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A Day Spa For The Arts In Byron Bay

Creative People

After a career in investment banking, Melanie Jewell left the corporate world to focus on her family. Ten years on, she has combined her event management expertise with her creative pursuits for Makers Mess, an inviting space in the dreamy Byron Bay hinterlands!

Melanie describes Makers Mess as a ‘day spa for the arts’ – so prepare for a creative pampering!

2nd August, 2018

The Makers Mess barn in the Bryon Bay hinterlands. Photo – Kate Holmes.

‘If I had to rebuild the barn again tomorrow, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing,’ says Melanie Jewell. Photo – Kate Holmes.

The light-filled Makers barn. Photo – Kate Holmes.

‘The workspace is pure heaven to be in,’ tells Melanie. Photo – Kate Holmes.

High-vaulted ceilings create a fresh light-filled space. Photo – Kate Holmes.

Melanie Jewell, founder of Makers Mess. Photo – Kate Holmes.

Recycled timber gives a rustic feel to the space. Photo – Kate Holmes.

The warm and cosy Makers Mess. Photo – Kate Holmes.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 2nd August 2018

‘I am bringing all forms of creativity to the Makers Mess barn, for people to learn and share.’ – Melanie Jewell.

The genesis of Makers Mess is a tale of combining skills, interests and expertise – and balancing work, family and creative passions – to develop a project which seems in hindsight as if it was inevitable!

Melanie Jewell describes how ‘in my former life, before having kids, I worked in a leading investment bank for one of the senior partners in the firm.’ In this role, Melanie was responsible for organising events, and she cherished the opportunity to plan ‘lavish parties with all of the bells and whistles, without having to foot the bill!’ (The ideal situation!)

After leaving this corporate life a decade ago to focus on her family, Melanie re-immersed herself in creative pursuits. She explains how she initially rediscovered watercolour painting, which opened a floodgate of experimentation with ‘clay, glass, copper folding, spoon carving, acrylics, pencil, ink, block printing, screen printing, indigo and shibori, suminigashi, sashiko, and probably others I can’t think of right now!’

Makers Mess combines Melanie’s passions for creative pursuits, and her expertise in event planning! She explains ‘on one hand I am focused on creating the most amazing experience for my guests, and on the other hand I am bringing all forms of creativity to the Makers Mess barn for people to learn and share.’

Located in the idyllic Byron Bay hinterlands, the converted barn workspace is the perfect location for makers to generate some creative mess! Melanie purchased the Wilson River property three years ago, leaving Sydney behind to make a home in the Byron area, where she had spent holidays as a child. The Makers Mess barn sits on a pre-existing concrete slab, which Melanie transformed into a rustic and light-filled space, through clever use of salvaged timber, generous window and a bright vaulted ceiling. She enthuses that the workspace is ‘pure heaven to be in’ where workshops occur against the sprawling views out across the paddocks and river beyond. Please sign us up!

Find out about upcoming workshops at Makers Mess (including enamel jewellery making with Kate from Denz & Co, basket weaving with Zimmi Forest, staining clay with Tantri Mustika, and a weekend liquid porcelain masterclass with Larissa from Ratbag Studios!) here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.