Melissa Farratell

Melissa Farratell

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework or Chain


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Describe your artistic style.
Unique and enchanted, I am a huge history buff, so a lot of my pieces are related to history, ancient myths, books I have read and my own creative inspiration.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
People inspire me most; I get a lot of comments on how unique and unusual my jewelry is. I also love to look at old photos, jewelry books, browse the internet, sometimes I get my ideas from books that I have read.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire, natural stones, pearls, bicone beads and polymer clay.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Sunrise Sunset

What inspired this design?
Watching the sunrise one morning while staying on Mackinac Island.

How did it come together?
The piece defined itself while I was working on it. Sometimes I have a plan for a piece and then other times I let the stones tell me.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
When I started theater at the age of 11, I began an interest in arts and crafts. I was taught how to make jewelry or repair jewelry for the costumes that we would use for the productions. I continued on with making jewelry when I went into college and earned my degree in Theater.

Who introduced you to beading?
A lot of different people, I was interested in the gems and stones and how they were set and strung and it began from there.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes--I earned my bachelor's degree in Theater and Music, with a minor in History, so it was instilled in my youth and has continued on.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
A jewelry store clerk while I was searching for some treasures to use in my jewelry.

What other hobbies do you have?
Writing, reading, blogging

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes--Creative Souls, Indiepublic, Etsy, FaeTeam (Fantasy Artists Of Etsy) and a few more.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
This is a full-time career for me. I have a shop in my home town where I am a partner and they are equally artistic, so inspiration and artistic conversation is a constant.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website, blog, enter contests , post on Facebook and twitter, I also attend craft fairs, bazaars and shows.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes--my mother is a survivor of Fibromyalgia, which is a very painful disease which affects the nervous system, I made a bracelet in her honor.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Keep at it. Practice makes perfect. Don't be afraid to tear something up and start over, never be satisfied keep striving for better and more advanced projects.