Made in Houston

Heart of Glass: Mariquita Masterson's Art Jewelry

A colorful new collection from the woman who makes Houston's most avant-garde status symbol.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen June 4, 2015

Mariquita Masterson is not what you expect. She has one Houston's most prestigious surnames, and yet takes inspiration from her childhood in Mexico. Her jewelry has been an in-the-know society status symbol in town for almost the whole of the 30 years she's been making it, but that's not because it's dripping with expensive jewels. Masterson's material of choice is everyday, ordinary glass, hand-blown and hand-cut into endlessly surprising and colorful forms.

Masterson in her "Mexican-pink" studio

"I've always been interested in the crossover between fashion and art," says Masterson. "When I decided I wanted to do the jewelry I was more interested in it being an art form than something in fashion." 

Masterson rejects the idea of designing around a theme for a collection, preferring instead to take inspiration as it comes to her. In addition to her predominant work in glass, her jewelry includes other precious and not-so-precious materials, from pearls and coral to petrified wood and river stones.

"My family was on vacation with the Studes, and they were going to go tubing down the Frio River. The water was too cold for me, so I made up the excuse I was going to work on some jewelry and I went down to the river and started picking up river rocks—and there you go. I think rocks are as beautiful as diamonds," says Masterson.

The pieces in Mariquita Masterson's Fall/Winter 2015 collection, pictured here, can be found in her boutique at 2505 River Oaks Blvd. Or, you can save yourself the trip and just admire few of our favorites below.

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