Bianca Mavrick, jewellery designer

I create jewellery that doesn’t fit typical jewellery design archetypes. It’s unseen, untraditional and offbeat!

When looking for the perfect piece of jewellery to go with your outfit, you might not be entirely cognisant of the conceptual subtext associated with it. If you own a piece of Bianca Mavrick jewellery then you should know that each piece is more than just a bold accessory – it’s a work of art in itself. Bianca Mavrick is one of Queensland’s most daring and innovative jewellers, known for producing a range of coveted pieces through an artisanal process that utilises a broad range of materials and colours. Bianca will be speaking at QAGOMA’s All In The Details series to discuss the craftsmanship involved in the gallery’s Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe exhibition on Friday August 1. We jumped at the opportunity to talk to Bianca about her work, and how she manages to create such timeless and modern pieces.

To start, we’d love to know where your interest in design first began. Was there a formative moment or experience that instilled a love of creating?
I had an entrepreneurial side from a young age and would make jewellery out of seashells to sell at a local beachside market for pocket money. I had a fascination with costume jewellery, and my Nonna would let me raid her costume jewellery box. I was allowed to take a few pieces of the broken pieces at a time and reassemble them into new designs. 

Did you have any early artistic or design influences that impacted the genesis of your style?
I studied Industrial Design before diverging into a career as a jewellery designer, so I particularly loved the Memphis design movement and Italian design. I look to contemporary furniture design and industrial manufacturing processes a lot when dreaming up new jewellery. 

When you started your self-titled jewellery line, what was the key conceptual mantra that you wanted to adhere to?
I reflect on memories to create abstracted motifs that appear in the jewellery. Over the years I’ve developed a very distinct aesthetic signature across my work that ties everything together and guides my design decisions going forward. I create jewellery that doesn’t fit typical jewellery design archetypes. It’s unseen, untraditional and offbeat!

Where are you drawing inspiration from for your latest range of pieces?
New colour and materials! I travelled to Seoul earlier in the year and as a result I worked with a small manufacturer that specialises in coating metal in matte coloured rubber. I also travelled to Paris recently visiting private residencies turned museums, and seeing many art objects and design artefacts! 

How do you approach the process of making your pieces unconventional and current, yet timeless?
I think approaching the jewellery like it is a small sculpture – a composition of graphic motifs in combination with unconventional palette of materials – means that the work reads quite timelessly. If it resonates with the wearer now, I am confident to say they will keep coming back to the piece. 

What is one material you love working with right now?
I love colour coating metal with the same industrial processes applied to furniture and large scale metal architectural features – it’s a bit of a signature in my work. Recently I’ve been working with patterned Italian cellulose plastics, the same ones used in glasses frames. It is such a beautiful material to work with. 

Being stocked internationally must be such as surreal achievement – what’s the most obscure location you’ve noticed Bianca Mavrick items being worn or sold?
Seeing my jewellery in Anthropologie stores was surreal because we do all our production in studio here in Brisbane – so at some point every one of the few thousand pieces we made had passed through my hands. I was reunited with them out in the world, across the other side of the world in NYC and London. My jewellery has been sold in Portland, Colorado, Philadelphia, so many places across the US I haven’t travelled to yet. I’m always amazed by the large international clientele we have now, recently I sent earrings to Norway, Spain and Japan among others. 

We’re really looking forward to your appearance at GOMA as part of the All In The Details sessions during Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe Up Late! What can people expect from your talk regarding the Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe exhibition?
Well, look at the incredible craftsmanship behind the Marvel movie props! It is easy to forget these objects are handcrafted and build the details of Marvel universe. I’ll give an insight into the shared techniques and manufacturing processes of my jewellery, which is handcrafted in my studio in Brisbane.

Which three designers do you love most at the moment?
I’m caught up in a very busy bubble in my daily life of running my business and don’t focus on a lot of other designers work. Three websites I enjoy looking at to read about art, design and contemporary jewellery in my downtime are Sight Unseen, Current Obsession and Extraordinary Routines! 

What is the most treasured item you have in your possession?
My memories of times spent doing what I love with my loved ones! Intangible, and more valuable than a physical possession!

Catch Bianca Mavrick at QAGOMA’s Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe Up Late as part of the All in The Details sessions on Friday September 1. Purchase your tickets here.


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