Melsie Anderson

Melsie Anderson

Chili Peppers
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2014 featuring Creative Clays

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I live in Galesburg, Illinois with my husband, 8-month-old daughter and several fish indoors and out.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I love color. I find inspiration in the beautiful array of colors in tropical flowers and in native fabrics from around the world.

What medium do you work with mostly?
I work with polymer clay. I find it to be a versatile medium. I enjoy finding new ways to work with this material.

Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making?
I used to make jewelry for myself and my dolls from things in my mother's sewing basket. And of course, like most children I played with Play-Doh. I enjoy creating my own jewelry and working with my hands. I started working with polymer clay about 15 years ago. Since then, I have created colorful unique jewelry that speaks about my love of nature and my childhood in the tropics.

Where and How do you sell your jewelry?
I have been selling my creations for the past 10 years at art shows and outdoor markets throughout Illinois and Iowa. I also have my jewelry in local art galleries and gift shops. I am in the process of starting to sell on Etsy. We just had a baby this year. So, an online store is the best alternative to weekly art shows for this stay-at-home mom.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Chili Peppers

What inspired this design?
I was inspired after watching the movie about the life of Frida Kahlo. She is one of my favorite painters.

How did it come together?
In farmer's markets throughout Mexico, you would find chains of dried chili peppers sold in vendor stalls. I created a necklace of chili peppers as a reminder of the colorful flowers and hand-dyed fabrics and the scents of spices and exotic fruits.