Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Handmade Wednesday featuring Melbe Creations

Handmade Wednesday

by Melissa Creamer, Crafter of Chrysalis Jewelry

Welcome to Handmade Wednesday. Each Wednesday, I will feature a crafter or artist you should know about! Are you ready to see who I have picked for this week? Let's get started.

This week I am featuring Melissa of Melbe Creations. No worries, I am not going to be interviewing myself. Melissa B just happens to have an awesome first name! Melissa B is a artist/photographer from Minnesota. Let's find out about her wonderful art!

Melbe Creations
Etsy Store

MC -Tell us a little bit about your handmade business
Melbe - I am a nature photographer that adds a twist to my photographs.  I create kaleidoscope/mandala designs from my photographs.  I isolate the subject of my photo by making a freehand geometric cut.  I then create multiple copies, mirror image and realign them to create a seamless design.  This is done freehand and is not the product of an automatic program.  An automatic program is fun but it distorts the subject of your photograph, creating an effect of literally looking through a kaleidoscope.  My objective is to isolate my subject and kaleidoscope around it.  I then translate my designs into prints, pendants, suncatchers, paperweights, ceramic tiles and more!
My Hearts Desire Metal Pendant

MC - How long have you been in business?
Melbe - I have been creating these designs for over 15 years.  I used to create these designs with an actual print, ruler and Exacto knife!  Very difficult to produce and they left a seam.  I stopped creating them for several years until I was able to design electronically and eliminate the seam.  I launched an Etsy shop in March of 2010.  I followed up by participating in juried art fairs and this year I launched my own website.
Feathered Fauna Suncatcher

MC - Did your business start as a hobby?
Melbe - Yes, the last thought I had was showing my work and selling my designs.  I was absolutely terrified to share my work.  It took me several months to work up the courage to approach a local store about carrying my product.  The owner was very supportive and encouraged me to expand.
Petals Of Poise Trinket Box

MC - Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Melbe - Cliché as it sounds nature is my inspiration. There is a deeper reason than physical beauty. Nature does not care if you are having a bad hair day, if your socks match, or if you are wearing a designer label. Nature unconditionally accepts. My true inspiration flourishes from the inner beauty of their society.
Nymph Nirvana glass paperweight

MC - Tell us about a piece you designed that you are still blown away by
Melbe - I would have to say that “My Heart’s Desire” would have to be the piece I am most proud of.  I am proud of my wildlife photographs because of the time and patients it takes to capture just the right image, but this design is my pride and joy.  It is a photograph of an Asian Lady Slipper flower.  The image itself was not difficult to capture, but creating the design I wanted was.  I wanted to create hearts with the leaves and the center.  It took me several cuts to get just the right angle.  The image itself has wonderful depth so the finished design as a three dimensional effect.
My Hearts Desire

MC - What project are you currently working on?
Melbe - I am always in pursuit of a new design but I have learned to let nature take the lead.  In the past I would set out to capture a certain image and Mother Nature has showed me something unexpected.  The unexpected images are the most rewarding. I have learned to let my designs happen organically.  The whole process is far more rewarding.   I do however have requests to create designs from a sweet pea, peony, horses and more turtles.  I have planted several flowers in my garden as well that I am waiting to bloom to see if inspiration takes over.   I am working on translating my designs into my different products.  Love Struck, my latest design, I am translating into a pendant and suncatcher.
Monarch Melody

MC- What is the one thing you have learned by trial and error that you wish you could go back and tell yourself when you started?
Melbe -Let it happen organically!  Do not force your creative process.  I am a stubborn soul and sometimes I will push to create a design that I want no matter how uninspired I am.  I have learned that my design will come out flat…no emotion, and even I do not care for the design.
Auroras Aria
MC - Spread the love. Tell us about another handmade business you adore.
Melbe - Wow there is just so many artists that I adore and admire, It is so hard to choose just one.  I would have to say I am blown away by Janice Winsor from Four Winds Farm Maine!   She creates felted sculptures from photographs that are so incredibly life I am amazed.  She creates many other items that I adore as well.
Four Winds Farm Maine

MC- Free style. Tell me about anything I forgot to ask.
Melbe - About a year ago I began to search for any symbolisms the subjects of my designs have.  I learn everyday something new about nature, history and our desire as humans to add meaning to Mother Nature’s creations.  Many of the symbolisms go back centuries!  It one of my favorite steps in my process!  The hardest part of the process can be giving my design a title.  I think I stress about the title more than any other part of the process.
Bear Essentials
Thanks Melissa for dropping by for Handmade Wednesday and sharing your art with us! Be sure to tune in next week to see who is featured next!
Until Tomorrow

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