Jewelry designer Kali Mellus.

Jingle Jangle Holiday Stroll: Santa’s Handmade Art


I struggle with change, just when I think I’m adjusting to the change, things change again! For instance Gallery Stroll has been held on the third Friday or the month for over 22 years. The Holiday Stroll has always been held the first Friday and Saturday of December.

It was a little confusing but just as I was getting comfortable with explaining the Holiday date change they (the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll association), switched it again! The official Holiday/Gallery Stroll will be held Dec. 16, but as conformity has never been an artist strong point many venues will be open late Dec. 3 and Dec. 16

December’s stroll has always been my favorite Gallery Stroll of the year. The culmination of a long and exciting year makes the shows that much more anticipated and the shopping opportunities appreciated.

Aphelion Studio recently celebrated their first anniversary. With the hard work of skilled artist and jewelry designer Kali Mellus it was suited to be a success from the start. As I entered her studio located on 351 West Pierpont Ave, I marveled at how delicate she has made this once bland and colorless studio space. Innovative displays highlight the handcrafted wares, while the hanging chandelier evokes the elegance and beauty of a boutique in Paris.

Kali’s designs are completely original and change based on the seasons and the needs expressed by her loyal following. A “Made by Kali Jo” design is easily recognized for its craftsmanship and cutting edge style. Using raw materials like electrically staples, mason nails, and broken glass people are guaranteed to stare at “Belt Buckle” all the time.

What is that noise and the smell? I wondered as I pass 351 West Pierpont (located directly in-front of our own SLUG Mag HQ), Oh it’s Kali with her casting resin or leather dyes. When I say handcrafted, I mean from the time the hide is stripped from the cow.

(Sorry kids it’s not vegan wares), she measures it out for different sizes, dyes appropriately pieces and attaches the finishing touches like nails, leather strips or metal washers. Each belt buckle and necklace is poured in it’s own mold, color is selected and once finished they are beaded or polished accordingly. The process is a credit to this young lady’s ambition and her constant search of new and exciting ways to express her style and heighten yours.

The success of Aphelion is a testament to our community’s sense of responsibility. If you want local artists and businesses to stick around, if you want original clothing, jewelry, and art you have to buy local. Spend the extra couple of bucks, and know where your things are made and who makes them.

Aphelion Studio is open by appointment Monday-Saturday and features the work of Kali Mellus, Photographers Anne Cummings Anderson and Caleb Cannon. Special Holiday Stroll guests include Meghann Griggs and her fabulous scarves. For appointments contact or see you December 16th!!