Not all ice melts – just ask MELT Jewellery. Established just last year by Prachi Jain, MELT has already made a name for itself in the jewellery space for its fluid and complex designs, combined with its contemplations on two vastly different global cities. Drawing on the intricacies of the cultural diversity in London and Jaipur, Prachi’s personal heritage serves as a major source of inspiration when it comes to design – exploring themes of energy, momentum and bridging gaps.
MELT is all about conceptual crafting – its pieces favour a sculptural design aesthetic, which manifests as molten-looking silver which seems frozen in time. Both a product of and a product for youth culture, we caught up with founder Prachi to talk all things MELT.
Hey Prachi, so talk us through your background – how did you get into jewellery design?
Being born in India, jewellery is such an intrinsic part of our culture that I always had an affinity for it – but to be honest, I never thought I would get into jewellery design. I had actually always loved fashion, and went to uni to study design, but jewellery was a completely alien field to me until one day while I was interviewing for a retail job at a fine jewellery company. The creative director of the brand asked me to bring my
portfolio the next day, and asked me if I’d like to design the first men’s collection for their company. That was the turning point in my career and it was like I found my calling.
What are the most important things to consider before starting a piece?
I don’t think there are certain steps you necessarily need to follow when it comes to design. Everyone has their own process. I believe consistency is the death of ideas, so I don’t know where the next inspiration for the collection is going to come from and I am not looking for it either. At MELT, we don’t want to be bound by the practice of launching two to four collections a year. We could drop one or eight if it feels right and that inconsistency is our strength.
Generally in jewellery design practice, the form is created around the stone/crystal as it is the show stopper of the piece whereas I tend to do the opposite. The design process for me starts with the concept and then devising the form of the metal. Later, the crystal is sourced in its raw state and hand-carved to fit in the silver form.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I think more often I get inspired by the physical process of making jewellery – but also a combination of all sorts of things such as installation art, fantasy stories, retro-futurism, utopian dreamscapes or literally the most monotonous things like the crown cap of last night’s beer bottle.
As your brand name suggests, your pieces are fluid and abstract. What’s the appeal of this aesthetic for you personally?
You know when you see those ASMR videos of melting butter, soothing sounds of trickling water or slime mixing – I find that really relaxing, also there is a sense of nostalgia and playfulness to it. The organic form of metal in a similar way is very intriguing to me – its ability to exist in a melted and solid state. It is beautiful and I want to capture that characteristic of the metal through our designs at that moment in time where the two coexist.
Do you have a piece of work you’re most proud of, and why?
I am really excited about our new collection – THE CUSTOM SHOP that we launched earlier this year. MELT was invented as a new-age jewellery company and with this new collection, we have introduced a mechanism built into our pieces whereby the customers can customise/create their own jewellery from an array of options available on our website. This is a new concept that will reprogram the banal routine of buying-wearing-discarding jewellery.
We see it as a futuristic, sustainable and ever-evolving concept where no piece of your precious jewellery would be replaced after a year or two. The idea is that one can turn the old into new just by switching a single component.
Talk us through a typical creative process when making a piece.
The exciting thing about MELT is that we are an amalgamation of our South Asian heritage and the fascinating melting pot of cultures we see in London. The surreal experiences of my life reflect in the creative process. I let the inspiration come to me, sometimes I am observing an object for too long- distorting it in my head, then putting it down on paper, whatever it may look like and refining it into a concept. Every piece has its own story and inspiration behind it.
Our jewellery is designed in the UK and sampled in India by my business partner Shrishti, who has a manufacturing base in Jaipur – the jewel capital of India. Lastly, our products are finished in London. Quality, sustainability and craftsmanship are the pillars of our ethos as a company, so it’s important to work this into every piece!
What would you say to aspiring jewellery designers?
I would say always listen to your intuition and just go for it. There is no right or wrong way to start something, no handbook to success or design in my opinion – not in the fast-paced century we are living in now. ‘Change’ is a part of life and how awesome would it be if you are the one to introduce it?
Gold or Silver?
How do you feel about the mixing metals trend?
The idea of mixing different metals or the pick & mix jewellery trend is definitely interesting and I do like to mix my silver and gold jewels. MELT is more about exploring new techniques and the nature of metal – so who knows, our next collection could be about mixing metals, but not in a conventional way.
What’s next for Melt Jewellery?
We have a long way to go and we are still carving out our own story and perspective to create the foundation of this new concept jewellery brand. We would love to create our own space within the industry as a futuristic jewellery company and be at the forefront of modern design in the jewellery industry. That would be the dream!
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