I'm Marja (rhymes with aria), the designer and maker behind MGG Studio. Once upon a time I was convinced I was going to become an academic, but the siren song of the jewelry studio was just too strong. After dabbling in jewelry (and just about every other medium) when I was younger, I picked it back up while I was pursuing my Ph.D. Once I got my hands on a torch the rest was history: after I finished my doctoral degree I found I couldn't stay away, and now I spend my hours in the jewelry studio rather than the lab.
I draw my inspiration from sources as diverse as modernist sculpture and the curves of the female form. As a metalsmith, it's important to me to pair these bold, sculptural designs with everyday ease, so I craft each of my modern, minimal pieces to feel as good as it looks. All of my jewelry is handmade by me and my assistants in my small studio. I'm proud to support other American small businesses and craftspeople by working in partnership with independent casting houses and my local stonesetters. I also believe that good design should go hand in hand with sustainability, so I make efforts to use reclaimed and fair-mined metals well as ethically-sourced diamonds in my handmade jewelry.
People always ask me which is my favorite piece of jewelry and I always claim that it's too hard to choose (I love them all, they're like my children!). The truth is that the piece I wear most often is the bronze ARGOS cuff (I've probably been wearing it every time you've ever seen me). I love that it's bold and geometric, but I've designed it so that it feels comfortable on my wrist and it doesn't get in my way when I'm working. You should check it out- everyone who tries it on is always so surprised about how comfy it is.
While I spend a lot of my time covered in polishing compound in the studio, I'm also a devotee of the beautiful area I'm lucky to call home. If I'm not wielding a torch or knee deep in carving wax, you'll probably find me hiking with my family, wandering the galleries of SF MOMA, or accumulating even more houseplants.