About

My name is Melina and I'm an Artist who happens to make jewelry. The name LUPANYXA (Loopah-Niksah) is inspired by many things. Lupus is one of the disabling and progressive autoimmune disease I live with. The word Lupa from the Latin word for "shewolf", and Nyxa is a variation on the Greek name Nyx: the primordial goddess of, and personification of the Night. It's my way of carrying that weight, as well as my ancestors with me. Together I formed these words into LUPANYXA. I feel this name connected deep within me.

 I found my way to jewelry many years after working in the fast-paced costume, clothing and accessory design industries in Los Angeles. My one-of-a-kind jewelry is responsibly and fastidiously crafted and made by my two ragged hands here in my studio just south of Portland, Oregon (on the traditional and indigenous lands and village sites of the Native peoples of the Kalapuya, Chinook, Molalla, and the Clackamas), ever since I began making jewelry full time in 2014.

Jewelry is the medium that absolutely captures my attention in every way, as I've always been an artist, sculptor and designer who's obsessed with adornment. As a high functioning Autistic woman who thinks in pictures and highly detailed diagrams, creating jewelry is like forming tiny wearable sculptures, engineered and built by my hands and is where my brain feels most at home.

I recycle, melt, mill and forge most all of my metals myself, as opposed to only buying ready-made milled sheet, wire and components from a supplier. Every piece I create goes directly from my hands, to yours.

 I work almost exclusively with Sterling, Fine Silver and Solid Gold. I care deeply about the quality and longevity of my work, and use responsibly sourced stones and gems from mines here in the Americas and from the most reputable and ethical suppliers. I discerningly source from a few, very select overseas gem cutters.

Many of the cabochons I use in my work, namely turquoise and other similar material, are cut in-house by my partner and 2nd generation Indigenous Lapidarist, Max Avila. His mama was a very talented Silversmith and Lapidarist, and she gave me some of my very first jewelry tools and stones to play with, and continues to encourage us with her knowledge and enthusiasm.

I never use photo filters, enhancements, touch ups or alter the photos of my work in any way whatsoever. I strive to photograph my jewelry in the most accurate and authentic way, which is why I use natural light as much as possible. I would much rather someone receive a piece of my jewelry and be overjoyed, than to feel the photos were more exciting or that they misrepresented my work in any way.

My inspiration arises from the mystery of life itself, mythology, the vastness of the cosmos, the stable density of earth, the emotion of water, the invisible messages in the ether, grief, trauma, the excitement of fire, the changing seasons, cycles, rituals, forests, oceans, creatures and all of nature.

I often channel my ancient ancestors and animal allies in my work. I try to honor all peoples, plants and creatures by creating reminders of our connection to each other and most of all the great mystery of being alive. 

We are Nature and Connection is our truth.

 

Retailers:

Ghost Gallery, Seattle, Washington 

  

Past and Current Exhibitions:

Ghost Gallery - Seattle, Washington 'Pollination Syndrome' Group Exhibit 2022

Pacific Crest Creatives - Cle Elum, Washington:  Featured Gallery Artist 2019 - 2022