Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Finelli.
Melissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My introduction to the magical world of metalsmithing began at North Bennet Street School in the North End. It was rigorous technical training. We would work from images of traditional pieces, and execute them through hand fabrication. There I learned how to alloy metal, forming, hand engraving, tool making, stone cutting and so much more. It is where I fell in love with moving metal.
After graduating, I slowly worked on my first body of work. It was in the tiniest home studio on an old wobbly table tucked under a window in the living room. I had limited tools, but learned to work with what I had. As I acquired a new tool, my techniques shifted- my work grew. I was constantly changing, always in motion. It was the first time I had the freedom of experimenting with metal on my own terms and learning of its endless possibilities.
I started to become curious about what it would be like to increase my scale. I decided it was time to explore. I studied sculpture at Museum School, I dabbled in clay, wood and steel. Working with new materials was so exciting. But my love for the challenges of metal was unwavering. I found myself in the welding shop most often. At home in my jewelry studio, I would make prototypes out of silver. Then head back to the welding shop and recreate them larger. This changed the way worked forever.
After having time to explore in my home studio, I started to see my technical training and year studying sculpture at Museum School come together in the pieces I was creating. To this day, I find myself drawn to the obsessiveness of working small, and endlessly motivated by the engineering challenges of these minute compositions.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being self-employed, there are always so many balls in the air.
I am an artist, designer, creator, marketing executive, customer service representative, travel planner, booth designer, sales person, you get the idea… When you are responsible for every aspect of your business there are always struggles to overcome. The biggest challenge is often times feeling spread a little too thin. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Melle Finelli Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am known for my large scale, sculptural silver and gold jewelry pieces with an organic, yet futuristic twist.
When I am not busy creating in the studio, you’ll find me all over the country exhibiting in various art and craft shows. From street fairs to Museum and Gallery shows. They all have a place in my creative business. It is how I find my clients and collectors find my work. I also wholesale to craft galleries and boutiques nationwide, and do select custom work.
Two years ago, I opened Melle Finelli Studio in the South End. It is a charming, intimate space tucked away in the courtyard at 46 Waltham Street where I house my studio and gallery space.
The gallery is focused on contemporary, wearable jewelry, sculptural ceramics and glass. There are 20 + artists represented that rotate continuously. There is a personal connection to the work I show. The artists are people near and dear to my heart. It’s a joy to see a part of them in the gallery every day!
I have been curating exciting contemporary work from international artists and other fresh faces in the contemporary jewelry world. This has been an amazing experience for me. I have enjoyed meeting new artists and being introduces to new materials and ways of creating. I love working together with other artists, all supporting one another.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It’s an amazing feeling to make something that travels from you head, through your soul, to your hands. Then becomes an object. At risk of sounding corny, every time a piece of my work finds a new home I am so proud.
- We have something for everyone! 25$-4000$
- Address: 46 Waltham Street #7
In the court yard
- Website: www.mellefinellijewelry.com
- Phone: 617-429-2035
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @mellefinelli
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/mellefinellistduio
Shop, bubble ring and necklace images – Shannon Owen
Earrings, feeler and scribble ring images – Deb Adelson