Melanie Miller the Alchemist's Garden

The Alchemist Garden
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Silver Clay  jewelry

The Alchemist's Garden

Using nature as her inspiration, Melanie Miller creates .999 fine silver jewelry, accented with semi-precious stones and pearls. A Level One Certified PMC Artist (Precious Metal Clay Artist), she contemplates teaching this art in the future. Melanie lives in Blairsville, Georgia, with her husband, Warren Miller, who is a daily inspiration. She sells her work at arts festivals around the southeast, and shows at her home by appointment.

"I have always been driven by the passion to create," says Melanie. "I find that inspiration comes frequently throughout each day (and night) and can come from almost anything," she continues. "Whenever I am inspired by something, I record the experience in my mind, and then onto paper. My creations result in jewelry that is organic, allowing this malleable metal to be just what it was meant to be! It is my intention that everything I create will be healing, uplifting, positive, and a celebration of our beautiful Earth."

Melanie grew up in the mountains of southern West Virginia. Her father was a coal miner, blue grass musician, and horseman, who could do just about anything. He inspired Melanie, who spent many hours in the forest with her dog, horse, and her dreams.

"I found my artistic calling early in life, constantly looking for the 'details' in the smallest of things. My hands were always the best form of expression, digging up mud to create a model of the Universe, teaching myself the aspects of color and form by painting still life portraits, dabbling in stained glass, make-up artistry, pottery, textiles, and wax, have all brought me to this path on my life's Journey."

Melanie creates one-of-a-kind art jewelry that is organic, sculptural and as unique as the individual it is created for. Designing each piece is the most exciting aspect of what she does. Many times the piece changes form as she re-arranges her thoughts or discovers new elements to incorporate into the design.

Living in the North Georgia Mountains is a perfect inspiration for Melanie. Being surrounded by nature most of her adult life "has left an indelible mark upon her soul," that has finally found its way out into the world. Working with Precious Metal Clay allows her to work in two mediums, clay and metal, which feeds her "creative fires" in ways that she calls mind-boggling.

PMC, or Precious Metal Clay, is new to the art jewelry scene, having been in the United States for only about ten years. Each piece starts in the form of soft "clay", a malleable form of microscopic fine silver particles suspended in an organic binder, and water.

Once formed, each piece is dried and finished with various files to refine the details then fired in a kiln made specifically for this type of silver. The firing, 1650 degrees for a total of nearly three hours, burns away the binder, leaving behind nothing but pure silver. Burnishing, patinizing, and other accents finish each piece