Melissa Kay-Steves of Stevensville is a member of the Kent Island Federation of Art and was on the KIFA board from 2009- 2010. She has been making jewelry for about 15 years, mostly self-taught. She received some formal training in Annapolis and completed both level 1 and level 2 certification classes through the PMC Connection, a precious metal clay certification program. That’s when she realized she was hooked and had found her passion.
She continues to expand her skills, which most recently includes wire wrapping, fusing, enamel and cold connections. She says, “I have found that jewelry artists need to continually stay on top of the trends in jewelry if they want to succeed in the medium. It’s easy to fall prey to only doing what you know, but you won’t grow if you are not constantly challenged.”
Melissa’s jewelry ranges in price from $40-$300. Most of her works are nature-inspired and crafted in silver. She is very excited about her current Wings and Things Collection 2013. She uses actual insect wings, mostly butterflies, dragonflies and cicadas, and paints them with fine silver clay. After the application of multiple layers, the wings are fired in a kiln at 1290 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. At this temperature, the actual wings burn off, the metal fuses and she is left with the exact imprint of the wing. She calls it a second metamorphosis for those creatures. Some of her pieces will be on display at KIFA’s 1st Annual Jewelry Show, opening Thursday, September 5th with a reception from 5-8 pm.
In addition to being on display and for sale throughout the month of September at KIFA, Melissa’s hand-crafted jewelry is available at Blanco Flor in downtown Annapolis. She also brings her crafts to home trunk shows that have proven very successful and is planning a studio show in October. For more information about Melissa, to plan a trunk show or to view her different creations go to www.charmtreejewelry.com.
What Melissa loves most about KIFA is that they continually strive to bring art to the community and community to the arts. She says, “They have overcome some big hardships in the last few years yet continue to find ways to keep forging ahead. This latest show proves that they are not just focused on painting. They recognize that there are other art forms that should be recognized.”
Come celebrate KIFA’s 50th Anniversary with Melissa. View and purchase artistic works by 50 artists that will be auctioned at their Artasia Gala scheduled for November 9. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at KIFA, located at 405 Main Street in historic Stevensville. Call 410-643-7424 for additional information or visit www.KIFA.US. Posters commemorating their 50th year and featuring the art of nine artists can be purchased for $5. Don’t forget to purchase a $50 raffle ticket for a chance to win a boat from their partner Annapolis Boat Sales. The winner of the boat raffle will be announced at the Gala.
KIFA is the benefactor of this year’s Shore Update Good, Better, Best celebration at The Jetty on Thursday, September 12. This year’s event, sponsored by The Jetty, Bud Light & Kelly Distributors, offers free admission, light hors d’oeuvres, happy hour prices until 8pm and a celebratory cake courtesy of Fields of Heather Bakery. The event also features a shrimp boil for $18 in advance or $22 at the door. Visit wordpress-547-1846-2922.cloudwaysapps.com for more information or to buy tickets.