Also known under the pseudonym Drakonaria, Anna Mazon is a talented designer from Krakow, mostly dealing with jewelry making. Anna studied Sociology and Psychology, and tried to find her place beneath the sun as a HR professional. Luckily for all of us, she shifted her focus to artistic talents which have followed her ever since her childhood. Finding most success in working with metal and clay, she started creating beautiful jewelry pieces and established a designer brand. Her skillful hands transform a love of nature, fairy tales and folklore into stunning pendants, brooches, earrings and other accessories which look as if they belong to epic fantasy heroes.
The reason why Anna Mazon is featured here at â€œMeet the Slavsâ€ is not only her Polish origin, but also the fact that this year she won the prestigious design award for a piece inspired by Slavic folklore. Â Her â€œSlavic tales â€“ Leshyâ€ pendant brought her the second place in Metal and Clay category at â€œSaul Bell Designâ€ 2014 competition. It is an important and internationally acclaimed contest based in USA, with the motto â€œrecognizing distinction in jewelry designâ€. And Annaâ€™s work is certainly distinctive! Having a look at it, one may think that the invisible creatures such as water nymphs and forest spirits weaved their magic in Annaâ€™s pieces. No wonder, since she declares as a Naturalistic Pantheist and cherishes a deep connection to natural landscape. However, her work had not been especially based on Slavic heritage until the last year, when she stated in an interview:
â€œI usually sought inspiration in cultures different that my own (especially Celtic and Norse), but recently I rediscovered Slavic mythology and folklore. It’s not visible in my work yet, but I have a sketchbook full of ideas based on old Slavic tales. This folklore and mythology is very unique â€“ a bit dark, full of otherwordly, dangerous, yet utterly tempting creatures but at the same time it’s like neverending, extatic dance, full of love of life and trance bliss.â€
Soon after this interview her Slavic inspiration began to materialize in the series called â€œSlavic talesâ€. The above mentioned awarded piece represents Leshy, a protective spirit taking care of forests and wild animals. Up to now there are two versions Anna made, and we hope she will come to this creature again. Another mythical specimen included in the collection is Strzyga â€“ maleficent shape shifting female spirit, something between witch and a vampire, hence represented with beautifully frightening red eyes and sharp teeth. Another mischievous spirit called â€œBiesâ€ in his autumnal variant found the place among Annaâ€™s works, this time as a delicate bottle pendant in which you can carry a perfume or a love potion â€“ whichever you prefer! According to an interview she gave as a Saul Bell winner, we are fortunate to expect more Slavic-inspired projects, larger in scale:
â€œRight now Iâ€™m working on a really big piece, a necklace inspired by Kupala Night, which is the celebration of Midsummer Night in Slavic culture. I just finished sculpting faces of three rusalki, which are female water spiritsâ€“beautiful and dangerous. This piece will be made of silver, 18K green gold (metal clays) and labradorites.â€
Impatient to see this work of art and amazed by what she had done up to now, the author of this article sends the best wishes to Anna and hopes that our respected readership will enjoy exploring her craft!
Vesna Adic holds an MA degree in Art History from the University of Belgrade and has graduated with the Mention of Excellence from the Paideia Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. She is a certified curator, an experienced public speaker and a freelance writer. Her major interests are history, 19th century art & literature, music and traveling.