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Melody Armstrong Biography
Melody Armstrong is an internationally recognized contemporary jewellery artist based in Regina, Saskatchewan. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree majoring in Jewellery and Metals from the Alberta College of Art and Design, graduating with Distinction in 1999. Working with traditional and non-traditional metals, enamels and stones Armstrong’s Industrial-Organic aesthetic combines abstraction with a truth to materials that reflects both her attention to detail and quality of workmanship.
Working as a master-jeweller, Armstrong combines her studio practice with teaching, serving as Resident Artist and Jewellery Instructor at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, the only place to study fine metalsmithing and jewellery design in southern Saskatchewan.
As a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council, Armstrong’s work has been recognized in numerous competitions including: Dimensions 2008, 2011 and 2015; and internationally in the Lewton-Brain Foldform International Competitions 2012 and 2015. Armstrong’s work has been published internationally, most recently featured in New Rings 500+ Designs From Around the World by Nicolas Estrada (Thames and Hudson, 2016) and Art Jewelry Today 4 by Sandra Korinchak (Schiffer Books 2015); Armstrong’s writing on fine jewellery include publications in the international Art Jewelry Magazine. Armstrong’s awards include the ACAD Alumni Honour Award in 2016, and Independent Artists Grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Select solo exhibitions include: “Adorn” featuring paintings and jewellery; “Pattern Series” two-dimensional work directly influenced by her jewellery designs; and “Contemporary Jewellery by Melody Armstrong” a collection of sculptural, wearable art jewellery. Her work is held in numerous private collections.
"Evoking a sense of boldness with a presence that is uncompromising and original, Melody Armstrong makes a statement through her sculptural, wearable art jewellery. She has chosen metal as her dominant component, allowing for technical flexibility while the material informs her designs. Metal is a challenging but versatile element—it is hard and resilient yet not immovable, reluctant to take shape while being worked, and equally resistant to losing that shape once formed. Melody’s work originates from a piece of raw metal and is hand-fabricated, allowing the metal to influence the design itself, its properties lending their character every step of the way without overshadowing her vision for the work." (by curator and jewelry artist Mary Lynn Podiluk)
Melody Armstrong Statement
What is particularly distinctive about this body of work is its structural form, created to deliberately play with negative and positive space. My jewellery designs testify to the textural dynamic and technical approach within my practice, seeming to have evolved organically, taking on an industrial influence. The varied interplay of colours and textures creates distinctive contrasts, evoking vividness of exquisite dimensions, which are rich, bold and engaging.
I have always been fascinated by the mysterious potential that metals have to offer and the opportunity of transforming their original properties in order to stretch the scope of what can be achieved. The pieces in this art jewellery exhibition are a result of the exploration and learning new techniques thus allowing for spontaneity to flourish. Receiving an Independent Artist Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board has allowed me to focus on the development of this contemporary body of work giving me the opportunity to introduce the following new techniques to my practice. Plasma cutting steel to create interesting components; scoring and bending to create three dimensional structural pieces that are architectural in nature and then working with the negative shapes that evolve; copper electroforming organic materials to transform them into permanent metal objects; Chasing and Repousse, transforming flat metal sheet into three dimensional, sculptural forms.
I am delighted to use contrasts in surfaces and materials to highlight the elements I have imposed throughout the metal. Vitreous Enamel creates bursts of colour and reflection while the patina oxidizes much of the metallic surfaces, providing a sense of distress, corrosion and decay.
My objective has always been to transfer my emotions, creative passion and risk taking into my jewellery in an expressive way to arrive at exciting jewellery forms that elicit awe and inspiration, and personalize them in order to give my work a distinctive character.