At Nomads we love to meet and support local artisans. We discovered Niki Green’s beautiful work last year and instantly fell in love with her hand-sculpted, wild looking, yet incredibly delicate natural silver jewellery.
Designer Niki Green lives in the rugged and beautiful West of Cornwall – close to Lands End - where she collects natural objects such as seashells and feathers while walking on the beaches, and flowers and leaves from nearby fields and hedges. Niki makes finely detailed pendants, earrings, bracelets and charms that are cast in sterling silver from the natural objects she collected on the coast. We have a wonderful selection of her work available to buy on our website. We are so in love with Niki’s creations, we just had to spread the word about her and her work. This week we have spoken to Niki to understand her fascinating creative process and learn about her inspirations and way of life!
We asked Niki about her route into the world of making such beautiful jewellery:
“I wouldn't say I had a career path, more an interesting ramble. I studied social science and anthropology at university and then my growing interest in traditional plant medicine led to a long training as a professional medical herbalist. I started my practice in London but moved out as soon as I could to set up a rural practice in Cornwall. This is a beautiful wild place and eventually I felt I wanted to pursue a creative life and started purely as a photographer. About five years ago I started designing jewellery. I have no formal training - I just made it up as I went along!”
Niki’s inspiration comes from the natural world. She loves the far west of Cornwall with a passion because it combines many elements which are important to her:
“Cornwall has a feeling of wildness even though it has lots of summer visitors. It's a very harsh landscape of cliffs and sea and wind-blown trees. You can see and feel the elements which have shaped it. I live on Cape Cornwall which is an extremely windy headland so you can certainly feel it”.
Niki is also inspired by a lot of artists who make things or performance art in landscape. She adores the work of Peter Randall-Page (who made the giant seed at the Eden Project) and Sax Impey who Niki believes “paints the sea so wonderfully”. She is also inspired by the work and the ethos of an exciting artists' co-operative she belongs to in St Just called The Makers Emporium. “It’s lovely to take control of showing our own creations and it means we can show a wide and interesting range of work”
We were fascinated by Niki Greens design process and her honesty to her creative identity when she designs:
“What I do is very simple. I work from natural objects which I find beautiful and I think will work as jewellery. I only use things I collect locally because I feel the limitation gives my work a stronger identity. It gives a sense of purpose to all my wanderings, I'm always looking out for the right thing when I'm on the beach or walking in the woods. I'm also looking for something which has meaning to me – for example the violet leaves which have a history of medicinal use as well as all the associations of their perfect heart shape. I like things with interesting surface texture as well as form. It's very important to me to keep the detail of the original so I take a very accurate mould and this serves as the starting point for a prototype made using a mixture of moulding and modelling, which I really enjoy, in a fine modelling medium. The prototype is then cast in sterling silver. When I get it right it's really satisfying but I get it wrong a lot too!”
We also wanted to know how Niki feels about us here at Nomads and of the Fair Trade ethos that we live and breathe
“I've loved Nomads clothing for years and have quite a few examples in my wardrobe. At the moment I really like the leaf printed cord and velvet. I think my jewellery would go perfectly with them...same relaxed, natural vibe. I think the Fair trade movement is brilliant and I always try to buy the fair trade option in clothes, food, everything really. I also appreciate the organic cotton used in lots of Nomad designs, because I've started to understand the negative environmental impact of conventional cotton growing.”
Finally, we asked Niki about what she is working on at the moment. “I'm currently working on a new range of silver daisies with gold centres – I love them so I hope other people will too!” We know that we will love Niki’s new work and we can’t wait to see her new collection!
Whilst we wait in anticipation for Niki’s new work, you can visit her website and follow her social media platforms for the latest news and events! Niki’s Company is called Natural Silver – Wild Jewellery from Cornwall. Niki’s work is available on our website to buy as well as in our Nomads Boutique in Launceston https://www.facebook.com/Nomads-Boutique-562016253954635/?ref=hl
Contact for Niki