Designer Spotlight: f. is for frank – Shoshannah Frank and Casey Melton
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
f. is for frank’s handmade collection of jewelry has a textural, sculptural and modern feel that is derived from the artists’ background in designing and manufacturing architectural elements. While their jewelry reflects organic shapes and objects in nature, they also enjoy making a huge statement with scale. Cast pewter is their medium of choice. Pieces are also offered in 24-karat gold plate and rose gold plate. Creations by f. is for frank are designed, sculpted, cast and perfected in their Dallas, Texas studio.
Why we do what we do… Shannah says “Because I don't know what the f$#% else I would do. ” A little crass but it's true. Designing and making are engrained in our being.
How did you get into jewelry design?
Shoshannah Frank’s love for metal work began as a student at Booker T. Washington High School, Arts Magnet, in Dallas. Even then, she could always be found in the studio creating jewelry that was much more sculptural than wearable! After graduating with a BFA degree in sculpture and metalsmithing from San Francisco State University in 2000, Shannah returned to Dallas as a bench jeweler for the well-known jewelry designer, Matthew Trent. By 2005 she started Studio 3-0, an architectural elements design and manufacturing company, with Dallas-based artist Brad Oldham. In 2007 she opened up f. is for frank casting pewter hardware and designing interior architectural statement pieces.
Casey Melton inherited a love for created from her mother, a graphic designer and painter. She received a BFA in sculpture and a BA in marketing from the University of Georgia in persuit of becoming a furniture designer. After college she went to work for Shannah Frank at Studio 3-0. In 2007 became a senior designer at f. is for frank and in 2009 she became co-owner at f. is for frank.
During the recession in 2009 the number of custom interior architectural jobs lessen significantly so to fill the void the duo decided to create a line of jewelry out of cast pewter. For Shannah this was getting back to her first love. For Casey this was a departure from her large scale work but she loved the challenge of learning to work small. Slowly the jewelry business started to take over the architectural side and in 2012 they decided just to make jewelry.
What makes your collection unique?
Being design duo, Casey and Shannah bring their ying and yang styles and mesh them into one. Shannah is detailed oriented, Casey is big picture, Shannah has a harder edge while Casey has a softer edge and the list goes on and on. Together there design aesthetics blend to create unique and cohesive collection.
Our cast pewter method, satin finish and sculptural influences make the collection unique as well.
What are your inspirations?
We are inspired by nature, travel, art and architecture.
How are you making a difference in your life?
Outside of making jewelry, Shannah teaches yoga and is very involved in the biking community. Casey has two children ages 2 and 4 and raising them to be productive members of society.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
The unusual thing about us is how we do co-design everything and blend our two styles. We also have been designing together for almost 10 years everything from hardware to furniture to lighting and now jewelry so we have a nice synchronized aesthetic.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
Creating and making come very natural to Shannah and Casey… the business end of things takes much more effort.
f. is for frank was established in 2007 and is a collaboration between Shoshannah Frank and Casey Melton. In 2009, the duo decided to take a departure from designing custom architectural elements and created a line of jewelry. After the success of their first collection, Shoshannah and Casey are continuing to explore ways to create the most unique and innovative jewelry while staying true to their own design aesthetic. Their degrees in sculpture and metalsmithing and experience in architectural design is evidenced by the way in which their jewelry achieves a perfect balance between art and function.