The natural world is always pulling at me….to come in and see her beauty and feel the “mystery of nature”, and so my work celebrates what I experience there.
Old-growth forests fascinate me. As I was developing my distinct style, memories from an extraordinary visit to a coastal redwood forest kept appearing, and inspired the textures and color palettes I began using. More important, it was the emotions I felt when standing in that primeval forest I started to capture, and an organic elegance and sense of antiquity showed up in my style.
Nature provides an endless array of subjects to choose from. Flowers, leaves, trees and riverbeds are reinterpreted using the ancient technique of fusing. I use a torch to adhere tiny granules and raised lines of gold and silver onto the surface of my pieces creating organic textures. Hammers and chasing tools add facets that shimmer with light when brightly polished. Or I may oxidize the piece a deep black to achieve a rich color palette that illuminates the fused gold. These techniques and the gemstones I choose, allow me to express the dance of movement that light, mist and breeze create in the forest.
My work is done in a spontaneous manner, a vision may be sketched out as a starting point, but materials and techniques guide the work into a finished piece. This evolutionary process keeps my creative thoughts flowing.
To propagate this evolution of design, I make one-of-kind pieces, each piece inspiring the next. Serial imagery or what I like to call the “kaleidoscope effect” is where I take a piece and redesign it…. and like the turn of the kaleidoscope, the variations are endless. By making one-of-a-kind pieces, I emulate nature and promote our individuality as humans, which I find a breath of fresh air in a world of mass produced, identical products.
Raised in Pasadena California, Melissa moved to Santa Barbara, then San Francisco, before landing in the mountain town of Park City, Utah with husband and daughter.
A traditionally trained goldsmith, Melissa studied at The Revere Academy in San Francisco and worked for a commercial jeweler in Park City. In her private studio, Melissa began designing a distinct style of artisan jewelry in her own unique voice, and launched her collection in 2013.