About the artist
Ever since I can remember, my biggest passion has been to design and create tangible products. My mind is extremely detail–oriented. My personality, acutely independent; I’m all about designing and doing things myself. And so, my ideas usually involve multi-step processes that attempt to create beauty and function out of the most simple and raw materials.
The products I most enjoy making are those that derive their soul from the combination of those steps, not from the pre–made beauty of the inputs. I enjoy the challenge of executing an intricate process. I take pride in the transformation of the original materials. I love it when I need math and algebra to solve a design problem. That is the creative process that best fits my analytical skills, artistic inclination, and love for handcrafting.
How I got here
Born, raised, and educated as an Industrial Engineer in Colombia, I came to the U.S. in 1997 to pursue an MBA degree. All of my formal education led me to a Finance career in corporate America which determined the man I married, and my eventual stay in the U.S. as a resident.
However, after a few years, the little voice in my head told me I wasn’t headed where I wanted to be. I decided to listen, do some soul searching, and pursue a new career closer to my heart. So I quit my job and became a web designer. I got very good at it and worked both in–house and as a freelancer. For the first time I was able to taste the joy of working as my own boss… How could I ever go back to live as an employee?
A few years later I became a mom and left my business on a maternity leave that still hasn’t ended. Motherhood and the solitude of a quiet life at home awakened the thing that has always been closest to my heart, yet life had never allowed me to conceive as more than a hobby. That is, creating products; tangible products that I design and then bring to reality with my hands. No other work in this world is more fulfilling to me.
Mafe, short for “Maria Fernanda” is my name in Colombia. It’s how my family and early friends know me. It’s my past.
Maria is the short and easy name I gave Americans when I started living here. It has become my name in the U.S. It’s my present.
I am both: Mafe and Maria; Spanish and English; Colombian and half–gringa. I feel both divided and enriched by these two worlds, and no doubt, they both reflect in my ideas, techniques, and finished products.