Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beads of Clay Open Studio...


For those of you new to my blog, I'm Mellisa Essenburg, the ceramic beadmaker behind Chinook Jewelry Designs. (Ok, the picture is a few years old but I'm back to that hair length so it's the closest to current I have!) I started off making wirework jewelry years ago (hence the "jewelry" part of my business name) then encountered Kazuri beads at a bead show. I couldn't take my hands off of them, the glazes were beautiful and they were so smooth- I bought a few with a bracelet in mind but no other grand plans. As you can see, things progressed from there! I found the wonderful Beads of Clay group when it was back in it's infancy and through the wonderful artists who founded the group, gradually began experimenting in the small scale of beads. I've been offering ceramic beads and pendants through my website for almost five years now and as you'll see, they have been evolving (hopefully for the better!) since then.

So here's a little travel through time staring with my inaugural work and a peek at some of my latest pieces!

This is some old stuff! (boy, I hope you knew that without me telling you)

I'm most inspired by architectural details with anything from nature as a close runner up. I've also been experimenting with strong geometrics in colored porcelain for a couple of years (inspired by Kandinsky's paintings) but haven't really rolled them out on the website.

After focusing primarily on beads for several years now, I've returned to making finished jewelry... this time incorporating some of my beads into the designs. I love using the components in my jewelry pieces, especially earrings, because they're lightweight and so delicate in appearance.

I have most of my earrings up at my 1000 Markets Shop right now and many that I have still not added.

Today until midnight PST I'll be offering a 30% discount off all retail in stock beads/pendants on my website for my open house guests! Just enter coupon code: BOC FALL in the coupon code box at checkout and your discount will be automatically calculated.

Last but not least, there's nothing more satisfying to me than receiving emails from artists to show me what they've created with my beads! (click on the pics to check out their sites)

Come on back at 1:45 EST (10:45 PST) for your chance to win one of my newest fall pendants!

See the other participating blogs at:


  1. Mellisa, wonderful! Great post! You and I have had a similar start with ceramics! I also started as a jewelry-maker first, then became captivated by clay!

  2. Nice to finally place faces to names Mellisa!! I'm excited for this studio tour and I'll bet I can easily fill a cart with your goodies... I'll try to spread the love!! xox

  3. this is so great! a picture and a last name! :0) will be heading to your shop for sure... and i just love the piece that was worked into that bag! gorgeous... have been holding out?!

  4. Love the time travel and such beautiful work.


Thanks for stopping by to chat! I love comments and if you have your email enabled in your blogger profile, I would love to be able to keep the conversation going.