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A Day with Michele Baratta

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Happy Monday everyone!

I’ve always believed that each morning, day, week and month should start with positivity and promise.It seems difficult to do so, but believe me it’s better than drudging along.

So, I woke up this morning and engaged in my usual routine of getting ready, reading my facebook and twitter, and going online to check messages. I came across a blog written by Andy’s mom, Ann (Mimi), expressing astonishment at the details that went into the Bella Branch by Michele Baratta business, in every aspect from beginning to finish. Mimi is around Michele, Andy, and the children a lot, but had no idea at how extensive the specifics were to the creation of it all. This inspired me to also want to know everything from birth of the design, to the poetic descriptions of the jewelry and the production of the catalog. I followed Michele and Andy for a day and after everything I learned, I was impressed and inspired.

Ideas! Michele starts with ideas inspired from her children, life, surroundings, joys, struggles and sentiments, and then transpires them into sketches on paper.These sketches become refined to detailed drawings.After she is certain of a particular design, Michele will then begin to sculpt, carve and cultivate this design into wax, for a mold. After a mold is created, there are nineteen (yes nineteen) steps to casting this wax mold into pure .925 silver. From there, Michele spends hours handpicking pearls, gems, and the perfect links to complete her artistic creation.This is the step for each piece!

I continued to follow Michele to see how these marvelous pieces get placed into the catalog.I’ll admit that although I can read her beautiful catalog and vividly poetic descriptions for hours, I never realized how much goes into its creation.For each page, Michele and her husband Andy carefully select combinations of jewelry together, that represent a similar story.After the jewelry is selected, it is laid out with details that accentuate each pieces’ meaning and story.Shells, sand, delicate leaves, colored fusions of paper and objects are all selected along with the jewelry to be placed in a light box, where multiple shots are professionally taken at different lighting settings to ensure the perfect image of the pieces.

After the perfect picture is taken for the catalog, Michele’s husband Andy digitally inspects the coloring, and merges photos together, while Michele writes a poetic description for each jewelry piece.

From the sketch to the moment of production, endless hours of work and thought are dedicated to making sure the integrity of Michele’s artistic designs are represented in everything she makes.

I have a profound respect for artists that devote an immense amount of passion and heart into their creations, which is why I understand Michele’s meticulous selection and craft in her work.Similar to a couture gown which has the designer’s signature down to the very stitch, with Michele’s jewelry, each gem, pearl, link and clasp was placed with purpose and meaning.