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Nicole Jo Melton


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, as well as creating one of a kind bespoke  pieces for 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 early 2020, she she had the honor of taking a professional comprehensive wax course with the master of wax carving (truly someone every jeweler admires), Kate Wolf. She is also enrolled and excited to be taking a hand engraving/jeweler combination course with master engraver, Todd Daniels, at the world-renowned GRS Training center in 2021.
She is primarily focusing on one of a kind hand-crafted fine jewelry and expanding the ready to ship and made to order shop offerings (with one of a kind gemstones). Please contact us with any questions you may have. If you'd like to keep up to date with new collections and special announcements, please sign up for our email list here.

As one professional/skill class per year is her goal, Nicole will be focusing on learning the fine art of hand-engraving more detailed at GRS training center in May 2021. This type of work is not learned in a week, but is honed and practiced over a lifetime. It is an invaluable skill and dying art form.

Please follow our page on Instagram where we post behind the scenes (especially to IG Story which we have many "highlights" to peruse) and finished custom work, as well as thoughtful notes about the work, life from a true maker in heart and soul.
Below are photos of her two rescue pups: June (baby bear/little pony) in the first photo. The second photo is of her pint sized pup, Nova (chatty piglet/possum).