Q&A with greta melcher, the creator of tsii
Q: what is the story behind the materials you use for each one-of-a-kind piece?
A: for the jewelry, I use instrument strings as the foundation for each piece. I am sentimental, as well as a guitarist & singer/songwriter. in high school, I would hold onto all of my guitar strings after I changed them on my guitar. I felt they held a mysterious value, and couldn't imagine throwing them out. that's when I made my first batch of guitar string bracelets, from those strings. since then, I’ve connected with other musicians and began to work with their strings. the strings each hold different energies & histories of the artist who wrote, performed, & played music with them.
I'm always excited when I get the opportunity to try a new material. I am such a collector of things - I've always been a thrifter & estate sale-er, so vintage bits & pieces often find their way into my work. I also love working with stones, especially raw stones. one special line of stones that I work with come from an artist who hunts & gathers the stones himself across the united states & beyond. you can see these in my raw patterns collection, and popping up in my elemental collections. wood, ceramics, mixed metals, and cotton are other materials that I love. anything that is raw or repurposed might find its way into my work.
Q: you mention the ‘history and energy’ of the strings from you and other artists, would you mind sharing a little more about this?
A: it’s really about the time and energy that the strings had with the artist. so many songs are written and played in the lifetime the strings had on their instrument. so much of the artist's life and emotion have come through the strings. it’s really cool to transform the energy of those life experiences into something new all-together, while still honoring that these things come from a highly emotive, expressive, creative past.
Q: your work is infused with subtle elements of nature. what does this mean to you?
A: nature is definitely an intentional material for my work. my favorite things to work with are metal, stones and wood. I can feel they have their own life. my process is organic & intuitive so it makes sense to me that the materials I’m drawn to are organic as well.
I also like to appreciate & honor nature through the way that my collections come together. my collections tend to be inspired by a certain natural element or color, chakra system, or season. my designs are closely tied to natural cycles & symbolism.
Q: what is the experience you envision for your customers while selecting a piece from tsii?
A: it’s kind of like a treasure hunt. the process of the person selecting the piece is exciting – it’s the same thing that draws me to thrifting and handmade items. to know that experience is available to someone is important to me. the treasure hunt has room for self-expression in a direct and spiritual way.
my intention is to nurture the opportunity for the person-to-object conversation, or how the items speak to the person. this process can be a powerful tool for expression and self-growth – taking a more conscious light when we look at how and what we consume, and from there, what it is to feel expressed in our world.
that might mean that they discover something about themselves, through their attraction to a specific color & what this might mean about their own chakras & desires, or that they learn about a new musician through whose strings. there is so much healing potential in this exchange, and I cherish each step of the process, knowing that so much of it is beyond what I am aware of myself.