Meet Maria Tash, Ear Piercer To The Fashion Pack

Creator of delicate 'ear composition' dreams

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Multiple ear piercings are still trending. Big time. And we have Maria Tash partly to thank for it.

She's specialised in them for years, with clients including Gwyneth Paltrow and Candice Swanepoel, as well as countless fashion editors, pouring into her New York studio to have her work her magic.

As such, she's become synonymous with the trend for dainty earrings dotted all over the ear, their placement tailored perfectly to each individual's ear shape and overall aesthetic.

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When she held a pop-up at Liberty earlier this year, people waited for hours to have her work her magic and snap up her beautiful, delicate ear jewellery form her Venus by Maria Tash line. 

Thankfully, from August 5th she will be back in the UK for good with a permanent piercing studio at Liberty, so we took the opportunity to ask her all our burning questions about multiple piercings. Read on for her expert advice.

How long have you been piercing for?

I have been piercing professionally since 1993.

What made you want to start?

A love of multiple ear piercings and a dearth of great jewellery for piercings.  I started wrapping gold and niobium rings to create jewellery for initial piercings very early in my career.  When I started piercing, there was only very industrial body jewellery available (thick steel rings and circular barbells).

How long have you been designing jewellery?

I took some classes in my early youth, and then made pieces experimenting on myself.  Designing since the 80s, professionally since the early 90s.

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What's your jewellery signature?

I am known for small and precise rings and thin threaded backed studs that can be worn continuously in multiple lobe piercings.  If you had asked me what my signature was in the 90s, I would have said elaborate navel jewellery.  But with ear piercings and multiple ear lobe and cartilage jewellery being our primary sales, I have spent years trying to create unusual variations on my best sellers, with clever closures and decorative backings.

How does your 'unique' technique differ from other piercers? 

I think it is my aesthetic - a stress on piercings ear in a forward direction (not necessarily perpendicular to the tissue like ear piercing guns do), as well as piercing with thin jewellery and rings.  I have written extensively about proper ear piercing angling it in my blog, The Fine Art of Ear Piercing.

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Why do you think multiple ear piercings has become such a trend lately?

It's a beautiful look when done tastefully.  And I really think developments in jewellery have inspired the piercings more than the other way around.  We frequently hear "I did not want to get pierced until I saw the jewellery!"  I also think it is fun and creative putting styles of jewellery in different piercings instead of assuming everything has to match on the left and right sides of the body.  Experimenting with asymmetry can be liberating.

What are you asked for the most? 

Advice on where, in my opinion, on the ear, to get pierced based on existing placements.  Clients frequently want me to imagine what I would do with their ears.

Does what clients want different in London to NY?

London has savvy clients - we see a lot of the beauty and fashion set so they have great taste.  Rose gold continues to be popular, and diamond and small spike jewellery is popular. 

What's the key to getting the perfect 'ear composition'?

The perfect ear composition is one that is balanced with the wearer's personal style.  The jewellery assembly should resonate with a client's personal taste in metals and stones, and then have an overall effect that does not overwhelm any apparel looks, and is usually worn continuously (but doesn't have to be).  We also do composition where we can use jewellery to cloak or diminish any irregularity in the structure of an ear, or conversely bring attention to a well-balanced feature.

Does it depend on size of the ear etc?

It more depends on their personal style.  All ears are different but some are more symmetric than others.

If you're a piercing virgin, where's the best place to start?

Fantasise about what you would like to look like.  What would you ideally like to wear? You can even use nail gems to simulate a piercing and move it around.  We also sell "sizing rings", faux, cuff rings that slide onto your ears with different diameters to simulate and stimulate the imagination while giving a realistic fit for a future look.

Best way to care for piercings afterwards?

A piercing will take a while of time to heal and one has to nurture and take care of it.  If you are nervous about getting pierced, I would concentrate on the final look not the momentary discomfort of getting pierced. Current piercing aftercare product of the moment is wound wash sterile saline, twice per day.

If you've had a bad piercing, how long do you have to wait before you can get them re-done?

Sometimes we can take the piercing out and re-pierce in the same sitting.  However, if there is any alteration in the shape of the tissue (swelling, redness) we usually wait for the tissue to get back to it's non-inflamed state to correctly position the new piercing.

The Maria Tash Piercing Studio opens on the Ground Floor of Liberty on August 5th. Call +44 (0)207573 9650 or email MariaTashBookings@liberty.co.uk for appointments. Walk-ins welcome.

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