Castro, Melina

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“I see Nature as mysterious and powerful, unapologetic and uncompromising in creativity….traits that I embrace and strive for in my own work. I take photos of stumps, rocks, vines, roots, bark, and paint peeling from an old wall. My personal favorite is the unusual textures and cracks on the hardened pahoehoe (smooth swirling lava rock). I’m continually exploring ways to capture all of these elements in my jewelry to show others what I think is beautiful.” Born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, Melina Castro moved to the U.S. in 2001 where she was first exposed to jewelry design. Her creative exploration has included graphic design, photography, pottery, and mixed-media sculpture. Castro’s current off-grid studio is in lower Puna, on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the skirts of the active Kīlauea volcano. Gathering power from the sun, and the water from the rain helps Castro remain present and stay in tune with the elements around her.

Metal has become Castro’s favorite medium.  “… it appears to be cold, solid, and flat, but it actually has the ability to bend, be formed, and to be fused into other metals. When heated to a certain temperature it melts with a glowing incandescent light that reminds me of lava. In this molten state, a magical process of transformation occurs where infinite possibilities exist. As it cools down, the radiance dissipates and it solidifies revealing the intention of its creator.”

Each piece of jewelry is crafted using a variety of hand tools. By layering silver, copper, bronze, and brass, Castro plays with contrast, color, and texture.  She also is able to transfer images to the metals using photo-transferring techniques. Her work is characterized by its rustic-earthy look and its matte finish emulating a weather-worn appearance. Varied textures and finish give a rich depth of character to every piece making it truly unique.

View Melina’s handcrafted jewelry designs here

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