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Join us as we welcome jewelry artist/ metalsmith Nikki Couppee for a trunk show June 15-30 at our location in The Gulch. Nikki’s pieces are all custom made and genuinely amazing. Internationally known, featured in VOGUE Brazil and on sites such as Daily Candy, we are excited to share her work with you.

1. How did you begin making your own jewelry? I was still making when I was in high school and we had an early enrollment program at the local college so I started taking jewelry/ metal smithing courses and never stopped. I graduated with an A.A. from Pensacola State College in Pensacola, Florida and continued on to the University of Georgia receiving a B.F.A. in Jewelry/ Metals in 2007. I then attended graduate school on a teaching scholarship at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio receiving a M.F.A. in Jewelry/ Metals in 2011. 

I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area where I teach metals courses and workshops locally as well as across the country. I also work part-time at a contemporary jewelry gallery. I am constantly making new work in my studio with upcoming shows nationally as well as internationally this summer.

2. What inspires you?  Royal jewelry and antique costume jewelry are among my favorites. I see something that sparks an idea and then think how I would like to transfer it into a wearable jewelry design.  I am inspired by nature and my surroundings. I also like to look through magazines for current color trends.

My current work talks about the different functions jewelry performs in society. Objects of personal adornment have the ability to define a person’s social status, questions value and serves as a redeemable investment. I am seeking to create opulent jewelry that is reminiscent of royal jewelry but made out of quotidan materials instead of precious gems and metals. Steel, enamel, plexiglass brass, wood polymer clay and found objects stand in for gemstones, gold, coral and pearls in my asymmetrically designed pieces. With the use of everyday materials I am able to create my own versions of gemstones, playing with size, shape and amount of the stones to satisfy my particular feeling when creating the pieces intuitively.

3. Where do you find such unique pieces? I make my own gemstones in plexiglass and resin that I shape, polish and set with their own unique settings in brass as a stand in for gold. I also use plastic, faux pearls, shells and rhinestones from things I find and old jewelry that I have acquired from friends or thrift stores. From there I rework the material.

4. Have you been featured in any publications/blogs/websites? My work has been shown nationally and internationally, recently participating in SIERRAD International Jewelry Fair in Amsterdam. My current work has been featured in American Craft Magazine, Metalsmith Magazine and VOGUE Brazil with my enamel work published in Lark Books, 500 Enamel Objects. Online publications such as Styleblazer and Daily Candy have also featured my work. 

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