My jewelry is inspired by successful graphic, product, and furniture design, as well as architecture. Contemporary European and American design and design movements from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries have had a profound effect on me, and my design aesthetic. Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Philippe Starck, and Vasily Kandinsky and Marimekko are among the architects, designers, and artists that influence me. Growing up in Chicago gave me an appreciation of architecture. Attending Parsons School of Design in New York City exposed me to the exciting world of design. I try to convey my passion for innovative design and architecture through my jewelry.
Since developing my first metal line of jewelry in 1994, I have wanted to incorporate color into my work. The challenge was developing a line of color in an alternative material. I had no desire to set stones or work with resin. Enameling was not an option either. After much trial and error, felted wool became the solution to my color dilemma. It had the rich, saturated color I was looking for as well as a great texture. As I played with the material, I began to realize how much I loved the richness of the felt set against the oxidized sterling.
Essentially I am making and setting little felt stones and tassels into my jewelry. The jewelry is primarily made of oxidized sterling. Some pieces contain 18k Bi-Metal and gold plated screws. All jewelry is hand fabricated by myself. As I play and try to push the envelope of this new technique, I am trying to incorporate more metal smithing into the pieces. I am enjoying the challenges and rewards that these two materials present. There is no doubt in my mind that my early days contemplating my career in fashion design at Parsons have met with my actual career as a metal smith.
Pictured below is Michele’s CPU Pin with a removable pendant converter. $925. Measures 2.25 x 2.25 x .25. To purchase Michele’s work, visit Michele on Etsy.