Photography by Shelby York
Conflict-free US-mined gemstone & recycled metal heirlooms for the exuberant heart
Knot & Splice is USA-sourced handmade jewelry, textiles, and objects by Nicole Melton, a Florida Everglades native, multi-disciplinary artist, and designer. Nicole comes from a background in graphic design, photography, metalsmithing, and fiber art. She holds a BFA degree from the renowned School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
Knot & Splice was founded in Chicago during the spring of 2012, with a firm belief in the values of handmade, quality American work. Early pieces included hand-beaded jewelry (inspired by Native American patterns) which quickly expanded to metalsmithed, hand-carved/cast, and U.S. stone pieces. After a serious spine surgery in 2014 (and chronic pain/neurological changes), Nicole is focusing on small thoughtful jewelry collections (that do not subscribe to a fashion calendar), one-of-a-kind fine jewelry, and textiles.
Knot & Splice jewelry is inspired by traditional Americana imagery, Spanish/Native American silversmithing, Victorian mourning imagery, traditional/folk arts, vintage/antique ephemera, and nature. Many one-of-a-kind stone pieces are modern/minimal in design to elevate the raw beauty of rare/collectible American-mined stones.
Nicole's fiber art and handwoven textiles attempt to capture liberated emotion through color and texture. Weaving is an expressive, meditative process that has given the artist a unique voice. Nicole began incorporating more experimental and traditional spinning into her fiber art practice in 2015 to further personalize her textile work.
The mission of Knot & Splice is to support other U.S. companies, by sourcing all stones from American lapidary artists and collectors (Knot & Splice only uses U.S.-mined stones). All other materials are purchased from U.S. suppliers (recycled metals are purchased from reputable companies Rio Grande and Stuller). As she has transitioned to more fine jewelry and faceted precious stones, Nicole works with suppliers that carefully source ethically-mined gemstones.
Knot & Splice makes unique work that has been skillfully and lovingly crafted with American values—reflected in both material and design.
Nicole makes every Knot & Splice piece by hand in her home studio now located in Kansas City, MO. She has two rescue dogs—one with an antenna ear named June, and one who loves to give hugs and talk nonsense named Nova. She usually posts more about her pups and her day to day on Instagram stories.
If you're wondering more about the backstory of Knot & Splice, Nicole did a recent interview with Voyage Chicago here. In it, she answers how she got started, challenges she's faced being a working artist with chronic illness, and a quality she believes is essential to the success of Knot & Splice.
Nicole in the studio.
Nicole working on rings in the studio.
Nicole with her husband and two rescue pups.