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Melissa’s shop isn’t full of mass produced items, and that’s by design. Instead, she wants an intimate experience for her customers so they can choose what styles best suit them. Though her shop may not have the world reach of large jewelers, customers can have peace of mind knowing her materials are safe and ethical.
Melissa doesn’t have a favorite piece because that changes with each new creation. She’s really proud when a customer comes in and they can collaborate to make that perfect piece that is true to the customer’s vision. That’s mainly how her practice has changed over time. She’s continues to evolve to do more for her customers.
Her latest artistic challenge has been outside the world of metalsmithing and jewelry. Having recently received a new camera as a gift, she’s taken to photography and has been trying to photograph her jewelry for her online presence. Photographing jewelry is harder than it looks, as the image just never looks as good as the piece does in person. But, she continues to get better and admits to practicing on her cats a lot! You can check out her photography on Instagram @stenstrommelissa.
Melissa says no item in her studio is truly indispensable for basic metalsmithing work, but many are needed for elaborate jewelry work. She doesn’t need much preparation for her craft. The morning routine consists of making coffee, feeding the turtles, and getting back to project she was working on.
Melissa wants visitors on the Ames Area Studio Tour to know she’s here to make their next custom jewelry piece and explain the process behind it. She also hopes that the guests will share something they’ve learned from the other studios, because she’s excited to host a tour stop but also wishes she could go on the tour herself!
For more information on Melissa Stenstrom, Melissa Stenstrom Fine Jewelry, and the Ames Area Studio Tour please click, here.