Meet the Maker - Martina Kocianova

Posted on 14 Sep 09:00

Step into the mystical world of 'shroomy' jewellery with artist Martina Kocianova for this weeks edition of 'Meet the Maker'. Her collection includes fairytale treasures such as Potion rings, Tooth fairy necklace and Alien flower rings.

When did you start creating jewellery?

I started in 2011 as a hobby, discovering jewellery via FIMO, resin and beading. I started studying jewellery design at Central Saint Martins in 2018 and I am focusing on my personal professional practise since start of 2023.

Martina Kocianova for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Who inspires you the most? 

Most of my inspiration comes from my childhood memories. A specific memory when I was introduced to mushroom picking by my mother who was a vivid mushroom forager. I often look up to memories spent with my mum in the forest as source of this fantastical land which I often think of while creating jewellery.  As a child I was into collecting minerals and semi precious stones, and their mystical powers, which now I reinterpret into stone carving and sourcing unique gems. I am inspired by my grandma's jewellery, by the mentors who have taught me along the way such as Castro Smith, Charlotte De Syllas and tutors from my high school or Central Saint Martins.

experimental work by for New Designers Exhibition at Diana Porter Jewellery Bristol

Which is your favourite piece in your collection?

From this collection my favourite piece is  The Tourmaline Potion ring. I love how it's bicoloured, and set into this almost gothic setting. It really is a showpiece. The ring goes through many processes like hand engraving, chiseling, oxidizing and lastly enamelling.. I really enjoy the whole process of making the Potion rings.

Martina Kocianova for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Please can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

My creative process starts with extensive research starting in the forest mushroom picking, getting inspired by the shapes and tastes. Inspiration comes in the weardest phases, when for example I am peeling potatoes. Then I draw it in my diary/sketchbook and later reinterpret it into digital form, in my ipad. I read books, watch movies and educate myself. Then I make the pieces, 90% by hand. I do waxcarving, after casting I polish the piece, set myself the stones and hand engrave, oxidize and enamel.

Martina Kocianova for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter


What’s next for your creative practice? 

I really hope to get a studio in the near future, where I can fully dvelve into my own practise. My longterm vision is to create hierloom and conceptual jewellery. I hope to create playful and unique jewellery inspired by either my world of magic and mushrooms or via a collaboration with my client and their needs. I want to tell their story through my eyes and through my visual language. To showcase my vision I hope to work with more galleries and retailers and work on jewellery pieces that can be applicable and customsable to any person who sees themselves in my jewellery. I hope to have a mixture of custom orders and a collection or even a presentation through contemporary galleries, design retailers etc. I do enjoy directly connecting with the customers and getting 1 to 1 feedback and that is what I aspire to achieve in the next few years. I see myself working with talented craftspeople who can help me create pieces with the best craftmanship into my jewellery. My ambition is to transfer into fine/high jewellery market by making pieces from gold and precious materials, for my ready to buy collections and custom pieces.  Regards to skills I hope to gain more skills in stone carving, stone setting and even start using traditional enamel techniques. I hope to finalize developing my Mushroom mycelium packaging, which I am working on, with my mycologist friends in Slovakia.

Self Portrait Martina Kocianova for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Finally, for fun, what would be your dream piece to make or person to make for?

I make jewellery inspired by mushrooms and gemstones and the world of imagination.  But I also create multiple jewellery pieces using alive material- mushroom mycelium. Dream piece I would like to make is custom mushroom mycelium necklace for my favourite musician and performer FKA twigs.

The New Designers 2023 Exhibition
11th August - 21st October

Featuring the ‘Diana Porter New Designers Award’ winner Laura Cruikshank.
Alongside the talented works of:
Will Barrett, Martina Kocianova, Molly Rigby, Ania Sikorska and Saipranathi Sreeram.