Natalie Nichols: Jewelry

As a young girl I was quite obsessed with making things. Years later I enrolled in art classes at the University of Houston. Sculpture, ceramics, and metalsmithing culminated in a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. After graduating from college I moved to New Orleans. There are so many intriguing aspects here: the architecture, the layers of culture, the age, the acceptance of creative pursuits, costumes, parades and the general joie de vivre. From the beaded and feathered costumes of Mardi Gras Indians to the French and Spanish design of French Quarter townhouses; from the gingerbread details on a brightly painted shotgun to wrought-iron balconies, simple to ornate; to the slow glide of the boats along the Mississippi River; the experiences of the New Orleans environment have a definite impact on me and my work. Inspiration also comes from the ordered and mathematical structure of the natural world. Light playing on a fish’s scales underwater or the texture of snake skin are things functional and beautiful. Handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry adorns protects and expresses the wearer.