Lively Leaf Designs (Oct 14+15)
Artist Melissa Pedersen is the creative momma behind Lively Leaf Designs, an elegant and edgy collection of jewellery made from leather, freshwater pearls and stainless steel. Melissa’s passion for unique jewellery started long before she received her BFA (with distinction) in Jewellery & Metals from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2009. She experimented in making jewellery from all types of alternative materials including hardware and recycled materials. After graduating Melissa worked mainly with sterling silver and gemstones. Her silver jewellery has been exhibited internationally and has won numerous awards. Now the mother of three busy boys under the age of five Melissa has challenged herself to make jewellery using safe methods and materials so she can work around her family. Lively Leaf Designs is her current body of work using mostly steel, white pearls and black leather. The leather used in her collection has been upcycled, recovered or from environmentally conscious sources. Using solid stainless steel findings and surgical grade steel ear wires (hypo allergenic) allows Melissa to create quality, lasting jewellery that will not tarnish. Working from her home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Melissa loves growing her vegetable garden in the summer months and creating jewellery throughout the brisk winter.
Everything changed for me when I welcomed my first son into my life, my world was flipped upside down! It was somewhat of a shock for me to give up long glorious hours in the silversmithing studio, and I naively thought I could continue making what I loved while caring for my new little love. Pregnancy and babies do not mix with sharp tools, loud noises, fumes and fire. I knew I had to try something different because the urge to keep creating would not leave me alone! Experimenting with various materials at my kitchen table originally led me to upcycled bicycle inner tube and currently reclaimed leather. Now I have a safe material I can create with alongside my little guys. I was immediately hooked on how lightweight, durable, and richly textured the leather was – perfect for making jewellery. It is an added bonus that I can use an old material destined for the landfill and make it into something beautiful again. My designs are very much influenced by nature, I’ve been exploring the tension between the natural world and the manmade. The black leather has a fun rebellious side and a great industrial look especially alongside stainless steel. These two materials contrast with the natural organic shaped pearls that bring a softness and femininity to the collection. Lively Leaf Designs is the perfect balance between hard and soft, edgy and elegant.