ABOUT MELISSA


I have tinkered in jewelry making since I was in high school. Then after many years in a high-paced job, I turned to this hobby as a respite from the rigors of the day. After lots of encouragement from my partner, I became serious about improving my craft and creating unique designs. I put my whole heart into jewelry making. I have been selling my creations since 2012 and was accepted as a permitted crafter at Pike Place Market in 2017. In 2018 I found so much fulfillment in my art that I left my job and focused my attention on my jewelry full time - without regrets!

 

TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS

Silver and Copper Clay

Most of my metal designs are created from silver or copper clay. I use a special clay that incorporates recycled metal bits into a binder. This makes the compound malleable so I can sculpt it, form it, roll and cut it as I like. Then I kiln fire my work at 1650 degrees which burns away the clay binder and fuses the metal particles together to form a solid metal piece. I then use reaction techniques to patina the piece to show depth. It's almost like alchemy!

Hand Formed Components

I finish my pieces with the best findings as if I were going to be wearing the piece myself. I use all sterling silver chain and I hand-form each clasp and connection with sterling silver wire. I use a hook-and-eye clasp design that is easy to operate and also looks like a nice part of the piece. I also hand-form my ear wires out of sterling silver wire. I have selected a shape that adds a little drama to the earrings as well as helps the earrings to stay in your ears without backings.

Enameled Copper and Silver

I love adding color to my work! The silver and copper materials that I have selected to work with both allow me to add enameling. Enamel is very fine particles of glass that is either sprinkled on a flat surface or 'wet-packed' into recessed areas of a sculpted piece, then kiln fired at 1500 degrees to fuse the glass to the metal. Sometimes I enjoy the simplicity of solid colors, other times call for fading two or three colors together. The possibilities are endless!