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About Mariko

IMG_0638 2_Portrait of Mariko Sumioka_20

Mariko is a contemporary art jewellery artist. She graduated from BA (Hons) Edinburgh College of Art with First class in 2011, and set up her studio in London. She currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.


Here is a story how she started her jewellery. It was a long path..... It took more than she thought...


She was born and grew up in Japan. Due to her father's job, Brazil was also one of the cities where she lived and was strongly inspired to be a jeweller. By joining a local kindergarten, she was fascinated by her friends’ jewellery in gold and gemstones. Their small and sparking jewellery drew her eyes, giving her special impressions and excitements. Making or wearing jewellery has become something very personal for her since then. As far as she remembers, she had an idea, more clearly a picture of herself, sitting on the jewellery bench and making jewellery. 


When it came to choose her degree, she did not choose to study art and design for the first place. Economics was her first degree at a university in Osaka, hoping to work for the international organizations which help and support those countries. She wanted to do jewellery alongside her work in the future.


After graduation, she worked for energy sectors by providing investments in oil and gas upstream businesses. The industry exposed her to the geology. She loved to imagine how oil and gas have been created and stored deep under the ground for the incredibly long period of time by looking at the geographic map. Gemstones and metals were created similarly to those energy resources. This inadvertent chance led to the rediscovery of her childhood dream of being a jeweller. This time, her fascination towards creation and jewellery made her resolve to realize the dream.


She started a part-time course in jewelry design & making in Tokyo. She gained a strong confidence that she liked to do it further. She left the job and prepare her portfolio and application for an art college abroad. In Autumn 2009, she started her study in Edinburgh, UK.


She has been always interested in and inspired by the relationship and contrasts between human being and nature; manmade and natural objects. She found the inspirations in her origin. Her visual and theoretical study toward Japanese culture helped develop her work further. By looking at traditional Japanese architecture and the spirit of Zen, she understands more how Japanese love nature and live together.


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