Since 1986, Mary DeMarco has been handcrafting the La Contessa line of nature-inspired, pewter jewelry and gifts. Mary draws her inspiration from her Italian heritage (la contessa means “the countess” in Italian); her love of antiques and anything vintage; her travels abroad; and time spent in her garden.
After graduating from Towson State University with a degree in fine arts and studying in Florence, Italy, Mary started her business. Each La Contessa design is completely handcrafted in her Maryland studio. First, a model is sculpted and then casted in pewter. The various pieces are then soldered and finished to create a multilayered, naturelike appearance. Semiprecious stones such as Carnelian, Desert Jasper, and Mojave Green Turquoise and Austrian crystals are used to create unique and beautiful combination of colors. Much attention is paid to detail— turn a piece over and you’ll find a bee, a bird, or a flower or perhaps a pair of hands or a bird in a nest as the closure on a necklace. All of these original features distinguish La Contessa in the marketplace, and the designs are often considered timeless collectibles for many customers.