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my semi-precious showcases jewellery made by Melanie von Pfetten-Arnbach.


I've been making jewellery for more than 20 years - and it is constantly evolving. I work exclusively with semi-precious and gemstone beads, precious metal beads, clasps, wires and chains. I use traditional beadwork stitches, mostly right angle weave, peyote and brick stitch. The irregularity and individuality, the lack of uniformity, of semi-precious stone beads (as opposed to glass beads traditionally used in beadwork) means they play in themselves an often decisive part in the formulation of my ideas. The precious metal beads, being perfectly regular, often serve to make up the basis and framework of a piece. As to those metal beads, and the clasps, wire and chains, I prefer using more expensive gold fill (rather than vermeil or plated). Gold fill or rolled gold, as it used to be known,  is a layer of at least 12 or 14 karat solid gold bonded onto a base metal such as brass. It is thus gold that touches the skin and will last a lifetime if looked after.


The semi-precious bead remains the focus. For my ideas I also draw on fine jewellery of the past, vintage jewellery of the 19th and 20th century. My jewellery is designed with both beauty and wearability in mind. Delicate, striking in its own right, yet easy to combine with other pieces to glamorous effect.

Recently I have started to learn metal-smithing and stone setting. These new skills will gradually feed into my designs and may take my work into a new direction. 


my semi-precious jewellery is hand-made by me at my home in Herefordshire.


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