Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Marla Wentz. Aside from being a wife & mom, I’m a wannabe drag racer and pastry chef. I love exploring and photographing abandoned buildings. I make all kinds of art but my main focus is jewelry. Because my tastes are multifaceted, I make a wide variety of styles using many different materials and media. All proceeds from my jewelry sales are donated to a different charity each month.
How did you get your start?
My initial artistic interest was in drawing. After taking ceramics in college, I fell in love with it. I created sculptural, non-functional pieces. After graduation, I didn’t have the equipment or space to continue ceramics at home. I decided to make smaller sculpture that didn’t require special equipment. I also liked the idea of creating wearable art. So, making jewelry was a natural choice.
What inspires you?
Music, song lyrics, and poetry are very inspirational to me. I like to try and represent an abstract thought or feeling in a visual way. I’m also inspired by pop art and car culture. I love to re-purpose non-jewelry items such as toys or car parts into wearable art. My ceramics background inspires me to create hand sculpted papier-mâché pieces.
What do you like about AZ?
I love the colors and textures of the desert landscape. I’m at home in the heat. I love the abundance of Mexican art and culture here. That aesthetic is very influential to me.
Where can we see you(r) work?
You can see my work at various concerts and shows. Since all my proceeds go to charity, I try to find low/no cost venues. I’ve been fortunate to make connections with many amazing local musicians who have allowed me to table at their shows. Occasionally I make jewelry promoting one or more of the performers at the show. The money from the pieces I sell goes to charity and any pieces left are given to the artist to do whatever they like. So, they are helping me to help a cause and I’m supporting them in return! You can also find my work on Facebook at Hothouse Orchid.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I believe very much in the ripple effect people can have in the world. So, if I have brought even the smallest amount of happiness to someone, my only hope is that it spread, even one person at a time, to add to the collective positive energy in the world.
What is your mantra?
Love the unloved. That applies to my aesthetic as well as on a deeper, humanitarian level. I’ve always enjoyed finding the beauty in things most people don’t consider beautiful. And I love to celebrate and support people who are considered outcasts or underdogs. That is why all my proceeds go to charity. I like to support lesser known organizations that don’t get as much attention as the larger non-profits.
Check out Marla’s work at Not Confined’s Birthday Bash happening at The Trunk Space on Saturday April 6. She’ll have Not Confined necklaces and, of course, cupcakes!