Interview with Maria Natoli
Is your creative process organized or organic?
I’m a bit of both. I enjoy direction but I also allow myself to react to change. I usually do a few sketches before I start…I have bits and pieces all over the place! I also like to design as I am in the process of construction. I like to think of it as organized chaos, it is very entropic.
What place, space or country has surprised you most?
I moved to Melbourne from sunny Queensland in 2010 so I am still discovering Victoria at the moment. I’m incredibly amazed by how much creativity abounds here. I love how Melbourne has a passion for creativity and collaboration. People are so willing to share here, it’s wonderful. Spaces like these make me feel very nurtured as an artist.
What do you hope for when you expose your work to the public?
I hope that my work makes people happy, that the wearer can find meaning in a piece. I’ve been very interested in using patterning within number to help tell a story. This first collection for e.g.etal developed from my graduate collection which was titled ‘Decade’ and symbolized my turning thirty. The collection featured triangular shapes, the points representative of the 3 decades, and the repetition of ‘10’. I played around with the number 30, and the idea of decades, and tried to let these patterns inform my design process.
Designing a piece for e.g.etal’s 15th birthday came organically as it was an extension of the ideas I have been working with already. I have called it ‘Let Me Count The Ways’ as it encourages the wearer to reflect upon the many people and events that have shaped their own journey over the past 15 years.
Is there any particular artist, designer or jewellery that inspires you?
Last year I saw Kirra Jamison’s work at Craft Victoria. Her work features beautiful combinations of colour and shape. It seems so haphazard, but it’s obvious her use of colour is purposeful and carefully considered. I really admire her sense of colour, not everyone has such an eye!
Combinations of colour evoke so much happiness in my psyche, I love warmer colours, especially orange. It is so powerful in effecting people’s moods. My studio is a collection of ugly retro floral patterns and vivid citrus shades on everything. I love spending time working there, it’s my happy place! I find inspiration in retro and vintage items as well, I can spend hours trawling through op-shops and antique places. So much fun! I also enjoy a quiet workspace, as I teach music at a primary school as well as making jewellery, so I appreciate the focus that some quiet time can induce.