Mara-Colecchia

Born and raised in Urbino, an art town in mid-northern Italy, I have been exposed to an incredible amount of influential art, mostly from the Reinassance, and I had the chance to experiment with many different artistic techniques and crafts over decades.

I have been interested in crafts since I was a child, in particular 3dimensional work, at first creating my own puppets with found textiles and aluminum foil, then studying traditional mask making from Venetian mask designer Marco Ciolli, and successively exploring sculpting with polymeric clay and doll making.

I can say without doubt that my first form of expression was hand stitching. (My mom still have some figurines that I made at age 7.)

In 1999 I graduated from “La Scuola del Libro Institute of Arts” in Urbino, with a major in experimental animation and illustration, and I moved to Rome to work in animation. In 2005 I earned a master degree in game design from the European Institute of Design, in Rome.

Due to my early experience in the animation industry, in 2009 I relocated from Rome to Los Angeles, where I live and work. Here I became involved with the artistic community in many ways, as I developed an extensive experience in performing arts, working as an art model and character model in the main art academies and animation studios of the greater Los Angeles area.

I started to design and hand-stitch a variety of wearables for my activity of character model and in this work I conveyed the variety of skills and craftsmanship that I accumulated over the years. All my projects are ongoing, and I love to experiment with various techniques, from the most traditional artisanal crafts to the more contemporary and sophisticated technology, such as 3D printing.

In particular I am fascinated and inspired by the work of designers from 1920 to 1940, and textile is my preferred medium. My wearables and soft sculptures have a minimal type of look, bright primary colors and an Avant Garde type of narrative.

In 2017 I made an experience with 3D printing and I designed a Venetian Nose jewel printed in polished steel, and plated in gold and silver. I created a character wearing that piece, which is depicted in many photographs taken in about 2 years.

In 2018 I discovered the absolute beauty and playfulness of seed beads and I took a few classes to learn the basic hand-weaving techniques, which are rooted in many cultures from all over the world. I soon after designed my original line of hand-woven beaded lariats, which I titled Pon Pon and was inspired by the work of designers at the Wiener Werkstatte from 1925 to 1940.

At the moment I am working with a dimensional geometric type of stitch, called CRAW (cubic right angle wave) and I design free form, handwoven collars inspired by ethnic ornaments, vintage jewelry and contemporary design.