In 2003, Melissa decided on a whim to take a lampworking class, the art melting glass using a surface-mix torch and was immediately hooked to the limitless and colorful opportunities glass presents.
Today, she focuses on offering unique jewelry that incorporates vintage details with a modern twist by incorporating her own artisan glass creations with precious stones and mixed metals. She is always inspired by color, graphic elements in nature and patterns in everyday objects.
1. What’s your medium of choice and what do you love about it?
Glass: I’ve been lampworking, the art of making glass beads using a 2,000+ degree flame, for 12 years. I refer lampwork as the “miniature” version of glassblowing which people are more familiar with. I love it because with the endless color palette, it’s almost like painting, but with heat and flame. I love how glass can glow under light. Glass is a great medium to experiment and try new things.
2. What are you working on right now? What’s on your camera/desk/easel or in your studio?
I have a variety of jewelry projects going on since I have some upcoming shows. While glass is my main focus, I do metalwork as well, so I’ve been refining my metalsmithing skills and incorporating glass and silver together, along with bits of copper. There are several glass cabochons that need to be set in silver, copper that that needs to be etched and beads that need to be cleaned. The list goes on and on!
3. What practices/activities are most valuable to your creative process?
I kinda mentioned it above, but lists! I initially got out of the habit, but started it again and it keeps me on track. Plus, it is extremely satisfying to cross off items. Also, I tend to work better under pressure… having that deadline helps me focus.
4. What’s one thing you want to share with others about your art and/or process?
First rules of torching… always wear cotton or a natural fiber. Pull your long hair back. The rolling chair can be your best friend. A stainless steel mandrel that has been in a 950 degree kiln for 10 minutes is hot. Ah yes… I’ve had quite a few life lessons working with glass!
5. What advice would you give to your young artist self?
Do what makes you happy.
It’s really not that big of a deal… make it work.
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