Watercolor artist

michael mcconnell

xxxxx

Spark + Pepper is based in San Francisco, CA and can be found online at sparkandpepper.com or in select stockists across the US. Follow Meredith on Instagram at @sparkandpepper to learn more.

The idea of jewelry to me is so much more than something that you put on every day. It’s the piece that you put on once and you never take it off. It’s like that. It’s part of you.

What are your preferred metals?

MEREDITH: Anything yellow. Gold tones aren’t more beautiful, but there’s something that happens with it. I think that there’s a bit of history when you receive a piece of gold or gold-toned jewelry. It never changes color, it’s the softest metal but still very hard. It feels like there’s a very enriched history that comes with the piece. In the back of my mind when I work with gold, I know that it’s forever. You could pass it down to your kids and their kids. The life cycle of this piece of metal is kind of amazing. You kind of want those pieces that were in your family for generations because they have so much meaning behind them. It’s about the longevity of a piece. A piece that has this representation of ‘forever’ to me is kind of interesting thing. And I try to wear and create things that have that kind of feel. Forever.

How did you learn to make jewelry?

MEREDITH: I took classes, very basic classes that taught you how to saw a metal, how to join two ends of a metal. I fell in love with the fact that there was this chemistry element which was very scientific, and there was this organic element that was very like art related which you could be creative in. So I kept taking classes for a couple years and I started to realize that there were craft techniques that need more [in-depth] learning. I thought about going for a full certificate but I’m a firm believer of learning as you go and all the mistakes that you make are the way you should be learning anyway. There are so many different ways to learn about the craft, so I try to take a class at least once year.

How would you describe your style?

MEREDITH: I think my jewelry style is definitely a balance of the functional and sentimental, while still being elegant. I’m a huge believer of easy pieces that you don’t have to think about and you almost forget you have on. I think that’s basically my personal style. I want to be comfortable. It’s that easy going, perfect flowy top that makes you feel like you could go from walking in the park to going to a 5-star restaurant at the end of the night. And I think that’ kind of where I am with my design in my jewelry.

What is your inspiration when it comes to jewelry? 

MEREDITH: I think it’s kind of all over the place. Traveling is definitely one that influences my work. What’s around me in my environment and what I come across. It could be as simple as a pebble I found in Iceland when we were traveling.

Why do you number your pieces?

MEREDITH: When I first started I thought I had to have meaning and symbolism for every piece that I put out there. And I soon realized that that wasn’t me — it sounded really bullshit. So I quickly decided forget it. I’m not the kind of designer that needs to go out and look at the moon and the stars and have them all align for that to become my collection. I’m just not that kind of person. That’s why all my pieces are named as a number. To me they’re just like specimens that I’ve come to know.