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Jewelry

Melissa Schmidt

About The Artist

My jewelry-making career began when I was 20. In an attempt to re-create an earring, I lost. Even though I didn’t realize it then, after all attempts at finding the artist failed, I decided to go to a bead store in San Francisco, where I was living, and buy the materials needed to make my lost earring. I remember loving the transparent glass beads the most. How the light would make them shine and glow. I remember thinking, there is nothing more beautiful than this. There was no thought that this would someday become my livelihood, just that I wanted to make this earring. Soon after, I moved to Saint Louis to study interior design. Beads were put aside, and I finished my degree and began working in commercial interior design. The beads came back out. I started making and selling pieces to my co-workers and friends for fun. I have made jewelry throughout my interior career—a prolonged organic process.


There needed to be a plan to turn it into a full-time job. A few things happened that led me to choose jewelry over interiors. One was a visit to the Saint Louis Art Fair; seeing the artists with jewelry booths was one. I remember being mesmerized by one artist who used colored pencils on metal. Deb Karash. They were so different than other types of jewelry. Another was my mother, a collector of artist-made jewelry. I saw the pieces she would wear and collect, and they looked so amazing on her even though I didn’t quite understand them. They were so different and made of unusual materials.


I am an independent artist making museum-quality glass jewelry and sculptures from Pyrex. I am known for making glass bubbles and putting interesting materials like 35 mm slide film and origami cranes inside of them, as well as other things like gilded plants and origami paper scrolls. I am most proud that I have made a job for myself. I found a way to thrive in my work and artistic career, mostly doing what I wanted. I bring wonder and joy to people. They in return bring wonder and joy to others when they wear a piece of my work. Mainly, what sets me apart is originality. I am the only artist (that I know of ), so I have been told who does what I do. Some artists do aspects of what I do in a more simplified way, but no one has taken it as far as I have. So I’ve been told.


I felt their importance to her, so I became interested in this work. My mom and her husband would take me to Nancy Sachs Gallery, and they would look at the jewelry. I saw this type of jewelry in a gallery setting. I just realized that art jewelry could be at that level with wall art and sculpture. Lastly, there were 2 jewelry artists I came to know that were doing art fairs and making a living doing it. I had been laid off from interiors throughout my 15-year career 3 times, and if you work in the industry, you would know that this is not uncommon—each time, I had to scramble to pay my monthly bills. If I had my own business, I would realize in advance if I wasn’t going to be able to pay my bills. So it was a jumping-off point. It was somewhat strategic, a calling, and at the end of the day, the only thing I could see as making sense. I began in 2009 full-time, right as the recession unfolded. Traveling the entire country, doing juried art fairs from Florida to California and everywhere. I was in heaven.

Save The Dates

  • Nov 14, 2024, 10:00 AM – Nov 17, 2024, 4:00 PM
    La Quinta, Civic Center, La Quinta, CA 92253, USA
    November 14, 2024 – November 17, 2024 | 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Daily La Quinta Civic Center, 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, CA 92253, USA Artist Applications Open April 8 and close July 14, 2024. Register your contact details and we'll get in touch when tickets are available for sale.
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  • Feb 27, 2025, 10:00 AM – Mar 02, 2025, 5:00 PM
    La Quinta, Civic Center, La Quinta, CA 92253, USA
    February 27, 2025 – March 2, 2025 | 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily La Quinta Civic Center, 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, CA 92253, USA Artist Applications Open August 1 and close October 6, 2024 Register your contact details and we'll get in touch when tickets are available for sale.
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