Exhibiting Artist

Hidden Garden

Sterling silver, copper, brass, and CZs

4 x 2.25 x 0.31 inches

Photographed by artist




The “Hidden Garden” is a part of the challenge given by Halstead, inc. and Snag. All entrants received the same items with a challenge to create a one of a kind piece of art within the theme of “Hidden.” As I began to brainstorm different ideas, one shape and mechanism concept came to mind as as the engineering process progressed, the idea of a garden theme came to life. As a garden grows, so did this piece with a small idea turning into this very complex and technically challenging piece. Some of the challenges presented with this piece was how to control the movement of the two gates so they didn’t open too far, close incompletely and to stay closed when wearing. Looking for ways to add more texture to the piece, I found small punch outs of metal from other tools used in the studio. The beads for the gate pulls come from a pair of earrings not worn by my daughter in too long of a time. All other materials used in the piece were from the challenge kit, with the additions of some metal wire and sheet.



Melissa enjoys creating unique jewelry items but her passion and true talent, lies in teaching. Her jewelry journey began as something to help pass the time and as a creative outlet. Creativity was something new to her in terms of visual and jewelry arts, so it was a real struggle to come up with ideas. And just like any other talent, she found that the more she worked with it, the easier it became and the more her skills progressed. After moving to Ohio, Melissa decided to make jewelry making, design and teaching her career. Melissa has taught hundreds of hands on workshops to date and has a full list of online workshops to her name and even more coming. Melissa works with a number of tool vendors and creators in both testing and developing new tools for the jewelry industry. Her love of tools can easily be seen in her weekly YouTube segment, Tool Time Tuesday, where she reviews, shares tips and tricks, answers questions bout all sorts of tools and even throws in a number of tutorials on how to use the tools to make various jewelry items.