Mena Messina has been designing and creating jewelry for over 30 years. While in high school she took a course in metalsmithing and soon after attended a summer program and continued to study in college and beyond. Mena's inspiration comes to her in many ways. One of her influences was from photographs she took of water continuously moving oyer a fountain at the Christian Science Center in Boston. During the next year she created these endless ongoing forms that have become the signature of her work. They have been likened to waves, church organ chimes and ribbon candy. Mena spent 10 years in Cambridge-Boston Massachusetts studying in graduate school and then successfully working on establishing her work in shops and galleries in the New England area. For several years she did not have an automobile. She managed to get around on her 10 speed bicycle. One of the tests she would use to see if an earring was successful was riding her bicycle from Cambridge to Boston wearing a new pair of earrings. Usually her destination was to go to the Jeweler's Building to get supplies, if the earring was too heavy or it was awkward she would go back to the studio and re-design it until it worked and form followed function successfully.
When Mena moved to the country in Warwick NY, she was surrounded by many farms, animals and lots of open land. Again with her camera at her side she kept on photographing, this time she found these intriguing bates of hay that were stacked in some of the bams. Soon after, these forms became created in metal and were added to her line of work. In fact, these forms are similar to the wave forms only they are moving in a different direction. These designs have been created into many flower forms that continue to grow and change in her work.
Mena uses a variety of metals- fine silver, bronze, copper, 18k and 22kgold. She often uses a patina on the metal, it is a solution that darkens the metal tending depth to the overall design. In many of her designs you will see a variety of stones. Often times she is creative with boulder opals, peridots, tourmalines, and amethysts. Most of her work is hand fabricated using a jeweler's saw, forming tools, some casting, and a lot of soldering.
In her jewelry designs Mena has a production line of earrings, pin-pendants and necklaces. She also creates one of a kind jewelry. Sometimes her clients have special family gemstones they want created into a piece of jewelry. This creative exchange with her clients and herself is a rewarding and fun experience.
Every summer for 2 weeks Mena teaches jewelry at Free Spirit Nature Camp on a farm in Westtown, New York to children and teenagers. Also workshops are available during tie year for adults and teenagers in her studio. Presently, Mena is not selling her work in shops and galleries, instead she attends several retail shows during the year. Mena is married to glassblower, Gary Genetti. They both have studios at their home. Recently they have jointly designed lighting fixtures in metal and glass. Their plan is to continue to create more cooperative designs. They have 2 adorable and bright children ages 7 and 10 adopted from China that also create wonderful designs in glass and jewelry!
WHY I WANT TO SHARE MY PASSION
Designing and creating jewelry is my passion. It is both challenging and fun to be able to think of an idea and then to actually create it! A piece of jewelry can be created in as little as one hour or it can take many hours or many weeks, depending on the complexity of the design. There is a feeling of satisfaction during the process of creating and also when it is completed there is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
Member of the American Craft Council for 20 years.
Fold-forming Workshop by Charles Lewton-Brain Florida NY August 2005
SELECT JURIED SHOWS
American Craft Enterprise Baltimore Wholesale and Retail 1986-20X30