/ Meet our New Artist: MANIAMANIA /
We’ve long admired the work of famed wedding jeweller, MANIAMANIA. Headed up by Melanie Kamsler, MANIAMANIA has attracted a cult following of brides and grooms seeking engagement and wedding rings with a unique point of difference. Melanie describes her pieces as having a “vintage look with soul” and, as their exclusive Australian stockist, we’re excited to offer a selection of MANIAMANIA’s ready-to-wear jewels, which are now available online. Appointments can also be made with our friendly team to discuss a unique, custom handmade piece as part of our Bespoke offering.
Now based in New York but with offices in Sydney, we sat down with Creative Director & head designer Melanie for a chat about what makes MANIAMANIA so irresistibly amazing.
PO8: How did you come to be a jeweller?
MK: I inherited a passion for it when I was young and was always going through my grandmother’s jewellery boxes, filled with decadent 70s and 80s cocktail pieces. I started creating my own pieces as a teenager. Later I studied design and worked in the fashion industry [while becoming] an obsessive collector of vintage jewellery. So, from the training in design and [working] in fashion, I was able to gain the experience and insight to then experiment and learn how to design and create jewellery.
PO8: Tell us about the materials you employ and your connection with these?
MK: Everything is handmade, from the final piece of jewellery to the cutting techniques of the gemstones and diamonds. The stones we work with are all sourced from long-standing, trusted and ethical sources in New York’s jewellery district, and we custom cut the coloured gemstones in a local lapidary. This means the pieces are completely unique and one-of-a-kind and we are able to create unusual pieces.
PO8: What sort of gems and stones do you like working with?
MK: Rose cut diamonds and gems became our signature cut when we launched the Fine Jewellery collection, as we took inspiration from the Georgian era. Recently we’ve been working with reclaimed antique old cut diamonds from the late 1800s–1930s; these are incredibly beautiful as each diamond is hand cut and unique. They were cut to exude a beautiful warm glow that was designed to sparkle softly under candlelight. Using these antique diamonds is also important to us in terms of sustainability and that they are guaranteed to be conflict free.
PO8: Can you describe your design process?
MK: The design process usually starts with mood boarding, sketching and mock-ups of stone combinations and formations; these then inform and gradually eventuate into final designs. We prefer working in metal or wax carving to actualise the final design, but we also work in 3D illustration at times, depending on the structural look of a piece.
Finding unique gems also means experimenting with the cuts and settings; designing how to best show their beauty. For example, we started working with naturally occurring bi-coloured gems such as ametrine and smokey citrine, which we cut from the rough material. It takes a few rounds to get the perfect cut; locating the perfect cross-section of the material to best display the beauty and split of the bi-colour effect.