Our lives are busy and its good to keep in mind what is the most important to us.
That is where the joy, happiness can continue and reflect to others too. Jewelry is originally known as an amulet and to offer powers. It has been a strong support to decorate ourselves.
Lets celebrate life with jewelry.
Maljojokistudio is founded by Finnish jewelry designer and artist Mia Maljojoki. Her mission is to give women and men joy for their everyday moments.
Mia’s first collection is called Heroine. Female heroes. She has named all individual pieces after some of the woman who have inspired and fascinated her.
These Heroine Collection Earrings are named after Marilyn Monroe.
I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.
The classical looking Marilyn Earrings show a bit of naughty edge as they move with the wearer’s body. What a joy for everyday but as well for some party mode.
Interview & Photos: Oona Heleena
An Interview with Mia Maljojoki
Dear Mia, how you got interested in making jewelry?
I left Helsinki in 1996, a good friend of mine made me to leave and to get out of my a bit confused life. I went to Blue Mountains North Carolina, USA to work at a summer camp. During that summer I slowed down and spent loads of time alone in the nature. There I started to twist the twigs into pieces of jewelry – that’s when my love to explore how to decorate body started.
What is your first jewelry you have made?
The piece is called “Wanderer”. I got inspired by the movie Blade Runner. It’s made out of brass, copper, print and plastic. I made it at Massachusetts College of Arts and Design, Boston, USA – where Prof. Joe Wood took me to the day classes even when I wasn’t enrolled into College yet!
Looking back now the piece is reflecting the time when I was looking for my place and where I belong to, questioning who I am, who we are.
Before your career as a jewelry designer started you worked in Helsinki as a stylist and hairdresser – How was life in the city back then?
Helsinki was amazing – free and open minded, full of creative people and we all were exploring how to stretch further. It was all about parties – enjoying the music, its rhythm and dancing.
Flyers were moving around and announcing where the next party was. I was renting a seat in a hair salon, doing some styling jobs and assisting other stylists in the heart of Helsinki. It was a fun and free spirit time until it was time for a change.
You made your first production collection Heroine last year, after 20 years of experience of making unique pieces. What differences you find between your art jewelry and production line?
In 2011 – 15 I worked as a freelance designer for Marimekko and designed 9 jewelry collections for them. That job came to me as a surprise – I really loved the work and the team I was working with. During that time I learned so many things. I travelled many times to Delhi, India to visit our lovely production team.
That project inspired me to make my own production line. I decided to focus on designing jewelry for women to celebrate and cherish their everyday moments – to feel beautiful and graceful in their daily life.
Both – art and design jewelry – they touch the everyday but from different point of view. In my art jewelry I am very free of expression. Starting point and inspiration comes from my everyday moments and emotions, referencing the body and where the memories of the moments were born. Material choices come along with the meaning or message of the collection. When it comes to design jewelry I love to imagine what offers joy and elegance for women – to celebrate themselves and to feel their beauty, elegancy and happiness in everyday life. My focus is on the body and its movement to follow gracefully its wearer. In Heroine I decided to use silver – a timeless material which lasts. All the pieces are handmade and some of the pieces I still make by myself.
I love, feel, touch, experience, live, enjoy, kiss and love to be kissed. This is what my jewelry is about.
What is the story behind Heroine?
Heroine is about self-love and love towards others. The inspiration of the Heroine collection comes from the Magnolia tree flower. The shape of the petal is like a drop or a tear – two of them creating a heart. I experience it as the play of love in its different levels from 0 to 100.
Do you find it emotionally hard working on jewelry?
Yes, sometimes. I can go very deep to dark places during my research process, but once I start working I add the element of play and joy into making.
70% of the work process is planning and designing. The rest is trusting myself what happens in the moment. I like to surprise myself.
You have created different jewelry workshops as well.
The ideas for my workshops come from what I’ve been working on previously or what I see that could be helpful for others. It feels like Christmas when I see all the amazing and surprising results of the workshop participants.
Do you have an example?
My latest workshop is called Trust yourself. At first all the participants are asked to have a presentation about what they have done, what are their targets for the next 5 days and where they see themselves in 5 years.
I help them to understand and find their own artistic process and their hidden individual, special space that gives the work the signature and presence of the designer. I support and help each one of them to move forward with their goals. In the end of the workshop everyone shows what they have done during the week and that’s the surprise moment for me! Simple often similar form – and even the design becomes alive in a new fresh way.
You use ceramics a lot in your artwork, especially porcelain.
Yes, since 2013 I have used porcelain in my art jewelry pieces. Porcelain is a very fascinating material – first it’s very pliable and after it’s burned in 1250 °C it turns into durable, hard and strong but it still has the memory of how it was touched. It is like our bodies – we come to this world innocent, open and with no memory of being here yet. As time passes we experience life and these experiences are documented into our bodies.
You have said that you don’t like if there’s some scent in the jewelry. Why so?
Jewelry is made to be worn on the body, or at least imagined. Generally it is placed quite close to our heads and nose. In my opinion a piece of jewelry should be tactile, visually appealing and transport scent (or not) but all senses should be satisfied to make the wearer feel the lightness and flow. So if there is any scent it should connect what the piece is communicating. Everything matters.
Interview originally published in we are the people -magazine. Please check it out for more interesting content.
As seen in Vogue UK
Featured in September 2017 Issue: Diana Bracelet
everyday moment with jewelry
Wednesday afternoon With Carrie Forster, Munich
MM Where does the joy and happiness come and arrive to your everyday life and moments?
CF Joy and happiness comes to me in the smallest of gestures. Like little life presents. A message or spontaneous visit from a dear friend, seeing the first buds on a tree in the garden after a long winter, the way my daughter’s face looks when she yawns and makes that tired sigh… I believe joy surrounds us all, we only need to be aware of it, to let it truly embrace us.
MM How do you see how jewelry belongs to your everyday?
CF Jewelry is an extension of one’s personality. But more specifically it captures a mood or an emotion. I put on pieces with intent so that it helps express my mood.
MM What does jewelry mean to you?
CF I am not sure how this question is different than the above…???
MM How do you wear jewelry?
CF I wear my jewelry with intent, to express my mood or to extend an atmosphere
MM Your favorites?
CF My favorite pieces are quite different. I have a small gold ring with a few tiny diamonds. It was the first piece of ‘big girl’ jewelry my father gave to me when I was 14. I have a bracelet made of woven turquoise thread and gold by designer Carolina Bucci. It was one of the first pieces I bought that really wowed me. The intricacy and details, but conceptually it was so simple. It’s also a favorite because it looks great with a cocktail dress or a T-shirt and jeans. My favorite Maljojokistudio piece are the Coco Earrings… probably for the same reason as the bracelet. It’s such a simple piece, but has movement and complexity due to its unique design on how they can be worn.
MM Please could you tell a bit about your new foundation project
CF My husband and I recently started the Sticky Fingers Foundation after a rare and terminal disease diagnosis of our daughter, Amalia. Over the short time of caring for a medically complex child, we discovered how little support there is out there for families. The aim of the Sticky Fingers Foundation is to empower and support families with tools and resources as they journey through challenging medical situations.