Three girls work at The Design Files, and all three of us own a pair of awesome handmade enamel earrings by jeweller Melanie Rice. We are a little obsessed.
Melanie is originally from Adelaide, and in recent years has called Melbourne home, but is currently based in Brussels, Belgium. Like so many creatives, her career path hasn’t been an entirely straightforward one.
Melanie has done lots of things. She originally studied law, and after graduating worked for a while as a commercial lawyer in Melbourne. She’s also been a board member for couple of not-for-profit community arts organisations in Melbourne, a bartender in Brooklyn, a worskhop teacher at a jewellery studio/gallery in Brooklyn, a jeweller’s assistant in Manhattan, a tutor at Monash Uni, a shopgirl at much loved Melbourne fashion boutique Alice Euphemia, and a company lawyer in Brussels. But, she says, ‘it was the creative aspect of making jewellery that really began to tell me who I am’.
So, when the urge to create was too great to ignore, Melanie returned to Melbourne and enrolled in NMIT’s Gold and Silversmithing course. Whilst undertaking the course, and immersing herself in the local contemporary jewellery scene, Melanie couldn’t help but notice the absence of colour in the work of the time. ‘There was a lot of oxidised silver, laser cut forms – precise pieces that were structurally interesting but seemed to lack some kind of warmth’ she recalls. She began experimenting with enamel, which offered a limitless colour palette with a distinctive look and feel. ‘My instinctive reaction to the beauty of coloured glass was strong and simple: the vivid, liquidy gloss was intoxicating’ Melanie says.
We particularly love Melanie’s Candy Pastel Hoop Earrings and Crinkle Hoop Earrings, available in various colours. Her pieces are stocked in Melbourne at Monk House Design, Kuwaii, Craft Victoria, Modern Times, Pussycat Black, Arbor, in Perth at William Topp, IN Canberra at KIN, and in Adelaide at Zu Design!