Unique Handcrafted Jewelry: Tips from Artist Nicole Kidd

Garnet Trinity Necklace by Nicole Kidd Designs
Garnet Trinity by Nicole Kidd Designs

Unique Handcrafted Jewelry: Interview with Nicole Kidd

With a rich background of pursuits and interests, Nicole Kidd has utilized her skills and creativity to develop unique handcrafted jewelry lines. Her collections include Ancient Antics, a collaboration of contemporary inspiration and ancient symbolisms; Elegance, a collection of fresh, luxuriously chic designs; and Fun Baubles, an exciting collection of eye-popping pieces to satisfy any jewelry taste. Nicole has also received acclaim for her handmade bridal jewelry from grace ormonde Wedding Style magazine. After recently wrapping up with San Francisco fashion week, Nicole took some time from her busy schedule to discuss her handcrafted unique jewelry, her inspirations, and her journey as a jewelry artist.

A Jewelry Journey

NIcole Kidd at San Francisco Fashion Week
NIcole Kidd at San Francisco Fashion Week

Dialogue, Design, Delight

Although she was interested in art and jewelry at a young age, Nicole's interest in designing and creating handmade jewelry was ultimately molded by her other interests and experiences. Her dialogues with others, and within herself, have allowed her to create incredible designs that delight the eyes and mind.

LoveToKnow (LTK): Nicole, you have a rich and varied background, as a technology consultant, published author, and an expert jewelry designer. Your interest in jewelry started at an early age - with your first earring designs at age fourteen. Was there anything in particular that drew you to jewelry as the artistic venture you are currently thriving in?

Nicole Kidd (NK): Yes, actually for me personally, it's all about storytelling. It's the combination of color, texture, shapes and history/legacy of, say, a coin or silver tribal mask from Thailand that seduces me into designing. Moreover, designing and working with metals and gems is a form of meditation from which you emerge with an aesthetic product in hand that hopefully delights and inspires someone else. But I must confess it took 20 years of "restless, intellectual pursuits" (writing books/market research reports, public speaking, etc.), to "arrive" and fully embrace the beauty of the meditative process of creating. In other words: I'm now "ready" to sit still and to create a "product" with my hands. Moreover, I love engaging in dialogues with people who either wear unusual combinations or are buying from this designer - there is always a fascinating story.

A Collaboration of Cultures

'''LTK: You spent the first two decades of your life growing up in Germany and subsequently worked in the travel industry. How do feel your heritage and travels have influenced your jewelry designs? '''

NK: It's interesting, growing up in the "German tribe" taught me all about respecting the learning process, techniques, and excellent craftsmanship. Everyone appreciates German engineering and our culture is very empirical and cerebral, whereas my travels (while working on cruise ships) and working in the hotel industry exposed me to new cultures, colors, customs and artifacts which I'm irresistibly drawn to and now have the tools and techniques to convert into wearable art.

Fall Jewelry Trends and Colors

 Petit Four Trapeze necklace with earrings
Petit Four Trapeze with Earrings

'''LTK: Your jewelry is crafted using high-quality materials such as sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones and created with very intriguing and original designs. Are there any specific stones, materials, trends, or colors that you see for fall and winter in jewelry design? '''

NK: I love fall and its colors - I've created a few designs featuring vermeil filigree geometric shapes. I call them "fashionable geometry" as they feature circles, triangles and trapeze-shaped structures adorned with smoky quartz (brown) and girlish pink lampwork/art glass, seductive red garnet, and distinguished iridescent/grey labradorite. I love the combination of gun-metal grey with summery carnelian orange and silver or slate grey with brilliant blue chalcedony. And let's not forget deep plum represented by various types of amethyst with silver components.

'''LTK: Which of your jewelry items and designs are currently most popular? '''

NK: I'd say the "Tales of the Peacock." The combination of hammered metal loops finished with luscious gems attracts the most attention at shows.

Unique Jewelry: Cultivating the Nicole Kidd 'Note'

Balance carnelian labradorite necklace
Balance Carnelian Labradorite

Many beginning jewelry artists wonder how to start out. Nicole shares that by following your passion and being true to your own ideas and individuality, you can cultivate your talents and others will be drawn to the uniqueness they embody.

Advice for Beginning Jewelry Artists

'''LTK: You are very self-motivated, taking the initiative to learn about jewelry design and transitioning from other successful careers. What advice would you give to would-be-jewelry designers in creating a successful handmade jewelry business? '''

NK: Network and be willing to learn while also staying true to your note. If you try to anticipate what will sell or what you ought to do, it won't sell. Create what you would wear, and you will find a following who love your creative expression because of what it stands both to you and your customers. When I say "learn," I mean read, listen or research pricing models, for example, or take classes to expand on your techniques to manifest YOUR expressions of that technique.

Networking: For example with this venture, I took a workshop with LadiesWhoLaunch.com to spend a moment on identifying what I wanted my passion to evolve into and this network's connections have led to so many other opportunities in life and business.

Facing Challenges in Jewelry Design

'''LTK: What was the greatest challenge you've ever faced in designing jewelry? '''

NK: Definitely facing my own insecurity about "could I truly offer a new design perspective into the marketplace of jewelry design ideas?" And then I came across a line in one of Rumi's many wonderful observations: "BE YOUR NOTE….Sing loud!" We all have a unique note we can contribute to the orchestra of the universe. Unearthing and trusting your note is initially challenging.

"Balance": Essence of Nicole Kidd Design

'''LTK: What items do you most enjoy creating? Do you have a personal jewelry design? '''NK: I love creating necklaces and corresponding earrings, but have started to embrace the wrist adornment lately;-). One of my personal (favorite) designs would be the hand-crocheted, deep-brown wax thread featuring a simple 23K/over sterling Ganesh pendant or one of my "Balance" designs. A friend of mine said yesterday that this is truly a "nicole kidd design" -- it was the first time that I heard it said like that.

Jewelry Gift Giving Advice

As we approach autumn, many people are considering gifts for the holidays. Nicole offers some advice on giving one of a kind designer jewelry gifts from her collection for the holidays or special occasions any time of year.

LTK: Many people enjoy buying jewelry as gifts for their loved ones. What advice do you have for those interested in purchasing your jewelry to give as a gift?

NK: Personally, I love the stories behind the pieces, because when you gift them with a piece (that has a story, e.g. a product story like most of my pieces online) - you are indirectly sending a message to your recipient. For example, "Circle of Love" has been a favorite with my male customers, as it says "I love you" and gives the recipient a piece that she can wear on almost any occasion.

For More Information about Nicole Kidd

For more information about Nicole Kidd, her jewelry collections, and purchasing information, please visit her website at nicolekidd.com. Designs are sold by appointment or through individual trunk shows; visist her contact page for more on scheduling. She will be glad to work with you to create a custom jewelry design, or choose from among her breath-taking handcrafted necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

''LoveToKnow would like to thank Nicole taking the time for this interview to discuss her journey in creating unique handcrafted jewelry, and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors. ''

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Unique Handcrafted Jewelry: Tips from Artist Nicole Kidd