Award: Artist Research & Development Grant
Discipline: Visual Arts
Project Collaborator(s): Jewel Clark

City/Town: Phoenix
Year: 2018
Artist Website:

I aim for a handmade aesthetic that demonstrates effort and patience, reminiscent of ancient treasures and in contrast to our modern environment of mass production and 2-day shipping.

Alongside metalsmith Jewel Clark, Melanie Channon will conduct research on and document fiber techniques that have been, or can be, applied to metals to create works that are functional and durable as well as decorative. Ultimately, Clark and Channon hope to publish a collection of techniques as a supplement to the research documented in Arline Fisch’s 1996 book, “Textile Techniques in Metal.” In addition to researching textile weaving techniques that have been successfully translated to metal in the past, but have little to no instructions currently available, the metal artists will identify and explore the potential of several other textile techniques that have not previously been applied to metal.

Melanie Channon did not discover her artistic abilities until after earning a PhD in geochemistry. A passion for metalworking was immediately ignited by a jewelry-making class she took with friends at a Phoenix studio in early 2013. From there she took an introductory metalworking class at ASU and began creating larger, non-functional art pieces. As she was devising a piece that would incorporate metal weaving, she happened upon a poster advertising a past workshop taught by a local master of the technique, Jewel Clark.

This collaboration is serendipitous for both Channon and Clark, but also has the potential to provide an invaluable resource to the greater field of metal artists: Channon will be able to expand and develop her skills under a skilled mentor; Clark will attain an eager apprentice who shares her enthusiasm for researching this niche topic; and the metals community will benefit from the publication of previously unavailable detailed instructions on a variety of obscure techniques.

Dispel the Myth of the Sea Monster by Melanie Channon
Completed 2015
Exhibited at the Herberger Theater Gallery in Phoenix

Lady M for Harryhausen by  Melanie Channon
Completed 2017

Melanie Channon

Originally from Utah, Channon has lived in Arizona off and on since 2004, which is where she took a jewelry-making class with friends at a local studio in early 2013. As her passion for metalsmithing was immediately ignited, she continued taking classes at the Phoenix studio and took an Intro to Metals course at ASU. The ASU course inspired her to shift from jewelry to creating larger, non-functional art pieces. Channon grew increasingly aware of her desire to become an artist, but would not pursue an art degree since she had just devoted over a decade of her life to a science education. Therefore, she actively explores other avenues of learning the trade and establishing an art career.

Artist photo by Jewel Clark

Banner photo: “Dispel the Myth of the Sea Monster” by Melanie Channon