Marsha was taught to sculpt in wax by her mother when she was five years old. Her mother was a painter and sculptor and together they made bronze horses and gold pendants. Her mother would often take her to the casting foundry, where witnessing the transformation of the sculpted figures from wax to metal was always magical.
About ten years ago, while unpacking boxes, Marsha came across an unfinished wax horse she began when she was eight years old. The discovery rekindled her interest in casting and spurred her to seek sculpting and metal fabrication classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
In studying the history of jewelry making, Marsha was first inspired by the skilled Peruvian Mochicas, particularly the ornate design of their shawl pins. Then, when she discovered a Berber lapis lazuli pendant through a local antique dealer, she became fascinated with the structure of Berber design and its strong, graphic references. In her travels to Africa she found the antique pieces in the souks were even more impressive. The high quality of the joining and enameling was as remarkable as the gemstone combinations. The unique Berber culture has endured thousands of years of invading crosscurrents and has incorporated influences from African, Spanish, French and Arabic cultures. Ornamentally, the result is a vibration of contrasts. There is also the scale; the bold silver shield rings, enormous bib necklaces and large enameled cuffs.
Her latest series of work is largely Moroccan inspired. She has incorporated bits of arabesque design and zellige geometric art found in Moroccan architecture, tiles and Berber kilims. The colors are inspired by the intense Majorelle blues of Chefchaouen and the dramatically domed spices in theJamaa el Fna. I took that vibrant energy and combined it with the relaxed bohemian spirit of the ancient coastal city of Essaouira. The result is a mix of contrasting, handmade fine jewelry, that work well alone or even better piled together and layered as worn so effortlessly by the chic women of Marrakech. This collection has bold 18-karat yellow gold gem cluster rings and earrings combined with graphic, minimalist 18-karat yellow necklaces and rings and bright, fine silver necklaces, rings and cuffs.
Marsha's mother's creative influence continues despite her developing Alzheimer's disease. In her honor, Marsha created Tinguely Bijoux to help fund a cure. A portion of the profits will go directly to the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, where 100% of contributions are applied to drug research and related programs.