces, and it marries well with the thoughtful spirit and skill of her creative design. Marta admires German jewelry and enjoys the techniques of making jewelry she sees there. She likes to mix these ancient techniques with her new and personal visions of antique jewelry.
To understand the breadth of Marta's style one must really check out her extensive archive of works. I have only put a few pictures here to wet your appetite. Coming to her work with my own personal appreciation for myth and metal, I was immediately drawn to several pieces which spoke to me of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. I can see the ages of iron and the eons of celestial illumination.
All elements of nature and aspects of the cycle of life are represented in Marta's work. It is no wonder that we find much of her work informed by the mythology and cosmology of ancient Egypt. Currently Marta has a few collections on display; Atón, Geb, Nut, Isis and Flor de Lotus. All of these inspired from Old Egypt, their gods and beliefs as they influence us today.
Marta lives and works in Barcelona, in her own studio and showroom.
Make sure you check out Martas magical video "Flor de Lotus" below!
(after it loads, click on "english" to the left for a translated version)
Marta's Flor de Lotus Video can be seen at
See Martas blog about my work at:
I will also be mentioned in an interview with Marta on the Such Cool Stuff! blog on 2/16/09.