Marine biologist Maddalena Bearzi crafts beautiful jewellery inspired by whales and dolphins

Maddalena Bearzi isn't just a marine biologist and president of the LA-based non-profit organisation, Ocean Conservation Society; she's also an incredibly talented jewellery maker, designing pieces inspired by her research in the wild. For this particular line, she took cues from whales and dolphins to craft beautiful necklaces, bracelets and rings that hint at the graceful sea mammals.

"Spending thousands of hours at sea in the company of whales and dolphins, I began to know some of them by sight and, like my human friends, they became an integral part of my life. I learned of their needs, not only for space but also for companionship, and I witnessed their fluid, complex societies, which in many ways are quite similar to our own," said Maddalena.

A whale diving freely into the open ocean impassioned this designer to create Ba-lena (meaning "whale" in English), a unique, organic-looking handmade necklace that is also a statement against whales and dolphins being kept in captivity.

All of Maddalena's organic jewellery is inspired by the natural world and she finds sources of creativity everywhere around her. A love for animals and plants, a passion for the discovery of different cultures, textures and materials, and a commitment to ethical and environmentally-friendly practices are at the heart of her work. Using methods and materials that tend to avoid depleting or destroying the Earth’s resources, Maddalena's pieces exemplify that style and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.

What's more, a portion of sales from Ba-lena is donated to the protection of whales and dolphins in the wild. To discover more, visit

All images: ©maddalenabearzi