Q&A With Ceramic Raku Jewelry Artist Marianne Kasparian

Ceramic Raku Jewelry Piece created by Marianne Kasparian

Marianne Kasparian, known to most as Mak, is a ceramic raku artist and the visionary behind MakuStudio.

Marianne Kasparian Ceramic Raku Jewelry Artist

What inspired you to begin creating?

In second grade, I wrote a little book about myself and the about me section said, “My favorite subject is art”. I have always loved art…it’s just a part of me. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I finally hit a low point and decided to do some soul searching. I was reading the book, The Artist’s Way, and one of the things it said to do was look around your home and see what it is that you love. I loved my ceramic pieces that I made in high school and decided to take a class…and then another…and then another. For those of you also looking for that spark of inspiration inside you, I highly recommend taking a class in something that you love.​​​​​​​


What would you like clients to gain from your work?

Clients…I don’t know if I’ve ever used that word. I think of you all as my friends! And, to each and every one of you, I am truly grateful! I want you to be inspired by my work…inspired in your own work, inspired to carry on the day, inspired in the very moment. I want you to smile and feel joy.

Ceramic Raku jewelry pieces created by Marianne Kasparian

What do you find the most gratifying about designing and creating?

I love working with my hands…I need to work with my hands! I love the peace I feel when I’m working with the clay. It’s my therapy. But mostly gratifying is to be able to inspire you all. When someone (slightly grumpy, tired, or zoned out) walks by my booth at a show and decides to stop…pick up a piece…have a bit of a conversation, and then leave with a smile on their face, I feel very gratified that I could brighten someone’s day…even for a few seconds or minutes.


Besides raku and ceramics what are you passionate about?

I love to travel and learn about different cultures…talk to random people and hear their stories. I need to do more of this soon. I also love healthy eating and learning about functional medicine and crazy dna stuff.


What is your creative process? How do you develop new designs?

I grab a bunch of clay and I make stuff lol! I keep making stuff until my head stops spinning. I don’t draw out new designs, it just happens.

Marianne Kasparian creating ceramic raku jewelry

Marianne Kasparian's ceramic raku pieces before fiiring


What is something you love and why?

I love my GSD (German Shepherd Dog), Obi…because he loves me back! Follow him on my Instagram page (MAKUstudio) on Mondays with Obi!

MAK and her German Shephard Dog named Obi


Raku firing requires the pieces be fired at very high temperatures over 1,500°F (816 C).  Typical jewelry wires can not withstand this heat. Mak uses nichrome, which is a nickel chromium alloy.  Nichrome is a “resistant” wire, meaning when heated to red-hot temperatures it creates a barrier that prevents any oxidization and therefore retains it’s integrity and strength.

Marianne Kasparian using the Xuron Model 2193 Hard Wire Cutter
Xuron’s 2193 Hard wire Cutter is the perfect tool for cutting the nichrome wire.  It is designed to cut hard wires that typical wire cutters cannot handle.  The 2193 is also great for cutting memory wire, steel, music wire, and other hardened wires. 

For more about MAK and her work, visit her web site and follow her on Facebook.

Abby Robey

I am the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Xuron Corporation. I've had the pleasure of working here for 25 years and one of my favorite parts of the job is meeting Xuron® tool users and hearing the feedback about the products we make.


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