Welcome to the seventh artist interview on miscellany!
(1) Tell us about yourself:
I live in the small town of Apex, North Carolina, which is just outside the capitol Raleigh. I grew up in this area, and live here with my husband and our newly adopted cat (rescued from a shelter just this July). A typical day for me is going to my job at a computer technology company and then (if I’m good!) working out in the evening. At night I may sketch ideas, but I usually don’t have time to devote to making jewelry until the weekend.
(2) Tell us about what you create:
My much-loved hobby is jewelry making, and I tend toward bohemian and nature inspired styles. I enjoy working with natural gemstones, leather, and a mix of metals (usually silver). One of my favorite creative techniques is using silver metal clay to shape and mold a piece, then fire it in my own kiln, which results in a solid piece of silver that is 99.9% pure (called fine silver). This technique enables me to truly demonstrate my inspiration from nature, as I use the clay to form jewelry pieces from real seashells and leaf impressions.
This hobby began almost two years ago when I took a random weekend workshop at a local craft school. The bug bit me and I’ve been making jewelry in my spare time ever since. I’ve taken several classes since that time, and also taught myself techniques on my own.
(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:
A few months after I began making jewelry, I opened my shop on Etsy. I still remember the excitement of receiving my first sale! And that excitement has never really faded. I create jewelry because I enjoy the creative process, but it’s always a thrill for me when someone purchases a piece for themselves or for a gift.
My studio is an office in my house, but it moves to the garage when I need to fire my silver clay jewelry in the kiln.
(4) Tell us about your customers:
I think I have a couple types of customers. The first would be women who love nature and the outdoors, and who tend to have a natural, bohemian aesthetic in their fashion and jewelry sense. The second is even more specific – men and women who have hiked the Appalachian Trail. My bestselling item is a necklace that commemorates hiking the Appalachian Trail, based on a necklace I made for my husband after he hiked it.
(5) Tell us where we can find your art:
My jewelry can be found on Etsy (www.nicolenoellejewelry.etsy.com) and Aftcra (https://www.aftcra.com/nicolenoellejewelry). I can also be found on Instagram (@nicolenoellejewelry) where I post new jewelry pieces, works in progress, and (fair warning) the occasional cat photo.
(6) Tell us about your support:
Nicole Noelle Jewelry is a one-woman show, from making the jewelry, to packaging and shipping orders, to working on SEO for my shops. But my family provides valuable feedback, encouragement and support whenever I need it, and I’m very thankful for that.
(7) Tell us about your favorites:
My favorite piece of jewelry is this Hydrangea Leaf necklace (https://www.etsy.com/listing/233057707/large-real-leaf-necklace-fine-silver) – it’s the largest leaf impression piece I’ve created. A close second favorite is the Gray Pearl Cluster necklace (https://www.etsy.com/listing/213941175/gray-pearl-cluster-necklace-with) – it’s such a unique statement piece.
Sawing metal is a technique I do not use much yet, but I aspire to hone that skill one day. Therefore, I love following amazing metalsmiths on Instagram that inspire me in this area. One of my favorite metalsmith feeds is Arrok Jewelry (@arrokjewelry). I also follow lots of photographers that fill my Instagram feed with beautiful photographs. I am a bit biased that one of my favorite feeds is my husband’s, Rifleman Photography (@riflemanphotography).
(8) Tell us anything else:
It’s hard for me to give advice to sellers because I feel like I still have a lot to learn, and I’m learning all the time. But maybe that’s my advice: don’t get complacent or comfortable; always seek out new information, techniques, and skills — whether it be for creating your craft, promoting your craft, or maintaining your shop.