A formally trained metalsmith, Melissa learned the ropes of torch, solder and hammer at a very technical jewelry school. The curriculum leaned heavily on craftsmanship, and in the beginning she felt compelled to create only polished and refined pieces. As time passed, however, she discovered her aesthetic was more raw, rustic and organically shaped. To achieve her signature style for new pieces, she skips the sketchbooks and experiments directly in metal, shaping, forging and gem setting until a prototype emerges. All of her wearable sculptures employ her well honed smithing skills and are beautiful inside and out, made with recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced stones and the least toxic studio chemicals Melissa can find.