Melissa Kay-Steves has been making jewelry since she first repaired a special necklace that her grandmother gave to her back when she was twelve. She taught herself basic techniques like wire wrapping and forming, for many years. In 2006, one year after her daughter was born, she took a PMC certification class and was instantly hooked. She spent many years creating and selling her work at craft and vendor fairs and to local boutiques. In 2009, 2 years after her son was born, she was asked to teach and instantly found her calling and began teaching classes in precious metal clay. But her yearning to learn metalsmithing had her travelling to gem shows and local venues for classes. After taking a class in D.C., she met a metalsmith who would become her private instructor and mentor.
In 2019, after10 years of teaching, creating and learning, her mentor decided to sell his jewelry business and school and encouraged her to start her own teaching studio. She decided to take the leap and opened Charmtree Jewelry Studio, a metalsmith school on Kent Island, just East of Annapolis. She teaches metalsmith classes including precious metal clay. She is PMC certified through PMC Connection, Art Clay World and Camp PMC. She enjoys her days at the studio creating, teaching and sharing her passion and excitement with others.
Guest Instructors 2023
Helen Driggs is the former Jewelry Group Technical Editor for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and an experienced metalsmith. Her popular column “Cool Tools & Hip Tips” and video library: Metalsmith Essentials: Basic Fabrication, Rivets & Cold Connections, Machine Finishing Jewelry, Textures & Patinas and One Hour Rings make her a popular and sought-after instructor on the show circuit. Her newest book, Metal Jewelry Workshop was published in 2018. Helen holds a BFA from Moore College of Art.
Marx has been a sculptor and artist as long as he can remember. His childhood gifts were art supplies as often as they were toys or books. Marx was born in Boston and moved to California when he was 18 years old. After 33 years in the Bay Area, he relocated to South Carolina in 2020, where he currently resides. In the beginning, he sculpted in FIMO, a polymer clay, and this honed his ability to transform his visions into 3-D images. In 2000, he took his first PMC (precious metal clay) class and was hooked. PMC’s affinity for texture, flexibility of form, and choices of finishing techniques make it ideal for his artistic visions.
Stephanie Chavez is a certified metal clay artist and instructor. She is a diverse artist, proficient in many jewelry mediums, although her love, passion, and expertise remain in metal clay as well as combining it with a variety of techniques. Originally certified through Rio Grande, she has been working with metal clay for over 15 years. With national and international recognition through her online courses in metal clay; Stephanie has been considered an expert in her field and has traveled the United State teaching at expos, retreats, symposiums, and art studios.
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