Mark Poulin's new line of jewelry is arriving in the shop this week, and we can't wait to get the goods! Mark is an Oakland jewelry designer and one of our all-time favorite people on the planet. In addition to being really talented, he's an inspirational character with an amazing attitude and a super giving personality.
We love that his jewelry appeals to us as grown women, as well has our inner child. He has a beautifully designed, modern line that is perfect for when you want to feel like a sophisticated adult, and fun cartoonish jewelry for when you want to be a kid. And of course, everything he makes is well designed.
Here's a Q&A with Mark so you can get to know him better.
Your pieces are so fun and playful. Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by offbeat design, cartoon trends, and pop culture. I interpret each of them in my own twisted way. I have modern taste with a touch of rustic and a dash of fun. I love fashion, and I'm always on the lookout for a unique outfit accessorized with items that don't have a department store look to give me inspiration for my jewelry designs.
How and where are they made?
My workshop in West Oakland is my maker center. It's a cozy little place with lots of tools and materials. We are set up with kilns for glass and a furnace for enameling. It's a great place to work and I love being here. Most pieces start with a sketch, get carved into a wax, then cast into metal that is cleaned up for mold making. Once I have the parts cast in sterling I can start the enameling process. Each piece has many trips into the furnace fusing the enamel onto the metal. For the final firing I use custom screen prints made from my drawings.
What are you currently selling at Marion and Rose? You have a new line, too?
I sell lots of my Oakland and San Francisco pins from my kids line. I guess you are never too old to feel the local love. I also have some fun sloth and animal charm necklaces. There is a nice selection of my modern color blocking enamel line too. Later this week, I'm dropping off my newest line of reversible enamel geometric necklaces. This new work has lots of subtle color and is very wearable and actually inspired by Kerri's (M and R owner) love for "mountains and triangles." The line is getting a great response. I'm excited for Marion and Rose to carry it.