Earthenwood Studio

Earthenwood StudioWe’ve just added a new line of charms and pendants from one of our favorite bead artists – Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio. Filled with shapes of leaves, toadstools, birds, nests and wings, the new line is perfect for fall jewelry. I can’t wait to use them in a cute charm bracelet or a fun, flighty pair of earrings.

Melanie works mainly in ceramic to create her beads, charms and pendants, which vary from the new nature line to an amazing collection of Steampunk-inspired pieces filled with gears, clocks, keys and more.

Earthenwood Studio Steampunk

Here’s a little bit about the artist behind these inspiring designs: What inspires you?

Melanie: I am inspired by the world around me… my home, my city and nature.  I also love to look at art history for inspiration. I am particularly drawn to Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Japanese art and the Surrealist movement.  Music also inspires me, and I devoted every Saturday on my blog this year to creating a new design based on a new song in a series I called Song Lore Saturday.  Pop culture and the imagery of subcultures inspire me too, particularly themes like Steampunk, Punk, Geek culture, and Japanese kawaii and fashion  imagery. How did you start making beads?

Melanie: I started out as a jeweler/metalsmith in college, but then changed majors to ceramics. I was making pottery and sculpture but wasn’t quite happy, even though I loved clay.  Late in college, I decided to combine my love for jewelry making with clay, and I have been making beads and charms ever since! What are you working on now?

Melanie: I am working on beads and components that have a more industrial and urban feel to them.  I am drawing inspiration from the Detroit landscape and all the textures and urban decay that I see around me.  I am also enjoying working with mixed media pieces using metals and ephemera from antique stores.  While I work, I have been dreaming up ideas for writing a book, too! What other mediums do you enjoy working with?

Melanie: I stick to porcelain as my main material for bead making because I have so much to learn from clay… it’s never-ending!  But I do play with different materials when designing jewelry and stringing beads. Lately I have been enjoying adding ICE Resin to my ceramics, using cold connections on metals and found objects, and playing with alcohol inks on metal. When you aren’t creating beads, what do you work on?

Melanie: Lately I have been working on some overdue home-improvement projects. I have an older home, and it needs much renovating. All of this construction has been an influence on my bead designs lately, as I have been creating house-inspired pendants and charms. Thanks, Melanie! You are so inspiring. Looking forward to seeing your new designs!

Check out more of Melanie’s beads and pendants at, and stay connected to Melanie on her blog, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles.

Happy Beading! – Katie

6 comments to Earthenwood Studio

  • Great interview with a great artist. Melanie is so inventive and creative. She gives the ceramic bead world and jewelry designers great pieces that are well crafted and individualized at the same time. I love the way she incorporates her life into her art so seamlessly.

  • This is the first time that I have seen these, wonderful creations. I love the way she includes the world around her in her designs.
    I look forward to seeing more of her art in future.

  • It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lee Christian

    I love discovering your blogs! Couldn’t decide which category to look at first! Like walking in the door at Michaels or Hobby Lobby … where to go first? Or just stand and stare in wrapt wonder!

    This interview is great. It’s so obvious that the artist is inspired, and what by. Her work lovingly shouts it. Beautiful work. Thanks so much for sharing this and all the other information and fun. Loving it!

  • Magnificent site. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your effort!

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