From today, the famed New York-based piercing artist and jewellery designer Maria Tash is opening up shop at Liberty of London. Her pop-up piercing salon and jewellery shop, featuring her Venus by Maria Tash label, is only in town for ten days. So, if there was ever a time to take the piercing plunge, it would be during this rare opportunity and in the safe hands of a leading industry authority and trusted maestro to the stars. 

With over 20 years of experience, Tash’s interest in piercing was first piqued by observing the romance of Indian wedding ceremonial jewellery. “I love the women’s elaborate wedding garb – specifically the jewellery. Their nose rings are elaborate and huge, encompassing sometimes a quarter of the face. Sometimes the nostril and lobe jewellery would need support struts mounted into their hair. Most of their jewellery has mobile elements as well – I do like dangling components.”

That’s not to say she isn’t informed by piercing trends from across the globe. Indeed, she’s thrilled to return to London as she’s been hugely inspired by its subversive culture and extreme fashion, ever since her first visit at 15 with her mother and a friend. She relocated here in the late 1980s to fully immerse herself in its punk and Goth scene. “I loved that era. I had my nostril pierced twice and as well as many ear piercings in Kensington market inspired by the Goth and Indian jewellery stores in the market.  I co-ordinated my hair colour to the stones in my jewellery - green hair with blue and green gemstones.”

With such nostalgia attached to her work, it’s fascinating to hear her speak about the sentimental rituals of piercing. “A piercing involves a kind of nurturing that a tattoo does not. You need to care for it – clean it twice a day and treat it gently for it to become a part of you. In my stores we see mothers and daughters come in to get pierced, couples getting pierced together, people getting pierced to celebrate their desires after a relationship break-up, people trying to reclaim beauty in a scarred area by adding a beautiful piece of jewellery, people getting pierced with a birthstone of a loved one and for many other reasons.”

This preciousness certainly translated into her jewellery design, with the pieces carefully cut and crafted by her lapidaries with diamonds, gold, Australian opal, natural turquoise, and pearls. “For the first time, I have spent time working with pearls. I do like that they are a natural, white alternative to diamonds that flatter most complexions. Part of my reticence with working with pearls was the fact that I dislike that most pearls are glued in place within a piece of jewellery. But in my designs the pearls are all set, with clever fastenings holding them in place.” 

Her favourite piece from the collection is a pearl “coronet” with diamond briolettes. “They outshine the ancient Indian nostril jewellery that inspired them. We have also pierced and installed them in unusual areas of the ear before – not just in the lobe. I am excited to work with my lapidaries to cut stones into tiny sizes and shapes that do not currently exist on the market, creating jewellery that has not been seen before.”

Head down to Liberty now to browse “The London Edit” of the Venus by Maria Tash line. Walk-ins are welcome for the piercing salon, but we’d advise you book early – her last UK appearance sold out in a snap.

Maria Tash is at Liberty from 19th-28th February. To book, call (0)207 573 9858 or email