By Åse Anderson in London
Among the wealth of exciting new talent at this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair, Mara Irsara was one of the jewellers who stood out as a name to watch.
The London-based designer takes seemingly simple geometric shapes, such as a circle, square or triangle, and infuses them with a sense of playfulness that appears both random and yet carefully balanced and sophisticated.
Mara’s interest in jewellery started at a young age and, even as a child, she could often be found designing and sketching. The architectural influences in her work were further honed by her study of the subject at the renowned Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
Mara says her work is driven by her curiosity and fascination with primordial geometric forms and how they have been interpreted during history, from the Romanesque period to early Modernism. Her work is bold but, at the same time, incredibly light and wearable.
Mara says: “The innate playfulness of my jewels shows a defined character, making them more inclined for a relation and identification within. They certainly create a dialogue with the wearer, engaging in a game, and sometimes you might ask: who is wearing who?”
Speaking of the Goldsmiths’ Fair, where she exhibited for the first time this year and was one of only 21 designers chosen by the architect Zaha Hadid to appear in a guest-curated showcase, Mara says: “Although I had been visiting for quite a few years, I had no idea what to expect. And it was great! The whole fair is organised very well from the beginning to end and I was able to take home a lot of enthusiasm, positive feedback, new and future customers and an understanding of how it all works.”
In her latest work, entitled Fussy collection, Mara continues her exploration of merging and arranging geometries with unexpected additions and deformation, resulting in a dynamic balance. “The embodiment of these new pieces create a new chapter in the language of forms I am playing with,” she says.
One of her favourite pieces from the new collection is the P.I. earrings with their pink-on-pink colour scheme created through rose gold and hot pink flocking.
Going forward, Mara plans to add an online shop to her website as well as increase the number of stockists and galleries she works with, while remaining selective in order to preserve the uniqueness of her designs.
Mara Irsara Spacecut Stud earrings in gold and Niello, from the Fussy collection.
The Mara Irsara Three Times Straight gold ring selected by the internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid for the Zaha Hadid Selects exhibit at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in London this autumn.
Mara Irsara Swingers earrings in silver, left, and Sliced Layers earrings in silver and brass, right, both from the Fussy collection.
Mara Irsara P.I. earrings in rose gold plating and pink flocking, left, and P.I. earrings in silver and black enamel, right, from the Fussy collection.
Mara Irsara Doubling Up earrings in yellow gold-plated silver from the Smart collection.
Mara Irsara Sliced necklace from the Fussy collection in silver with flocking.
Back view of the reversible Mara Irsara Sliced necklaces from the Fussy collection in silver and flocking.
Mara Irsara Close But Not Too Close ring in silver from the Fussy collection.
Mara Irsara Double Yellow Line Set consisting of necklace, earrings and ring in rose gold-plated silver, from the Smart collection.