Artist Mari Jalava

Finnish design jewelry in a unique form. Pure nature and the silence of the forest give strength and set creativity in motion.

From passion to doing at hand

"Every piece of jewelry I design is like a work of art that exudes thoughts and feelings, calming down in the heart of nature."

Mari Jalava is an artist and designer whose jewelry represents sustainability and ecology. The material of beautiful and personal jewelry and Mari's way of making them is not the most traditional: jewelry is made by felting, the material is wool.

Felt art and jewelry are not as well-known in Finland as in the rest of the world. When talking about Mari’s art and work, term felted jewelry doesn’t do them justice. We can talk more about design jewelery, the sources of inspiration for which can be found in pure and beautiful Finnish nature. Mari's work has been exhibited in various exhibitions, e.g. In France, Iceland and Germany.

The unique products of Mari Jalava Design brand can be ordered from the online store on Jalavilla's website. Mari also does custom work that takes into account the personality of the customer, the color preferences and the occasion where the jewelry will be weared. Custom work can be, for example, art accessories that transform the rest of the outfit into a complete whole with the jewelery itself, which are unique individual pieces all over the world.

Where did all start?

Mari became acquainted with felting for the first time in the 1990s. A friend of Mari, who worked as a workshop instructor, guided her in doing level work. The end result was a fragile, felted orange-red sun on a natural background.

The felting spark did not yet actually ignite from this. A few years later, while Mari was studying the clothing industry, she made a black felt hat for the school sales, the edge of which was adorned with pink felted “butts”. Mari thought at the time that no one was going to buy a felt hat. The opposite happened - it was sold first.

Time passed, working life in the costume of the National Theater in Helsinki took place. Felting was not yet part of Mari's work or life.

While Mari was home with her three children, she was still able to realize some sewing projects, although the children influenced her work heavily. Working at home with many interruptions was not always easy and the children needed of course to be take care of.

As a creative person, Mari longed for her creativity to be released and realized that it was easier to take various courses where she could concentrate on doing herself in peace. The creativity bubbled and especially three-dimensional surfaces and round shapes, which fascinated already during the studies, were charming. Mari's final thesis in the field of clothing was "Three-dimensional surface by sewing on a garment".

A revolutionary felting course

Mari’s course program included e.g. concrete, wicker, pulp, machine knitting, fabric printing, dyeing and various painting courses. During these program, she was able to leave her handprint in many projects.

The turning point was the weekend felting course, where people learned how to felt different three-dimensional works as well as flowers. The need to see her own handprint was met in many different ways.

Mari became acquainted for the first time with colorful pre-blankets and a combination of wool and silk, and was quite sold. The felting took with it and Mari used magical technology to find a way to create stunning and incredibly beautiful three-dimensional works.

It has been a while since that groundbreaking felting course, almost 10 years this year in 2020. The road to the world of felting has been long. Mari has felted countless different styles of jewelry, tried numerous different grades of wool, tried, succeeded and failed. Mari's current felt art is very different from her first works in 2010. As a result of years of experience and experimentation, Mari has her very own handprint, a self-developed felting technique for which perfectly suitable materials have been found. All this is the result of thousands of hours and determined development work.

Sharing knowledge and skills through felting courses

Mari has come a long way. Now she is happy to be able to share her experience and expertise with you.

Mar’s felting courses will inspire and give you genuinely more. You will enter the fascinating world of felting, hear the secrets of felting from an experienced jewelery artist who has developed his own technology, and in addition to this, you will get to know the wonderful, inspiring and warm-hearted Mari Jalava.

"I am constantly senses open to new ideas. That “function” cannot be turned off. When I see something interesting, I immediately start thinking about what fun it would bring. Often, mere brainstorming is a wonderful pleasure and does not hurt, even if the end product is never born. ”

Mari stores ideas, drawings and newspaper clippings in a large sketchbook. Ideas may come to fruition soon or only years from now. Mari says that booklet is very inspiring to browse. Ideas are also stored on Pinterest and Instagram, but the concrete browsable booklet is still dear to Mari.

“One old and beloved source of ideas is the underwater world, where I find great color combinations and stunning amazing shapes. A huge treasure trove of inspiration is also the nature, flowers, moss-free, lichen cliffs, stumps, rocks and bark of my own region, in Kangasniemi. The colors of the sky in relation to nature. Natural color combinations that always harmonize well with each other ”.

Mari's favorite place is the cottage beach. Its silence, sauna, bathing and being by the water are something intoxicating and the feeling that that place brings is a little boring all the time. According to Mari, nowhere is there as much space for dreams and thoughts as there.

Artist Mari Jalava

I am inspired by the bosom of the forest, beautiful rocks covered with lichen, splendid mossy stones, fields with bright yellow turnip rape, red glowing strawberries, colourful autumn trees, the first frosty mornings and white frosty twigs, tussocks with red lingonberries, the clouds racing in the sky.

When I see heaps of showy wool and beads of different colours in front of me, I am filled with fervor to get my hands to them. Inventing new ideas and making them visible and helping my customers is very much at my heart. When you combine all this and my love to do with my hands ever since from childhood, in addition to my neatness and carefulness, I feel I give my everything to my work.

– Mari Jalava –