MEET THE DESIGNER: MELANIE EDMUNDS

Through careful curation, we hand-pick pieces that are truly one of a kind. This week we were able to catch up with Melanie Edmunds, the artist mastermind behind handmade jewelry brand Mweya, before her trip to Cape Town. We discussed the creative process, sources of inspiration and much more with Melanie Edmunds.

FROM ART HISTORIAN TO JEWELRY MAKER, WHAT INSPIRED THAT TRANSITION?

DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

A lot of people who are makers go through a rigorous process of designing, where there's sketching and laying out involved. I don't do any of that, for me it's all sensory. I conceive a concept in my mind then I think of the elements that I'd need to design it. What fibers do I need? What sort of textures do I want to incorporate? What type of color palette do I want to use? And then I'll start shopping for those things. Since it isn't sketched out in my brain, it doesn't have to be a particular color or metal. 
 
So it's more about taking a bunch of different elements and trial and error and either making something or realizing that it's something I don't want to use. I just recreate until it becomes the perfect piece that speaks to me.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR SOUTH AFRICA TRIP?

Melanie Edmunds: It's both business and leisure. I am an art historian and I daylight as an art advisor. I work for this really awesome tech start up called Artsy, it's a website for users to discover and create art online. I'm often asked to speak at international art fairs and art institutions and I'll be speaking at the Cape Town Art Fair about art in the digital age. So it's part business and part leisure. It's a one day event and I'll be there for 10 days, so the rest of the time I'll be frolicking around Jo'burg and Cape Town and just being inspired and maybe coming up with new ideas. I'll be taking in the people, sounds, music, food and all of that good stuff. This will be my second trip in 2.5 years.

WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT WORKING WITH 54KIBO?

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS ON 54KIBO?

Melanie Edmunds: The Modern Gesture Woven Necklace Pendant Light in Cobalt is so fabulous. I love things that are sculptural. If it's sculptural in any sense, I want it in my home. The fact that it has moving parts and that I can design it in a way that works for me, it's the best thing I've ever seen. Next is the Tana Bath Towel in Grey. It's so gorgeous. And last is the AAKS Baw Pot Shoulder bag. It's so charming. So I have something that's an accessory and things for my home. I'm a big home design person.

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