I made my way again out to Mindy's home and studio on the outskirts of Bend, Oregon where Meliloo Designs began. Mindy's small studio is meticulously well organized with every bag of stones, leather, string, and metals all in their place. She was sitting with large headphones on deep in conversation with someone and hunched over her large wooden desk with tools in hand, working on a jewelry piece. Watching her work is like watching a surgeon performing a triple bypass, with the utmost care and concern for every tiny detail. Even down to the packaging her pieces are shipped out in. Bagged, boxed, wrapped in string. When the tiny box is in your hand, it is but a work of art.
"I have been making jewelry since I was little, like 12 or 13. I use to sell bracelets that I made for my friends when I was 11." Jewelry making began as a hobby, but Mindy spent many years working in the serving industry in Bend to pay the bills. While waitressing and bartending, she attended University of Oregon Cascades Campus and finished a degree in Archeology. After her degree, she spent a few rotating seasons out to areas around Eastern Oregon and Burns working for the BLM on digs. "I didn't start doing the wire wrapping until I was inspired by all the rocks in the desert when I was working for the BLM. About 5 years ago is when I started working with melting metals."
Mindy's attention to detail and love for natural stones and metals has made her an amazing jeweler. Mindy encompasses the child inside us all that collects rocks, stones, shells, and trinkets and turns them into works of art. "I believe that through the simplicity of nature, beauty is created. The rawness of nature is what inspires me. I am excited about creating jewelry that is very minimal; with the addition of my belly jewelry, I feel this is what expresses my philosophy of a beautiful style that embodies simplicity, class, and comfort."
A few years ago, Meliloo Designs had become so sought after, that Mindy left her job with the BLM and became a full time artisan and jeweler. Her dream of living a life doing what she loved had came to a reality. " I love directing the attention of my work on the natural uniqueness and organic rawness of each stone and feel excited about expressing my designs into reality by pairing them with the elegance of soft and strong metals. Each stone I work with inspires its own design, the metals help to accentuate them. I have an appreciation for the geology and history of the earth and I am always looking for new and different stones to inspire me."
Ville and I here at We Lost The Map have been so grateful to have Mindy sit down with us and create some beautiful We Lost The Map bracelets and necklaces for our supporters and fans! You can get your very own necklace or bracelet in our STORE and pair it with some stones from Meliloo Designs. Find Meliloo Designs on Etsy or simply click on the links below to get you there...
K.G. & Ville
In Huanaco, Peru. Battered, but still going south.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson
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