EXTREMELOVE is inspired by extremophiles present in Berkeley Pit, Montana. An extremophile (from Latin extremus meaning "extreme" and Greek philiā (φιλία) meaning "love") is an organism that thrives in physically or geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to most life on Earth.
[The pit, a former open pit copper mine, is filled to a depth of about 270 m with water that is heavily acidic, about the acidity of cola or lemon juice. As a result, the pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that leach from the rock, including copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid.
Since the pit closure on Earth Day 1982, the water level has risen to within 150 feet of the natural groundwater level. The pit and its water present a serious environmental problem because the water, with dissolved oxygen, allows pyrite and sulfide minerals in the ore and wall rock to decay, releasing acid. When the pit water level eventually reaches the natural water table, estimated to occur by around 2020, the pit water will reverse flow back into surrounding groundwater.
New fungal and bacterial species have been found to adapt to the harsh conditions inside the pit. Intense competition for the limited resources caused these species to evolve the production of highly toxic compounds to improve survivability; natural products such as Berkeleydione, berkeleytrione and Berkelic acid have been isolated from these organisms, which show selective activity against cancer cell lines. Some of these species ingest metals and are being investigated as an alternative means of cleaning the water.]
EXTREMELOVE is inspired by the disease-fighting properties of these organisms and their adaptability to toxic environments. This collection also touches on a recurrent theme in Gina Melosi’s work, which is the idea of beauty arising from destruction and decay. This is her first full collection that has been completely designed using CAD and produced using a new alloy of recycled Pink Silver. Melosi’s signature delicate style takes on a new form with molecular shaped pieces in keeping with her inspiration.