I am interested in creating items using an eclectic mix of jewellery-making techniques. Having sought creative outlets throughout my life, my experience began at about age 10 when I learned to sew clothes and repair my own jewellery. I even asked my father if I could open the back of a broken clock to see if I could find why it was no longer working! No I couldn’t fix it but I remain curious about how things are made and why they work. Over the last ten years I learned and practiced more advanced techniques after discovering a bead kiosk with “proper tools”. My learning started with classes in bead shops, workshops, on-line Forums and websites, lapidary club, books and magazines. Learning never ceases and I continue to be inspired by creative people around me. I love the challenge of creating all components of jewellery from scratch and many of my pieces contain a variety of components that I have made. However, I have also sourced quality components to use as needed. As I enjoy doing multiple techniques, I have not defined a particular style, preferring to be open to the variety available. Some of these are outlined as a brief summary. Beadweaving: A very fine needle is used to pick up beads one at a time in particular sequence to be woven into a variety of shapes. These can be flat and ribbon-like or shapes e.g. round forming a rope. Techniques include Peyote Stitch, Herringbone, St Petersburg, Brick Stitch, Square Stitch, Right Angle Weave, Netting and Spiral Stitches. Embellishments such as fringing and picot can be added to change the look. Above all, it must be remembered that each bead has been picked up individually using a needle. Bead Embroidery: Beads are used to embellish a piece of base material. Often a cabochon (flat backed jewel or button) is applied to the material and used as the focal or part of the design. Some of the beadweaving techniques may also be used to enhance the embroidery. Stringing: Stringing is an under-recognised skill. For a piece to “look right” the colours, sizes and sequence must be balanced. Beads for the purpose of making jewellery are sometimes purchased on a string however that is only temporary. They must be transferred onto a more durable material which can be made of natural and synthetic threads or cords or even wire. Wire is best to be multi-strand for flexibility and kink-resistance. Wireworking techniques are often used to finish a piece. Wireworking: As the name suggests wire is bent, curved, twisted, wrapped, cut, filed, hammered into shapes. Wire work may be used to create components and whole pieces of jewellery. Similar techniques can enclose or enhance beads and other objects as well. Good tools are key to the techniques. Polymer Clay: Polymer clay is malleable and becomes very durable after baking. It is available in a wide range of colours and may be mixed to create more. So not only is the art in the shaping and sculpting but also in the blending and mixing of colours to suit the finished piece. A sealer is not necessary however my pieces are always finished by sanding to a smooth finish even if a sealer is used. Metalwork: Metal sheet or shapes are altered by cutting, sawing, planishing, hammering, shaping, filing, engraving, stamping, doming, drilling and soldering. A range of metals lend themselves to being worked and I look forward to adding these to my collection in the future. Upcycling: There is a challenge in recruiting objects that are no longer in use to make them into something that is beautiful again. I have used retro and vintage buttons as focal points in the techniques used above. An orphan earring may become part of a necklace. Industrial offcuts and excess material can form components in a bracelet. An article in the social pages of an old newspaper can be used as part of a pendant. There are so many possibilities to bring old objects back into use to minimize waste. I have chosen The Old Schoolhouse Gallery to display my work as it is a community gallery run by the artists who display their work. I hope you enjoy your visit to the gallery and the jewellery that I have created. Malissa 

  • Malissa J
  • Malissa J

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