Metalsmith, Melissa Montague, creates the most beautiful pieces from copper, silver and brass in her Sheffield workshop.
Melissa Montague explores traditional silversmithing techniques to create her gorgeous decorative pieces.
From a young age, Melissa always loved to make things, from cards and earrings to dried flower arrangements, she explored her creativity in any given form. Melissa's grandfather was a farmer and a keen metal detectorist, which ignited Melissa's interest in metal. One of the fields on her grandfather's farm was called the Roman Field as it was a source of many artefacts that her grandfather found. These findings fascinated Melissa, the beautiful pieces that can be made from metal as well as how long they could last and be rediscovered. This led to Melissa's desire to work with metal and study metalwork and jewellery.
Melissa utilises traditional silversmithing techniques such as hand-hammering, chasing and forging to create her decorative pieces. She works with silver, copper and brass to create vessel, shovel and spoon shapes. She adds interest to her pieces with hammering and oxidisation to create beautiful surface textures and finishes and often complements her metal pieces with contrasting materials such as wood and concrete to form bases and plinths to encourage the customer to display these pieces. Melissa states that the inspiration for her pieces, "comes from many sources; I love old ceramic vessels and amphora, architecture and repetitive patterns. The materials and some of the found metal pieces that I use in my work, particularly plumbing fittings, also influence the outcome. I love the engineered details in some of the components and how they contrast with the organic forms that I achieve through the hand techniques I use such as hammer raising and forging."
We love that Melissa explores the sustainability and durability of metal through her work. Her beautiful pieces become instant future artefacts and heirlooms that can be passed down for generations in families. Her hand hammering technique leaves such a wonderfully tactile surface texture that we just adore. We also love that Melissa repurposes brass fixings typically used in plumbing in her pieces, incorporating them to be seen and used decoratively. It encourages the user to look at Melissa's work differently and re-focus their connection with the piece in front of them.
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