Symbols of Love & Care: Melanie & Luciana Katsalidis
There are many ways for mums and their daughters to show their love and affection. We recently shared a lovely lunch with Melbourne jewellery designer Melanie Katsalidis and her mother, Luciana Katsalidis, whose mutual passion for family, food, and beautiful jewels was instantly apparent. Here they tell us their story.
Love and care can be expressed in many different ways. But in the case of Melanie and Luciana it’s revealed through many of the bespoke rings and earrings which Luciana wears day-to-day.
Melanie was drawn to jewellery making while studying Arts. During this time she began creating pieces to sell in design stores and at local markets. It was at the urging of a family friend, who kindly offered to critique her work, that she applied to study Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT University.
“Growing up in a supportive creative household has been a great foundation for my practice,” she comments. Naturally Luciana was very happy for Melanie when she decided to pursue jewellery making as a full-time career.
Since then Melanie has developed a signature aesthetic which she describes as ‘Future Classic’. She loves working with Australian opals, pearls and other rare and extraordinary gems, and is strongly influenced by architecture, design and art.
Her pieces, highly refined, are often pared back to their central forms and geometries. “I find myself returning to civilisation’s most primary forms: the square, circle and triangle,” she says.
Many of the pieces Melanie has designed for Luciana are filled with a sense of care and nurturing. Luciana points out her beloved garnet ring, which sits snugly alongside a gold band, the latter made especially by Melanie to help hold this favourite ring in place.
Adorning her opposite hand is a mini Circle Ring – a remodelling of Melanie’s Double Circle Ring, but in a smaller format. “This one is actually a reworking of an old ring which I already owned,” says Luciana. “It was just a band with a little diamond. I asked if she could do something with it, as I never really wore it, and she made this for me [using the original materials and gem].
"I really love it," she says – and wears it every day.
She also draws attention to a pair of handmade pearl earrings, a present from Melanie on her 60th birthday. “The sentiment behind these was very sweet,” she says. A symbol of strength, love, achievement and the future.