|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
My style is very eclectic. I love picking out every single bead and component for each design I create. I enjoy mixing old and new items together. I pride myself on making every item one of a kind.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
There is no way for me to pick one simple thing. Everywhere I look, I try to imagine how I can use something I see in a piece of jewelry. Also, and foremost, I love jewelry!
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I most enjoy working with mixed stones, metals and seed beads. I also use all types of vintage jewelry that is broken that I can upcycle.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
Waterfalls in the Moonlight. It is so mystical and shadowed.
How did it come together?
I always pull out the color of beads I want to work with first. I start separating the ones that look great together. Then after I design the focal, it seems as though everything else just comes together.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began beading about 15 years ago. I wanted to make myself jewelry to match my clothing. I started out with stretch cord and plastic beads.
Who introduced you to beading?
No one really introduced me to beading. I just remember as a child sitting in a closet with my sister, playing in my grandmother's jewelry box. I have loved jewelry since then.
Do you have an artistic background?
I've always enjoyed creating things. I also paint. I use acrylics and other mixed media. I have painted a few large murals, several canvases, and many pieces of furniture. But, I learn something new every day.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
When I became serious about beading, I began to search for suppliers. When I found Fire Mountain Gems and Beads I did not have to search any further. Everything I needed was in one place.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy reading, spoiling my grandchildren, playing with my dogs, and spending time with family. I also enjoy antique stores and gardening.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes, the jewelry ring on yahoo, I also have a page on Deviant Art, Etsy and Zibbet.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making is a relaxing, exciting and peaceful time for me. I make jewelry almost every day. I also enjoy repairing jewelry for others. My dream is to do jewelry-making as a career. But for now I am happy when I have a booth at a craft fair or festival.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do have a web site it's www.mellostuff.etsy.com. I try to attend craft fairs and festivals. The 2010 gemstone contest is the first jewelry contest I have ever entered.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, I donate my work to breast cancer fundraisers and for projects at retreats for survivors. My sister is a 12 year survivor and it is very important to me.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Yes, don't ever give up! Practice, practice, practice. You will constantly learn something new. Take the time to enjoy the work of other beaders. No one has the same style or technique and that is what makes every piece a work of art.
View all of Melissa's designs in the Gallery of Designs.