Interview with Gemma of Melodies Jewellery / by Carley Batley

We caught up with Gemma of Melodies Jewellery to find out how and why she does what she does. 

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Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Gemma and I create products from musically based materials. 

Music is, of course, central to Melodies. What's your relationship with music?
My relationship with music is complicated. I love it, but I don't have a musical bone in my body. I've always wanted to play an instrument and have tried several times during my life. I've had a go at everything from a Guitar to an Oboe, but nothing stuck. Although I think my lack of musical talent has given me a great respect for people that are musical and sparked my fascination with musical materials. 

I mainly fulfil my love of music by simply listening to it and going to as many live gigs as possible. I always like to attend a couple of music festivals every year. It's here you can see first hand how music can unite people. 

What came first, music or making?
I'd have to probably say making. I've always had a love for arts and crafts, drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. 

I don't have the types of parents that shared any cool musical classics with their kids, which seems to be the way most people are introduced to music. My parents were into Jimmy Nail and ABBA, so I've had to find my own way there! I attended my first gig as soon as I could make it on my own at the age of 14 and I've never looked back. (Ash, supported by a very young Snow Patrol, since you asked!)

Although first doesn't always mean best and I'm glad I can now share both music and making in my life.

You create jewellery from reused and repurposed materials. How do you source these materials?
The only reused material that goes into my finished products are vinyl records and I source them from all over the place. I hunt in charity shops, vinyl fairs, scour online and even attend house clearances. I'm pretty selective with my records now. I would never cut up any classics. I only give new life to records that were otherwise unloved.

I source broken and used guitar strings from friends and local band rehearsal studios which I use to experiment with new product ideas. All my other materials such as drumsticks, amp knobs and new guitar strings I buy from specialist music shops. 

Which stall are you most excited about seeing at our summer fair?
There are so many awesome makers across the whole weekend and I'm lucky enough to already know a few of them. But I think I'm most looking forward to checking out fellow jeweller Katie Betty as I've followed her for a while on Instagram and can't wait to see her products in real life. I love her simple shapes and marbled patterns. 

Find Melodies on the Sunday of our summer fair at Northern Monk Brew Co. over the weekend of Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th August 2017.