Tuesday, June 29, 2010

From Musician to Wire Jewelry Artisan

By on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 6 Comments

Aparna Halpé's Etsy store is called Melisma Wire Work. What caught my attention was her heritage. Aparna is from Sri Lanka, the fabled land of gemstones (see my past post Sapphire Mining in Sri Lanka). Her designs reflect that influence.

Her interest in jewelry began when her boyfriend gave her a gift of pearls, crystals and tools. She said, "As I mastered the art of wire-wrapped jewelry, I found myself traveling back in time, to the exquisite pieces that my mother and grandmother wore."

She too loves history as I do. Her new collection shown here from her store as well as her Flickr site, are inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum's Maharaja Exhibition : The Splendor of Indian Royal Courts which I also wrote about last year.  Aparna tells me the exhibition will travel to Toronto this November.

As you can see from her designs, Aparna has done a wonderful job of creating just the type of pieces you'd associate from her part of the world. They evoke the past and the exotic - all imminently wearable for today. Some of her designs are also available from the Purple Thumb in Toronto.

She used to be a full time musician before switching to academic studies. She is currently doing her PhD in Post-colonial literature at the University of Toronto. She explains the inspiration behind her shop name, " A melisma is a melodic line that ornaments a single syllable of text in Gregorian Chant."

"Although these days they use it to describe the long ornamented vocal improvisations on a single note that you get in R&B music. It seemed like the perfect metaphor for a wire worker -- a song and a single line taking flight."  You have to agree, she has in a way, set her designs to music! The violin pendant design below was inspired by her violinista buddies!

For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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  1. Beautiful and detailed work!

  2. Her jewelry is gorgeous! I am a fulltime musician also, passionately redesigning costume jewelry from old pieces. When music is your job, you often are fulfilling a client's wishes rather than following your own impulse. Beading lets me do that!

  3. Wow! What exquisite and intricate work! I feel as though just wearing jewelry like this would transport you to an exotic location. Far away from the hustle and bustle of city life!

  4. These necklaces are all fantastic! The bright colours and the intricate wire work details create a gorgeous look!

    What are the beads used? my personal favourite has to be the pendant in the second photo. The red is so bright and vibrant. Perfect for adding a splash of colour to a summer outfit!

  5. She uses crystals and gemstones including pearls. That second necklace featured pearls and red Swarovski crystals.

  6. I love the summary you put for your work. They describe your work very well. When I first see your creation, it strikes me immediately is the colors. It is so strong and beautiful. You have very good sense of colors and details and skills of sewing. Good work!