Maria Hanson

  • Cup.jpg Wearable Cups # 3 & 4, 2007. Silver, 23.5ct gold foil and ribbon. Photo credit: Maria Hanson
  • Sun.jpg Sun # 1 (Object - Brooch), 2003. Oxidised silver, dyed mono-filament and acetal. Photo credit: Maria Hanson
  • exchange brooches.jpg Exchange Brooches, 2012. Reclaimed components and materials from discarded mobile phones combined with silver detail. Photo credit: Maria Hanson
  • Reuse.jpg Reuse - Revalue # 7 (Neckpiece), 2014. Reclaimed metal, silver, painted wood, peridot and moonstone. Photo credit: Cecilia Zhao

What inspires me

For me making is a conversation. My work crosses between objects that can be worn (jewellery) and objects that can be used within more intimate, domestic, ritual contexts.

My practice has changed a lot over the 25 years of being a maker. In my early creative journey, I was preoccupied with the things that I made as individual and collections of objects that existed both for themselves (off the body) and in relation to how they might challenge perceptions of jewellery when on the body. Later on, I explored the notion of the inner and the outer – creating containment – within the object – on the body – and by the body. But in doing this – the material, form, quality of making and finish were instrumental in creating a language that might also create a position for me within the field of contemporary studio jewellery. Creatively exploring, communicating and articulating more complex social and environmental issues has arisen in more recent work.

Making in the Midlands

I have now lived and worked in 3 major cities during my professional working life, including Birmingham. The 6 years I lived and worked there were incredibly enriching. The Jewellery Quarter was a vibrant changing place in 1997 and working both as a lecturer and maker enabled me to be completely absorbed within the field of jewellery and silversmithing. Making (in the context of craft) can feel very solitary and so working in a place where you can feel part of a network of like-minded people is very important.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years


In education, I have observed a loss of skill, and seen a desire for things that are more immediate and in some ways easier to achieve. I have seen an explosion of the use of digital technologies that can be either; wonderful, soul-less, generic and without personal identity.
There has been an increase in valuing debate in the crafts and craft making - that craft is more than just doing - that thinking through making can be an agent for change.