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The Making of Melina

Melina Jewellery is both designed and made by hand
in our small workshop in Athens, Greece.
    Many similar products may be designed in their respective home countries, but mass produced in the Far East or other places with economically compromised craftsmanship.  
  Melina Jewellery has deliberately chosen that both design and production must be created by hand in our workshop in Athens, despite the fact that it increases costs significantly compared to a production in the Far East.

We have chosen this way because it is our aim to produce a different piece of jewellery in a very high quality with a philosophy and message embedded.
    And there is no better place than Greece, when you want to do that. Greece is not only the cradle of our civilization, Greece also has some of the most skilled gold & silversmiths in the world and it is only because of their excellent craftsmanship and old traditions that we can convey a message from our common heritage and our common roots through our jewellery.

The concept of putting glass and silver pieces on chains is not unique for us, but the way we make our beads is. A number of different companies are using the same concept, beads on chains, but none of them, large or small, make jewellery in the manner Melina Jewellery makes it...
  The whole ideology behind our product demands that we manufacture everything from the initial stages, right through to the end in the traditional way, where the final silver or glass piece can be worn with pride by our customers. This is the difference between a Melina piece and similarly products. Melina pieces are all individually created by hand with love and skill.

Neither the silver nor the glass beads come from an assembly line. It is in our small workshop in Athens where all our silver pieces are designed and manufactured and all our Murano glass pieces are created at a studio just outside Prague in the Czech Republic.

  The production of silver starts with an idea, an inspiration, then comes the drawing phase where the model moves from idea to paper.

When the designer has a drawing of the model from all angles the next phase begins; the wax phase. It is one of the most difficult phases, as this is where the design gets its final appearance.

The model is now being built and rebuilt many times, in a special wax. This process can take weeks, and with very difficult designs it can take months. The original wax model is then used to produce a hard outer mould which can be used for casting many wax models, it is necessary because each wax model can only be used once.

Each new wax model is then covered with a hard shell that can be used to cast the hot, liquid silver in. Each form can only be used once, as it eventually gets crushed to get silver out.

When the designer is completely satisfied with the model only then will there be made a test cast in silver. This process can also be repeated many times until the final silver bead is exactly as the designer wishes it to be.

This process, from the first idea of a potential model occurs until the final form is ready, can take months, sometimes even years.
  When the silver design has been approved - the production is set in motion.

Every single silver bead is individually moulded and casted.

When the bead comes out of its mould, each piece is cleaned and sanded. There are several designs that are moulded into 2 - 4 pieces and the pieces must therefore be assembled to the final silver bead.

All work is being done by hand by silversmiths in the workshop in Athens.

    In the penultimate phase, the Melina brand is stamped into every piece of silver.

This is a difficult process in which a small piece of silver plate with the brand on becomes fused with the silver piece.

Every single piece of our silver is therefore stamped with a Melina brand, to guarantee that it is a genuine piece of Melina jewellery, handmade in Athens.
  The final stage, the silver beads go through, before they are ready for distributing, is polishing.

This process is also done by hand with minimum use of tools to protect the silver surface as much as possible.

This process requires time and great skills as otherwise you will scratch the silver and the whole process must be performed from the start again.

When polishing is successfully completed, the silver bead is ready to be packed to ship from Athens to buyers from all over the world.


  The glass

The glass from Murano is still world class ...

Glass in general is an amorphous material. It does not have the physical properties in the traditional sense and it has many different melting points depending on glass-type.

When glass is heated, it can stick to iron, steel, clay, pottery, porcelain & copper. It works as an enamel put on.

Melina Jewellery glass beads are made of Murano glass. The Murano glass comes in long, coloured rods from Murano, a small island just outside of Venice, the only place in the world that manufactures genuine Murano glass.

The manufacturing process of Murano glass took birth in the 1400s and the process has not changed since and that is despite of the great technological development. The manufacturing process still follows the same steps as in the Middle Ages. Even today, the manufacturers must have the special glass blower education before they can start their own business and practicing their craft in Murano, Venice.

We use Murano glass because of its strength and transparency.

But Murano glass is also very difficult to merge, even with the slightest difference in quality, it will create tension in the final result. Therefore Melina Jewellery only uses the finest genuine glass of Murano from Murano in Italy and we make sure that all the glass for our work comes from the same production line.

The rods are processed by hand by some of the best glassblowers in the Czech Republic according to strict instructions from the designers in Athens.

All pieces are handmade and some pieces even mouth-blown. All Murano Glass Beads are fitted with a single Sterling Silver 925 core in the middle.

When designing the Murano beads we use the clarity of the Murano glass to capture the MediterraneanĀ“s warm glow...

Please enjoy the glass beads...

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