Mara Colecchia

Published: 14.02.2022


Self-taught artist Mara Colecchia (Maracole) was born in Italy in the mid-seventies, and in 2009 she relocated to Southern California, where she explored wearable art and had many artistic pursuits. Since January 2018, Maracole works exclusively with seed beads, which she waves using a dimensional bead weaving technique called CRAW, and designs intricate forms that take from pre-Colombian and modern art. Maracole showed her beaded jewelry for the first time at an international contest at Artistar Jewels 2019 and was a finalist at the contest Arte Y Joya 2020.


I fell in love with Japanese seed beads in January 2018, while the Thomas fire was destroying a big chunk of southern California and, in particular, the area around the Los Padres National Forest, where I had just relocated. I sensed that the energy of the fire cleared something old and made room for something new to grow; like magic, a new perspective opened up in my artistic practice, as I had never considered seed beads as a medium. I had an authentic revelation when I explored the weaving technique called CRAW, cubic right-angle weave, that allows building fractal structures based on the repetition of a small cubic cell made of 8 seed beads. Being a sculptor at heart, I felt a natural proclivity for dimensional bead weaving because I approached this medium as a way to sculpt with seed-beads.

Working with minuscule seed beads forces a weaver to be methodical and attentive: a small mistake can turn into a minor or, at times, a big design's complication. That said, this technique is extremely time consuming and favorites the creation of a meditative state of mind. This peculiar quality of bead-weaving I look at when I begin a new project because, in this case, the practice is also the message. Slow fashion, labor-intense artisanal skills, quality of work, and the lasting of a piece of jewelry are the values that I stick with. The longer it takes to make, the longer it will last, the more beautiful it will look.

I have been fascinated by pre-Colombian art since a young age and have unconsciously tried to emulate the geometrical fluidity of some Aztec inscriptions. I also have a taste for minimal art and, in particular, the design of some eminent artists from the Bauhaus movement. All those inputs are combined in my esthetics, plus a daring color combination, which is typical of pop art.

As in my initial production, I had pursued a minimal, geometrical type of forms, but lately, my artistic research has expanded to include elements of pop culture, such as straws, to create unusual visual inputs, based on the assumption that everything can be "beaded on". I am also putting aside for a moment the typical geometrical symmetry of my necklaces to allow more chaotic forms to generate crowded lines, chunky, excessive, or not harmonious esthetics. In fact, I find it beneficial to explore opposite concepts, such as composed/ geometrical versus redundant/chaotic, to avoid stagnancy. At times, we need to stretch our creative band in both directions.

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Workshop  26 Apr 2022 - 17 May 2022  Bead Weaving: Chain Necklace in CRAW by Mara Colecchia.
Exhibition  23 Sep 2021 - 30 Sep 2021  Collectiva Meeting 2021, International Exhibit.
Fair  22 Sep 2021 - 24 Oct 2021  Joya Barcelona 2021, Art Jewellery and Objects.
Exhibition  08 Sep 2021 - 26 Nov 2021  JEWELS ON SALE JOYA 2021.