Inspired by some antique blown glass buttons, Melissa Schmidt designs stunning blown glass jewelry that is both durable yet lightweight. Elegant and unexpected.
The artist: Born in St. Louis, Schmidt grew up in Honolulu and San Francisco, where she attended different colleges, first for metals, then for fashion.
After a move to St. Louis, she earned an interior design degree and worked for 15 years in the field. On the side, Schmidt took glass classes. Mostly self-taught, she became a full-time artist in 2009.
The company/studio: Melissa Schmidt Contemporary Glass Jewelry is based in St. Louis. The artist works out of her back yard studio.
The goods & materials: Glass bubble jewelry created with borosilicate glass, mixed media and precious metals.
The non-traditional glass bubbles are strung together in clusters on sterling or gold-filled neck wires. Bubbles can be various shapes (round, oblong and pointed) and in colors of gold, silver and clear.
Schmidt often incorporates things like feathers, film and paper inside the glass.
What’s popular: Necklaces ($130 to more than $3,300 for her signature pieces, though the average is about $325.
Other favorites: Earrings with hand-folded paper cranes inside the glass, floating and “flying” around ($160).
Often asked: About how fragile the glass beads look. Her sign at art shows says: Keep Calm. It’s Pyrex. The beads are much stronger than they appear.
Special or unusual requests:
- A memorial totem for a dog.
- A necklace with vacation photos.
- A bracelet with pieces of white lace from a woman’s wedding dress.
- Featured on the cover of 2011 Smithsonian Craft Show program.
- A collector purchased one of her large collars at SOFA Chicago 2019 and donated it to the Racine Art Museum’s glass collection in Wisconsin.
- First place in jewelry (2012), St. Louis Art Festival
- Glass award (2019), Visual Arts Center, Richmond, VA.
What’s next: Artisphere, Greenville, SC, May 7-9.
Where to buy: melissaschmidtstudio.com
Get social at:
- Instagram: melissa7schmidt