the MARAH story
My modest beginnings in designing and making jewelry began when I was a tumultuous young teenager of 13 in the mid 1960’s. Bewildered by the speed and competitiveness of the culture in which I found myself; I would come home from school and find calm by retreating into the world of colors, shapes and the “elemental” magic of jewelry making. Little could I have known at the time that this youthful plunge into the world of pure imagining would turn into an entirely unimaginable adventure that has lasted a life time.
In the early 1970’s, I moved to Denver Colorado. It was there that I learned from a young painter that there was an Island called Bali in Southeast Asia. According to her story, Bali was an exotic island paradise inhabited by artists and painters. Ten years later my “calling” would lead me to this Islands’ shores.
After visiting Bali many times over the next several years, I discovered that Bali, by far the most famous in Indonesia, was just one island in the middle of an immense archipelago. So in 1990 I went to Java. There I discovered a culture richly endowed with an ancient legacy of diverse and artistic precious metal techniques. I remained in Java for 10 years where I worked with the extraordinary Javanese craftsmen before returning to Bali in 2000. Many of the original team of artists and metal technicians from those early years have continued to work together with me right up to the present day to produce the Marah brand.
Our newest collection, “The Tantra”, is inspired by the uniquely defined jewelry coming from the Himalayan Traditions of Tibet and Nepal. Himalayan jewelry has never been thoroughly researched or documented. Ancient Tibetan Culture was all but destroyed during the Chinese occupation leaving not much of this jewelry left in existence. Fortunately some fine examples once worn and owned by the indigenous people, still do exist and can be seen embedded in the gold surfaces of the tombs of the Dalai lamas’ at the Potala Palace in Tibet.
We hope that you enjoy our website. We welcome your feedback and participation.
With our warmest regards,
~ Andrea Layton, Founder and Designer