Maura Green Jewelry: A Coven of Gems to Protect & Inspire
Composed by natural elements, Maura Green Jewelry is designed to endure, transcend, celebrate, remember, protect, and shine. Inspired by both Victorian and Art Deco Jewelry, Maura Green works with private clients to design pieces commemorating important events in their life.
Immediately after you graduated with your BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University with a concentration in jewelry and metals, you began working in the jewelry industry. When and how did you discover your passion for jewelry design?
I discovered a passion for metalsmithing when I was 15 years old and took a silversmithing course at summer camp. I pursued this throughout high school and did an apprenticeship with a local female metalsmith on the weekends. She taught me how to experiment with different techniques and how to carry a piece through from conception to completion. I fell in love with working with metal from the moment I picked up torch. It’s easy to work with, easy to fix mistakes, it can be both malleable and hard, smooth or textured, liquid or solid. Metalwork was meditative for me, and I would lose track of time and of whatever my teenage brain was worrying about when I was in her studio. That apprenticeship is what solidified my lifelong love for jewelry. I became obsessed and I remain obsessed.
Tell us about the first piece of jewelry you made.
The very first piece I made at summer camp was a super basic sheet metal ring with a spiral wire soldered on top and it was made from nickel silver. I still have it somewhere. The first piece I made during my apprenticeship was also a silver ring but it was sterling filigree and pretty ornate. I have that one somewhere too. That was 22 years ago now which is bonkers.
The Art of Tarot & Sacred Symbols collection is so much fun! What inspired you to create these hand carved abalone and mother of pearl pieces? What drew you to this organic gemstone combination?
This also goes back to high school. I had a tight group of girlfriends. Three of us jokingly called ourselves a coven. But it was like- part joke. We read tarot cards. We collected little treasures from our travels and gifted them to one another. I’ve always collected seashells, seaglass, and been a bit of a magpie about anything small and beautiful, especially from nature. I had the idea for the tarot collection in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic and I was already working with a team of pretty amazing carvers on some other projects so they helped me figure out which shells and colors to combine and how to layer them to achieve my Tarot vision.
You take inspiration from both Victorian and Art Deco jewelry. How do these movements resonate with you, and how have you updated them?
Well Victorian and Art Nouveau aesthetic is very nature inspired. It’s detailed, ornate, and sometimes a little goth. It has a lot of symbolism which I have always been very attracted to. A lot of the symbols from Victorian jewelry: swallows, crescent moons, starbursts, goddess “Mucha” like women figures, love tokens, skulls and memento mori jewelry are coming back around again. But of course we relate to these things in new ways. I think symbolism always transcends time. Look at the hamsa. The hamsa has been a symbol across many cultures globally since ancient Mesopotamia. It’s the same with the skull, the bird, the sun, the stars. These things are timeless and get reinterpreted and retranslated over and over.
Art Deco is more modern, sleek, futuristic. I actually like art deco sculpture and painting much more than art deco jewelry- so it’s more that vibe I draw from. Think Brancusi’s “Bird in space”, and Tamra de Lempicka’s “Green Turban”. I have a vintage 1940s gold bracelet that is chunky, sleek angular and fluid at the same time. It’s totally amazing. I guess it’s this jewelry style which I really vibe with more than Deco which is called “Retro” I guess? It’s about 20 years post Art Deco.
How does your process work with private clients?
I take very few private clients these days. Mostly engagement rings and pieces women design to commemorate the birth of a child.
You have an active presence on TikTok and Instagram. How have these platforms helped you reach your audience?
Instagram has made my business what it is. It’s how you found me. And It’s how all of my customers have found me. I tried launching businesses other ways years ago. Designer markets, etsy, etc. Brutal. IG is amazing because it has algorithms that show people what they want to see. People who are obsessed with jewelry will eventually come across my work if they are truly jewelry addicts and true IG stalkers. I am both.
Tik Tok is something I am just getting my feet wet with. I don’t think the customer base is there yet, but I think it will be in a few years. So I want to have a presence established when that comes about. Also, it’s fun.
In your own words, how would you say your designs are different from those of other designers in the industry, and how would you describe your unique style and personal philosophy?
Wow. Tough one. I mean every artist has their own voice, and that voices grows as the artist grows. I think everyone who pursues a passion and also lives in a society will have some overlap in themes with others pursuing the same passion, but every artist’s hand interprets things a different way. Jewelry is an art- but it is also trend driven. I am reacting to the same societal trends as other jewelers. We interpret them differently, sometimes simultaneously. You can buy mushrooms for Brent Neale, or ShopAuroro, but they are totally different from mine and equally unique. Right now I am very into carvings but who knows what materials or techniques I will become obsessed with next, and my aesthetic could totally change. It has changed many times.
Do you have a life mantra? If so, can you share?
Not officially but lately my business mantra has been “Work Bitch” by Brittany Spears. I am always working and I want to keep growing. It helps if you love what you do, which of course I do. Be yourself, try to be kind, try to be understanding of other people’s perspectives and how their experiences shape their perspectives.
You mention that your pregnancy sparked inspiration for you. Can you speak about how it inspired you personally, and through your business?
Oh no. I wasn’t inspired by pregnancy. Lol. The truth is I developed pretty serious postpartum depression after the birth of my son 5 years ago and it created a fog that took at least a year for me to claw my way out of, with the help of modern medicine and therapy and a lot of support. I will say coming out of a deep depression can be inspiring and invigorating. To feel like myself again for the first time in so long, to be able to see and appreciate and love myself, my family, my job, the trees, the sky. It’s actually pretty extraordinary. I just appreciate life so much more now, and when something is beautiful or interesting to me- I want to dive in and study it, and consume it, and make it tangible and share it with the world because life is short.
What is your favorite piece that you have designed? Why is it so special for you?
Nope. I can’t share. My favorite piece is always a piece I haven’t designed YET and am incubating. You’ll have to wait and see. 😉
How important would you say is storytelling for your customers? How do you tell stories through your pieces, and help them manifest their stories into a piece?
I always try to share my inspiration behind a piece and what I like about certain symbols or elements and what they mean to me. I think people react positively to that.
But more importantly, people imbue their own meanings onto the jewelry- which is awesome and how it should be. I have my own inspiration when I am creating a piece, but the wearer’s own intention and perspective is what activates the pieces and brings them to life and makes them important. Jewelry is so personal. An unpolished rock with a crack in it that reminds you of a lightning bolt can be a talisman. Nobody has to tell you that. We make up our own meanings for things and all of them are correct.
For an example when a musician writes a love song, or a heartbreak song- they have their own story behind it, their own inspiration- but because the theme is so universal everyone listening can relate and they apply it to themselves and their own story. We’ve all cried to someone else’s breakup song, or felt a surge of adrenaline from someone else’s song about victory.
What do you have planned for the future of Maura Green jewelry? Are there any new designs or collections you are working on that you can share?
Always new things in pipeline! One that I can share is a new series of Magic Mushrooms which will be coming out soon which will be in new gemstone colors and combined with diamonds and other precious stones. I am also working on some limited edition tarot cards, and some ahhhhmazing snake carvings. Stay tuned.
To learn more about Maura Green’s passion for jewelry and to get a feel for her transformational pieces, visit her website at https://www.mauragreenjewelry.com and follow @mauragreenjewelry on Instagram. For direct messages, you may contact MG Fine Jewelry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-298-2149.