Interview by Rebecca Garcia Urbancik
Photos courtesy of mrfmakesthings
I’ve known Mary since we were in the third grade — and this year marks our 26th year of friendship. How time flies! (We are practically sisters :)) Mary and I went to school together in New York and apart from having common interests, being in the same homeroom/classes, we also bonded over having Filipino roots.
Eventually, my parents and I moved to Europe which was particularly difficult especially when you already felt settled, had a good group of friends, established connections…but Mary and I certainly kept in touch over the years. Despite the different time zones and countries, one thing remains the same: whenever/wherever Mary and I meet/catch up — whether it be in New York, Europe or the Philippines, it seems as if time didn’t pass at all and we pick up where left off.
Fast forward to 2020 when the pandemic hit, people were inclined to find certain hobbies and adjust to the ‘new norm’... and for some people like Mary, they found a creative outlet which in Mary’s case, eventually turned into a business.
Currently based in Cork, Ireland, Mary is the maker and creator behind mrfmakesthings — a jewelry line of handmade, one of a kind polymer clay creations.
Mary, thanks for your time! Can you give our readers a short intro about yourself?
I’m a Filipino-Irish New Yorker currently based in Ireland. A primary school teacher by training, I love to learn new things, travel to new places, and have a passion for everything and anything with a unique flair.
How did mrfmakesthings come about?
mrfmakesthings was born in November 2020 as a creative outlet during the pandemic. Like many of us, I was eager to explore and expand my creativity. I loved the idea of being able to make something myself that I could share with others.
Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to the designs?
Living in Ireland, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the beauty of the Irish landscape. I love to take inspiration from the natural world around me, from the orange crocuses in my garden to the vibrant, evening winter skies. I also take inspiration from the everyday, whether it be from a pattern on a sweater or the colours of a sign at the local grocery store.
I like to think that my Irish and Filipino roots also play a role in how my designs come about. Growing up within these two cultures has taught me to believe wholeheartedly in embracing the uniqueness and individuality of oneself, and I believe this translates into my designs. I think my best “making” comes from going with the flow. I like to sit down at my work space, trusting the process as I go, to make something completely unique. I don’t tend to plan my designs ahead of time as each piece is one of a kind. And I love how organic and natural the final pieces turn out.
Some of Mary's creations and pieces from her Valentine's Day collection
What kind of materials do you use?
Many of the pieces are made of polymer clay, but sometimes I also like to incorporate other materials such as resin, sea glass, paint, and gold foil. All of the pieces are made with hypoallergenic findings for those with sensitive ears.
Can you talk a little bit more about your product range?
The general focus has been on earrings, but I’ve recently been working on necklaces and bracelets. Occasionally, I will make rings and brooches too. I also absolutely love when I receive custom orders—I am always up for new challenges, and am thrilled when I can create something meaningful and distinctive for my clients.
Where do you deliver?
Currently, mrfmakesthings delivers to Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain. Be sure to check out the Etsy shop for all the latest one of a kind pieces: www.etsy.com/ie/shop/mrfmakesthings and follow along on Instagram at @mrfmakesthings for exclusive content and the latest updates.
A special thank you again to Mary for taking the time to do this interview. I encourage our Rawmags readers to check out mrfmakesthings on Etsy or instagram. You will be sure to find beautiful and unique pieces for you and your loved ones :)