Fun In the Studio!


Day One Leanne and Tammy and their finished projects!

It was so great to host two of my favorite people this week for a class in my new studio! Leanne (Assemblage Jewelry) and Tammy (Sunny Creek Jewelry) are fellow jewelers and close friends. I admire each of them for many different reasons and It was an honor to help them learn new skills to incorporate into their work.

The fun started on Sunday at the Minneapolis Gem Show! Amanda, Leanne, Tammy and I found lots of treasures and inspiration to fuel our work in the upcoming months! It is always so great to see all the familiar faces, peers and friends at the show. Everyone excited about the next treasure they might find. Even after going to this show for almost 10 years I still feel my heart race with anticipation of seeing the beautiful stones and finding that one (or 10, 😉  perfect things to add to my artist pallet. We even had a new addition to our little posse this year! Little Poppy, Amanda’s little bundle- only a year old! All in all we had a great time!


Old Treasures


Tables and tables of color!


My Favorite! TURQUOISE!


More cool OLD stuff!

Monday we got to work! I taught them how to create their own tube bezels to set faceted stones into their work. Leanne received a grant last year to advance her work and one of her goals was to learn new ways to set faceted stones into her work! She made two pairs of earrings and a pendant to get started! Tammy was excited to acquire a new tool in her belt to use in her designs. She made a beautifully simple ring for her daughter Gracie.

Leanne at work:)

Leanne at work:)

On Tuesday we covered Gypsy/ Flush setting. Leanne was a natural at this! Gypsy setting is tricky and takes a lot of patience. There is a lot of trial and error! The key here is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Leanne melted a bunch of my scrap from my Papel Picado series into little balls and we used those to make little pebble stacking rings. She set a CZ in hers! And she had time to make a special little ring for her grand daughter Tilly! We had a great day 2 in the studio! I think she is set to create some beautiful pieces for her up coming Gallery exhibition at the NAG (Northfield Arts Guild) this coming fall! I am so excited to see it!

All the Pieces coming together!

All the Pieces coming together!

stackable pebble rings

Completed stackable pebble rings


Fun stack I made for Kristina! She Loved it!

Reflecting today about the past couple days has helped me to know that it is more important than ever for me to continue to teach. In turn I have also realized that it is equally important for me to continue to learn! I have always loved teaching and I think I always will! My heart swells when I see my student succeed.  It’s my way of saying thank you to the universe for bringing this gift into my life. I also will always have something to learn. I get giddy when I get the chance to sign up for a class and have the chance to be on the other side of learning. It is a chance for me to play and grow too. I am looking forward to getting started on writing my first grant proposal to help me do more of both! I look forward to sharing more of that process with you all in the near future!

Go out and explore and learn something new today!

Let’s get personal

Words to remember!

Words to remember!

I can’t believe it’s almost APRIL. It seems as if I am always chasing time and I can’t seem to catch it! Growing two boys, two creatures, a relationship and a new studio is both a blessing and the challenge of a lifetime.

This morning I was inspired by another woman’s blog. The honesty and rawness in her blog imprinted on me and gave me the strength to start writing here. Her sharing her life reminded me that I am not alone and that there is always something to be hopeful about. Thank you Lisa Leonard!

This blog has primarily been about my work. I don’t usually share much about my personal life here but I think it’s time. I have feared that being totally honest and open on here for everyone to see would be to much. That it would make me too vulnerable. I am starting to realize that everything I do is all so interwoven. My personal and family life are at the core of my journey. When I try to keep everything so separate I start to feel insincere and less genuine. I am who I am, why try to hide that?

I have always believed that we as people carry a light in us. If that light is bright others are drawn to it, it warms them and feeds their soul. If it is dim, others can’t see them as well. They are left confused and wonder away. I feel that my light has been dim for a while now, my heart heavy with worry and sadness for things that I cannot control. I am usually able to stay positive despite the challenges that present themselves. But these past couple of years have pushed me past any limits I thought I had. They forced me to pull in. Hold tight to my children and close loved ones and create a tightly woven cocoon.

Good Point!

Good Point!

Amidst the struggles of being a single parent and raising two children with very different special needs, embarking on a journey with a partner to find and create a safe place to call home, and revitalizing a business, I am starting to feel my light return. Much like my anticipation for spring to finally arrive here in Minnesota after a long hard winter, I am ready to emerge from this tightly woven cocoon and begin again. Creating has always been an integral part of my light. It feeds me like nothing else. It has healed me and It has brought opportunities for new beginnings and special connections I would not otherwise have.

