Mokume Gane, which translates to "wood-eye metal", is an ancient Japenese metalworking technique mimiced by polymer clay artists. In this case, gold leaf is carefully placed between multiple layers of super thin custom blended tinted translucent clay creating the illusion of depth. Melissa was kind enough to share the masterpiece she created with my beads which prompted this interview.
CreativeSpiritToo: Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself.
DsignsByMelissa: Anything that allows me to be creative is my passion. I went back to school for Interior Design, thinking that was the answer. I’ve been working as a custom decorator since August, and it is in no way as fulfilling as designing jewelry. I would love to someday design jewelry full time. I love being able to take separate pieces andcreate something wonderful.
CreativeSpiritToo: How long have you been designing jewelry?
DsignsByMelissa: I have been designing jewelry since December 2007. It was something that happened by accident. My boyfriend and I bought his daughter a jewelry kit for Christmas, but I think I enjoyed it more than her. It sparked my creative process and a passion was born!
CreativeSpiritToo: What inspires your creations?
DsignsByMelissa: Searching for great beads inspires me. I love to search Etsy destash. That is where I find some of my best beads. I am the type of person that will stare at things for a long time while my mind is creating things. My environment is very influential as well. Once I get an idea in my head, I will sit there and just look around my area until I find something that will work. Everything is a puzzle and it just takes some time to turn the pieces around and around until a masterpiece is created.
CreativeSpiritToo: How would you best describe your artistic style?
DsignsByMelissa: I am very eclectic. It honestly depends on my mood that day as to what kind of jewelry I will create. Some days I feel very traditional, while others I might feel vintage or modern. Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to create until it is done. I will just pick up beads and then add some more, until I feel I am done. Unfortunately, this lead to a very messy work area.
DsignsByMelissa: I have to narrow it down to just one? How about 2? My “In the Garden Earrings” are a perfect example of having no idea what I was going to create when I started. I just knew I wanted to make something with the pink flower beads. I just started adding other pieces, and I just love how simple, yet stunning these turned out!
My proudest creation is something that is not currently in my shop. I use to have it listed, but have removed it because I just have no idea how to price it. It is my Butterfly Necklace. The butterfly itself started out as 2 individual earrings. I removed the posts and altered the design to look like wings.
Each "wing" was soldered together on the backside. I then created the antennas & tail of the butterfly from tinned copper wire. The "body" of the butterfly is strictly solder that has been formed to look like a body. The solder from the body also connects the front together. I added a hook to the back to attach a chain. From that hook hangs a 3" chain, which is constructed of tinned copper rings. I formed, cut, & soldered each ring together to create the funky chain. The same construction method was used for the chain that goes around the neck.
CreativeSpiritToo: Who is your biggest supporter?
DsignsByMelissa: My biggest supporters are the women I use to work with. Jewelry is something that is much more impressive in person and they were the ones that saw it most of the time.
CreativeSpiritToo: Do you have any other artistic talents or outlets you'd like to share?
DsignsByMelissa: I make floral arrangements as well. I’ve created arrangements for a friend’s wedding & many other friends & family members. I would love to be able to do floral arranging along with jewelry design in the future.
CreativeSpiritToo: Tell us about your creative process with my beads?
DsignsByMelissa: My creative process is very easy with CreativeSpirit's beads. They offer great inspiration within themselves. All I do is look for additional beads that will compliment the great colors in her beads. I’ve got some pillow beads on their way to me that will most likely end up in a necklace. They have a very fun, yet a modern feel to it. That is the direction I’m planning on going with them, at least until they speak to me while working with them.
You can find Melissa's work online at the following sites:
Etsy : www.dsignsbymelissa.etsy.com ~ Check out Melissa's Special in her Etsy shop
♥ SNS ♥ Saturday Night Special ♥ SNS ♥ ...
All earrings are 40%. Discount will either be refunded through Paypal, or you can convo her first and she will change the listing price. Sale ends Sunday (3/10) at 10am ET.
ArtFire : www.DesignsByMelissa.artfire.com
Blog : www.dsignsbymelissa.blogspot.com