Marta Chojnacka and Joan (John) Ayguadé are the co-founders of Materia Rica.  Marta is the creative force, while Joan focuses on strategy, sales and marketing.  They create geometric, laser-cut necklaces and earrings made out of walnut.

Marta is Polish and graduated with a MA in fine art, moving to London in 2004 where she experimented with her techniques, exhibited her paintings, explored media and developed her own style.  She started designing jewellery when she discovered laser technology and realised that her drawings could be transformed into something three dimensional.  A collection of brooches based on her drawings came to life. 

Joan is Spanish and left Barcelona to study product design at Central Saint Martins in London.  After graduating he set up a laser cutting and engraving company in London before joining forces with Marta and moving with her to Barcelona “where the Mediterranean and the palm trees are always shining”. 

Marta says their jewellery is “responsibly crafted, designed and manufactured”.  All wood is FSC sourced black American walnut; metal parts are made in the UK or Spain; paint is non-toxic; and it’s all made at their workshop in Barcelona.

Marta finds inspiration everywhere.  It could arise from an abstract concept like freedom, an unusual pattern on a leaf or a scarf, the shape of a stained glass window, or the image of a beautiful place.  Her desk is littered with colourful sketches on scraps of paper, leaves and scarves, photos and crayons.

Designs are still based on Marta’s drawings which are digitised, laser cut or engraved with an intricate laser beam, all done in house by Marta and her team of three, full-time crafters.  Each piece is hand-painted, polished, mounted and varnished for a long-lasting finish.

Marta still paints too – check out her work on Big Cartel