Now more than ever I feel like my studio is my “happy place.” It is a place where mistakes are opportunities and failure and worries are far from my mind. I am so thankful to have it right in my backyard. Being free of anxiety about being away from my children brings some much needed peace. I am looking forward. I am growing excitement in my heart for the good things to come.

These days I am working hard on developing new pieces for my lines and stocking my inventory for upcoming shows. My neck and fingers are sore from the intensity of the work but I am welcoming the pains of the bench and my mind and hands are full of energy once again! My newest line of jewelry, the PAPEL PICADO (cut paper art) series, is blooming day by day. I am even dreaming of new ides. When I dream about it I know I am on the right track! This series is so special to me because it originates from a tradition in my culture that has deep roots. It is a treasured folk art from Mexico that often involves complicated designs being transferred to tissue paper or other surfaces and then cut, or punched out with special tools by local artisans. These are then turned into banners or flags and used to decorate on special celebrations such as weddings, life celebrations, and holidays. To me they represent a reminder to celebrate life everyday.

Yreina of Ay Mujer at work!

/ Yreina of Ay Mujer at work!

Many contemporary papel picado artists like the amazing Yreina Ortiz of Ay Mujer! create much more elaborate designs and have taken to laser cutting their work in order to grow their businesses. For now I am enjoying the process of hand sawing out my designs in sterling silver with a tiny jeweler’s saw blade. The process is very slow and tedious but it helps calm my mind and fill my soul.

Follow me on Facebook/marisa or Intsagram/marisa to see my progress!



Solar Arts Holiday Show

Solar Arts Holiday Show


DEC 5-7 TH
12/5 Thursday 5-9PM
12/6 Friday 5-10 PM
12/7 Saturday 11-8PM

711 15TH AVE. NE
MPLS MN 55413

Caitlin Karolczak, Marisa Martinez,and Patricia Punykova,
Invite you to our ANNUAL ARTS SHOW Join us and our guest artists for Art, Music, and Merriment! Find that PERFECT gift for everyone on your list and enjoy some of the BEST ART in the Twin Cities.

The whole Solar Arts Building community will be open and celebrating for this annual holiday arts event- you won’t want to miss it!

Creative Rush

I am so excited to share my new collection of jewelry, Papel Picado, with all of you!  This body of work was inspired by the beautiful folk art in Mexico used in various celebrations called Papel Picado (cut paper art) Traditionally fine tissue paper is is hand cut by artisans in motifs native to mexican culture. This series captures the essence of the surge of creativity I experienced this fall.  It all started when my family and I were getting ready for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I was pulling out all of the ofrenda adornments I have collected over the years to decorate the alter we create in our home to celebrate the lives of our loved ones that have passed. The intricate designs of the Papel Picado that I found planted a seed in my mind. A few days later in my studio working on new designs with Dia de los Muertos images swimming in my head, I explained the tradition to a friend, as I worked. The images in my mind transferred to my pad of paper and the new collection was born.

IMG_2231 IMG_2230IMG_2430IMG_2248 IMG_2447

Calavera cuffIMG_2481IMG_2474IMG_2482IMG_2483

Each piece is hand fabricated, pierced, and comprised of mostly sterling silver with at times accents of copper and brass to enhance each piece. I have incorporated beautiful semi precious stones into many of the pieces as well. My hope is that the future owner of these pieces will be reminded to celebrate life everyday, to recognize the beauty around them in the simple things, and to keep the memories of their loved ones always close to their hearts.

These pieces can be found this holiday Season for only TWO WEEKS at ART MOB Gallery in Minneapolis. Click on link for more details!

For more information about Dia De los Muertos click on the link below!


Maiden Minnesota 2013 at the Graves Hotel Nov. 1st!

Maiden Minnesota

Maiden Minnesota is a fun, socializing and charitable shopping event featuring some of the best women-owned businesses in Minnesota.  Spend the night with friends mingling and shopping for the wonderful products and services that keep us stylish and in love with Minnesota!

Maiden Minnesota 2013 will help support and raise awareness for The Makers Coalition, a movement to restore and build the industrial sewing heritage of America. They work together to find, train and employ a proud, creative and skilled workforce for today and future generations.

More than 35 “Maidens” will show you their fashion, jewelry, accessories, home decor, specialty food items and more.  The event will feature exclusive sales, merchandise, and a silent auction.

I am EXCITED to once again be invited to be a part of this great event. I will be there with many new pieces in my collections. I will also be offering a great gift with purchase at this event so you don’t want to miss it!

Purchase your ticket today!