Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Melanie Pike and I am a jeweller and metalsmith. As PikeJewellery.co.uk I design and hand make contemporary jewellery using precious and non-precious metals, recycled material and found objects. I create collections, one-off pieces and carry out commissions where people get to have made exactly what they want..
What do you think makes Paper • Scissors • Stone special?
It's unusual to come across this sort of collective ethos - like an agency for artists. I am impressed by the organisation and vision guiding it all. There is such an abundance and diversity of creative talent in Bristol. I love how Paper Scissors Stone showcases a cross section of that.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
Jewellery gives me the opportunity to produce small-scale wearable sculptures. It is so rewarding to create a beautiful item that previously only existed in my mind's eye. It's like a sort of alchemy - having the skills to manifest whatever I can imagine. Each piece is a journey of exploration from idea to finished product. It's also very rewarding to work to commission, turning customers' cherished fragments ( an orphan earring from a treasured pair, a mother's gold ring, a special button) into modern pieces that can be worn and treasured and may become heirlooms in their own right.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I work at home and it suits me. It's so cosy being near my kettle, fridge and radio, and I love being able to put something in the oven or have a nap or put the washing on and get back to work. Sometimes taking a break to do the washing up is exactly what is required in the flow of a creative process. My workspace is full of good, natural light and because the scale I work to is small it is not difficult to have everything within easy reach. I have small drawers with loosely classified objects and finds, boxes and tins stacked on shelves, big jars of tools and small bowls of tiny treasures.
Are you involved in any Christmas Markets, if so what?
Made in Bristol at the Colston Hall is happening on Saturday the 8th, and Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th of December. This is a great place to exhibit work - light, spacious and central. My work is at 'The Light Within', an exhibition at the Lovers Lights Gallery in Richmond until the end of January. One of my pieces '3 brooches from the series Her Inner Face' (exhibit number 11) was selected for the Autumn Open Exhibition at the RWA and although it sold at the Private View it will still be there until the exhibition ends at the end of December 2012. It's a rich and varied exhibition, highly recommended for a rainy winter day.
What is your favourite part of Christmas?
I love how we celebrate light at the darkest part of the calendar year. I like that all usual activity is interrupted and schedules changed. I like how our attention turns towards qualities like kindness and open-heartedness and how we give ourselves permission to be of benefit to those around us.
Which fellow Paper Scissors Stone artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
Harriet St Ledger - whose work shows such attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship that I'm sure we'd get along.
If you could choose one Christmas gift for yourself from Paper Scissors Stone, what would it be?
I would like one of My Bear Hands animal pins, kinetic brooches or pendants.
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
There are so many! A great outing would include a swim and sauna at the Clifton Lido, a green tea in the courtyard of the Boston Tea Party on Park St, a walk up around the glorious amenity that is Brandon Hill (and depending on energy levels a cardio vascular climb up Cabot Tower), a thorough examination of the inspiring work in Diana Porter's Jewellery shop at the bottom of Park St and maybe a stroll across the horned bridge to the excellent Arnolfini bookshop...
What are your plans for 2013?
My work is going to be featured in a book due out in the States next year, and who knows what that will lead to. I might start running workshops, sharing some of what I have learned about setting and mounting found objects and fragments. I have a couple of new collections in mind and will expand the galleries and gallery shops I currently supply. If 2013 is half as exciting and rewarding as this year has been, I will be very satisfied.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Finally if you were a Christmas cracker, what inside treat would you be and why?
If it were possible I would construct a cracker sized package - for distribution far and wide this festive season - containing the certain knowledge that each of us is perfect exactly as we are.
Thank you Melanie, such a beautiful meet the team interview! Thank you. Paper Scissors Stone Volume 5 launches on Wednesday 28th November at 5pm with a party. Official opening on Thursday 29th November and will run until 31st December 2012.
For more of Melanie's work please visit her facebook page.