A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Under-Exposed Genius--Melissa Meman Designs

I came across this jewelry artisan on Artfire a few months ago and hotlisted some of her things. Stumbled across her again the other day when I was Kaboodling from my Artfire hotlist, and was struck again by how beautiful and imaginative her designs are. A really high level of craftsmanship, detail, and intricacy, yet without being fussy. This pendant in particular really impresses me--I find it just breathtaking. The wire mesh cage over the aventurine briolette, and the intricately wrought S-clasp are really something special:

The light oxidation on the silver really gives it an "antiquity" feel--I could imagine a Minoan princess wearing this.

I love the wire work in this pendant--now THAT is a bail. I just don't have that kind of patience. And probably not the fine motor skills. Don't you LOVE peach moonstone?

And these earrings are museum quality wearable art:

I poked around in Melissa's Etsy shop too, and signed on to follow her blog (doing my stalker thing), and felt she needed some love and attention--an undiscovered genius (her, I mean--well, yeah, me too, especially the genius part) who needs some more exposure! I asked Melissa if she would be game to be featured on my blog, and she foolishly agreed (she clearly didn't read back far enough in my archives before giving me the go ahead--too late now Melissa! muahahahaha!)--so I pawed through her personal information on her sites and share it with you now.

Melissa has been designing and handcrafting unique jewelry for over 15 years. She describes her artistic journey at her website, melissameman.com:

My "handmade" journey began many years ago in a small southern town. I am the youngest of five children and we grew up with our mother making most of our clothes (and many other things) by hand. Our father was a house-painter, but also a farmer and we lived off the land as much as possible. My sisters and I have always been involved in some craft or project for as long as I remember...I think my first endeavor was crocheting which I still love! Currently, I live in Maryland with my husband and son.

My mission is to create "one-of-a-kind" designs with a unique, eclectic flair. You know, jewelry that will make someone stop you and ask you where you got it! I am working on a few "limited edition" pieces, and love custom work. I hope to have a new bridal collection ready soon.

I am always trying to incorporate new techniques into my designs. I utilize a mix of materials - gemstones, artisan-made glass beads (lampwork), precious metal findings and wire (sterling, Balinese, Thai Hill Tribe and Indian silver; bronze; gold-filled; and gold-vermeil), freshwater pearls, coral and other organics, Austrian crystals, Czech and German glass...the list goes on!

Most of my designs are created with a "wrapped" link technique, usually utilizing sterling silver, gold-filled or bronze wire. I absolutely love this style, not only for its beauty and versatility, but also for its strength and durability. I occasionally utilize a strung method with beading wire and sterling or gold-filled crimps.

Melissa also designs and makes rosaries--with the same uniqueness, craftsmanship, luxurious materials, and attention to detail as her other designs:

I LOVE all these sweet little earrings too! I don't have the engineering ability to figure out how to do this with wire:

Stop by Melissa's blog, and her Artfire and Etsy shops and show her some love!!


  1. Thanks for sharing such a great artist. I love what she did with the oval green/white stones in the first necklace - they really look amazing!

  2. Keirsten...Thank you so much! You rock! I will definitely have to go all the way back to the beginning and read. By the way, am loving your jewelry, especially those hand-wrought chains of yours.

  3. Wow! Great craftsmanship! Everything looks so perfect. She's definitely a Wire Wizard!

  4. Peach moonstone! Sooo gorgeous! Love these creations.

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  6. very good choice again!!! this artisan is very very very talented!!! the first pictures looks like magazines;; wow!! the little flowers earings are so cute!! and so different!! i've seen these magical beads in the link you've shared .. bead shop!! so so cute!!