||Meet the Designer-Artist
As an American-born Chinese, my style is very East meets West--modern Asian. My work is strongly influenced by my Chinese heritage, especially the culture's deep respect and esteem for nature. I am most proud of Transcendence 3, a series of three metal clay pendants celebrating the annual Cherry Blossom festival in Washington D.C. This series won 1st place in the clay hobbyist category and overall Best in Show: Handmade Beads in the first annual Bead Museum of Washington D.C.'s Celebrating Beads International Jewelry Design Competition. I planned this piece out months in advance; I changed some things in the process, but in the end, the final pieces looked essentially like my concept drawing.
Share Your Background
I started making jewelry in April 2005; I was planning a wedding and I decided that I wanted to make personalized pendants for each of my bridesmaids. A month before the wedding, I purchased a package of Art Clay, tools, and a torch from Fire Mountain Gems and carved fine silver pendants for each of my girls. I was surprised with how easy it was to work with the material and I was hooked! I discovered Fire Mountain Gems when I was working on my senior thesis exhibition and needed replica Chinese coins for some handmade fan books I was putting together. I Googled for replica Chinese coins and found Fire Mountain Gems--the rest is history!
It is a part-time career for me; I currently work full-time as a graphic-designer for an international engineering firm. Jewelry-making is a relaxing way of spending my evenings and it helps me unwind from my day. It's like a creative reboot for me. I have an online store, I sell in a gallery in Washington D.C., attend as many of the local arts and craft shows as I can, and enter as many competitions that I have time for. I've been a finalist for three years in a row in the Fire Mountain Gems Beading contest, and was in total shock when I found my piece in a Fire Mountain Gems' ad in Jewelry Artist magazine!
View more of Melissa's designs in the Gallery of Designs.