Conflict-free gemstone & recycled metal heirlooms for the exuberant heart
Knot & Splice is the title of work made by Nicole Jo Melton, a Florida Everglades native, multi-disciplinary artist and designer. Nicole has a background in goldsmithing, graphic design, photography and fiber art. She holds a BFA degree from the renowned School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), as well as a stone setting certificate from the highly regarded New Approach School for Jewelers.
Knot & Splice was founded in Chicago during the spring of 2012, with a firm belief in the values of handmade, quality American work. Nicole first got started with handmade jewelry when she was given a vintage Native American hand-beaded jewelry book. This inspired her to start studying metalsmithing and wax carving. She fell in love with colored gems and American mined turquoise (and is an avid collector of gemstones which inspire her unique work).
Knot & Splice conscientiously sources ethically mined gemstones with unique characteristics for one of a kind jewelry that is set apart in both standards and beauty. She proudly uses recycled metals that are milled by suppliers (and participate in metal recycling of all scraps from her studio).
For several years she created small jewelry collections for many wonderful small brick and mortar shops from around the world (including two favorite brick and mortar shops, Imogene & Willie in Nashville, TN and the beautiful Asrai Garden in Chicago, IL). Since 2016 Nicole has been focusing on working directly with clients on unique and sentimental heirloom pieces, but she is now creating one of a kind rings and unique made to order designs (with one of a kind stones) in the online shop.
Nicole had the unique opportunity to partner with Frye boots in 2016 in their “Meet Our Makers: Chicago” series (alongside Chicago's Koval Distillery) where she was featured in Frye’s video and photography series and later honored at a private dinner at the Frye flagship store in downtown Chicago. She also been published in “Majestic Disorder” (print), “Ancestry Quarterly” (print), and as an honorary maker in “Voyage Chicago," a Chicago maker series.
Nicole makes every Knot & Splice piece by hand in her home studio—now located just on the outskirts of the beautiful and artistically-vibrant Kansas City, MO. Her husband, Zechariah, is both a talented musician and author of multi-published works. Nicole and Zechariah have two rescue dogs (both from a local rescue, Chain of Hope, in Kansas City)—one with an antenna ear named June, and one piglet-looking pup who loves to give hugs and boss everyone around (she is kind of the family wrangler) named Nova.
A love for learning and craftsmanship:
In early 2019 Nicole was honored to complete a comprehensive stone setting course at the highly-regarded New Approach School for Jewelers (Nashville, TN) with master jeweler, Blaine Lewis. Ever since, she has made it a priority to continue her education and enroll in at least one professional course per year.
in 2021, she jump-started a new path in a hand engraving/jeweler combination course with master engraver, Todd Daniels, at the world-renowned GRS Training center. Engraving is an art form in and of itself, so she will continue to hone her skills and share with you when the time comes. This type of work is not mastered in a week, but is honed and practiced over a lifetime. It is an invaluable skill and dying art form Nicole is excited to employ in her organic pieces.