THE SPRIG COLLECTIVE
D. Metallurgy. to reinforce the walls of (a mold) with sprigs.
Each of our Sprig Collective members have forged their own molds, leaving us to start their own.
The Sprig Collective is made up of former employees of Melissa Joy Manning, Inc. Using the tools learned here, our former team members have started their own brands to express their art.
We've selected key pieces from their collection to represent here. Please see below to learn more about the artist and to see their work in it's entirety.
Curiosity inspires the lively and versatile aesthetic that marks the Kaylin Hertel collection. With admiration for the human form, Kaylin crafts objects to adorn and inspire fascination in its various features. Kaylin’s eponymous line is handcrafted in Los Angeles, California using recycled precious metals, natural stones and fibers. Through thoughtfully refined designs her collection renders a minimal aesthetic rich with imagery. Modern in appearance, Kaylin’s jewelry is as playful and whimsical as it is sophisticated and classic.
“Receiving a job at Melissa Joy Manning marked a major shift in my life. The opportunity took me from the Midwest and introduced me to California—a place where creative industries are supported and valued. The amount of knowledge and insight that I acquired while working at MJM has been invaluable to me in the development of my own line. I learned so much from the business, my bosses, my coworkers, and from every piece of jewelry I made.”KAYLIN HERTEL
Smoke and Daggers [Bob Atkinson]
Born in West Chester, PA and after graduating from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in Illustration and Design, I found a new love and passion in sculpture and jewelry. After years of work as a self taught jeweler, I applied for a jewelry position at Melissa Joy Manning in hopes to grow my skill, and miraculously, Melissa hired me! Melissa Joy Manning is an artist and designer whom I had admired for not only her work but her ethics and achievements, I was happy to be a part of her team.
"During my five years as Melissa’s design assistant, I was challenged everyday to be a better metalsmith. It was an experience I couldn’t have gained anywhere else, learning to identify and work with hundreds of different stones, setting things as intricate as a vein of copper. After the birth of my son, I decided to pursue my own work full time again doing mostly custom pieces. After moving to Austin, Texas I have expanded the line and begun to grow the business with a wholesale and retail line while maintaining the custom work I love. Along with many wonderful memories and experiences, one of the things I take away from my time at Melissa Joy Manning and hold close to my heart is her love of the natural world and commitment to ethical and sustainable practices which I strive to continue in my own work."SMOKE & DAGGERS
Luana Coonen is known for her nature-inspired jewelry with a fine balance between romantic and hip-girl edge. Her work is created with unusual found materials combined with gold, silver, and acrylics. She has traveled and created jewelry around the world, and is passionate about the environment and good craftsmanship. Dedicated to sustainability, she uses environmentally-friendly studio practices and responsible sources for all her materials, including recycled gold, fair-mined gemstones, and reclaimed antique diamonds.
“I started working with Melissa in 2004, and was her 7th hire. I stayed with MJM INC for several years, during times of great growth and change for both of us. I worked one-on-one with Melissa through her transition to NY, becoming an integral part of the business: aiding with design, management, and creation of the jewelry. We became a team working one-on-one, as I learned how to grow a business while sticking tight to a vision. Those years taught me invaluable lessons, which years later I realized gave me serious leg-up in starting my own jewelry business. Melissa has always been so supportive of my jewelry line & I'm excited to be included in this program. ”LUANA COONEN
Lauren Wolf studied jewelry design in the mountains of Mexico. She went on to attend New York's Fashion Institute of Technology as a student of their Jewelry Associate Degree Program. It was there that she learned the technical aspects of the process and discovered her love for casting found objects.
After eight years of producing her eponymous line in New York, Lauren relocated to the Bay Area. Today, she lives and works in Oakland, CA, where she opened her first retail location, ESQUELETO, in 2011. ESQUELETO launched a Southern California outpost in Los Angeles' Echo Park neighborhood.
"Melissa was always an inspiration for me. When I first started my jewelry career (over 14 years ago!) there were very few people creating and selling work like Melissa's. Her brand immediately stood out to me and I knew I wanted to learn more. Melissa was too busy to connect with me when I lived in Cali, but she kept me on her radar for when she visited NYC for help during the busy tradeshow season. While I never made jewelry for MJM, I learned a lot and possibly more about the jewelry world from diving head first into the trade show circuit with her. An invaluable experience and a job that turned into a long lasting friendship! We proudly sell Melissa Joy Manning at our ESQUELETO retail locations in Oakland and Los Angeles."LAUREN WOLF
Sharon Z Jewelry
Inspired by the interplay of organic and geometric forms, Sharon Zimmerman crafts jewelry that is linear, dynamic and original. Using a clean palette of recycled precious metals oxidized silver, 14 karat and 18 karat gold with splashes of color from precious gems, her work slides from special occasion to everyday armour with ease.
"What stands out the most from my years at MJM are the relationships that we forged. Relationships between me and my fellow jewelers (some of my closest friends came from working at MJM!) and relationships between us and our customers. Melissa made sure that a personal touch was present in everything that we did."SHARON Z JEWELRY
Lauren is a zoologist turned jewelry designer from Brooklyn, NY. Her designs take inspiration from her scientific background and the natural world. She believes in expressing individuality through adornment, and creates pieces that delight and empower the wearer.
"Working at Melissa Joy Manning has been a tremendous learning experience for me as a jeweler and as a person. I've acquired so much knowledge about stones and techniques, and really enjoyed growing in such a warm and friendly environment."LAUREN NEWTON
Hechizo [Hali Emminger]
Hechizo accessories are designed and produced by Hali Emminger in Brooklyn, NY. Hali draws inspiration from global traditions of adornment and surface design, combining ceramic, metal and textile into objects of interest made to adorn. A Scultpure and Extended Media graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Hali approaches jewelry design with openness to somewhat non- traditional materials and playfulness towards form. With a carpenter, a luthier and an artist in her immediate family, Hali delights in carrying on a tradition of handcrafting.
"When I switched gears from a career in product development & retail, I was really hungry to get a glimpse into the inner workings of a successful jewelry company. I was so fortunate to work with the team in NY, assisting with office admin and the retail store at Wooster St as it not only helped clarify the industry but gave me a front row view of the authentic success and growth of the unique brand that is Melissa Joy Manning. I love working for myself but I definitely miss working with my MJM girls!"HECHIZO
Open Label [Tricia Patterson]
Tricia Patterson started out working in museums after graduating from NYU in 2010, eventually running late-night events and programming for young art lovers at the Art Institute of Chicago. She went on to discover a passion for metalsmithing, and relocated to the Bay Area where she attended Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, worked for Melissa Joy Manning, and eventually founded Open Label. Open label is a unisex streetwear line that celebrates equality, creativity and bling for all.
“Melissa forged a path for sustainability in handmade jewelry that I so look up to, and I work hard to try and follow in her footsteps. Learning from her and the team at MJM was invaluable to my education as a designer, metalsmith, and as a citizen of my community.”OPEN LABEL
LaFortuna [Jeorgea Beck]
laFortuna is a collection of bags designed to bring beauty and joy to your everyday. Hand made by a small team of artists in Oakland, we use materials sourced in the US. Jeorgea Beck's design trajectory started on the display team at ABC Home in NY and spanning into interior design in NY and Los Angeles before launching laFortuna in 2016.
"Melissa has a rare combination of talent in both business and design. I jumped at the opportunity to work with Melissa as a retail manager for her flagship Berkeley shop from 2012-2014. Melissa created a beautiful environment, ideal for showcasing her original work, as noted by customers all day long as they walked though the door. A beautiful example of life as art, and art as life. "LA FORTUNA