Massimo Maria Melis uses traditional techniques with the aim of evoking the particular charm of ancient jewelry: working with drawn gold sheet and thread, soldered together by braising to melt the gold only on the surface;
lost wax casting where a wax form is covered in plaster before being kilned to melt the wax leaving a hollow mould into which molten gold is poured; moulding into cuttle fish bones where two cuttles are pressed around a solid original form to create an impression into which molten gold can be poured; and granulation, an ancient technique much loved by the Etruscans, where tiny gold droplets are soldered together to create designs.
In this way, Massimo Maria Melis is able to create his unique works which often incorporate original antique pieces like coins, which he regularly acquires from numismatists, inscribed stones, fragments of polychromatic glass, antique bronze and necklace beads.
In antique jewelry the grade of gold was normally 24 carat (99.9% pure gold). Melis, instead, uses 21 carats gold (85% purity).
The choice is dictated by modern needs, as 24 carat gold is very ductile and malleable, and wears down too easily. Instead, 21 carat gold maintains its solidity and colour.
Melis occasionally allows himself to use 24 carat gold, which retains the fascination of the antique.