A Necessity – Nettie Kent Jewelry

by Guinevere Cramer on January 9, 2014

in Interesting Islanders, On Point - MV Lifestyle

Have you met Nettie Kent? If not, I bet you’ve seen her creations. This lovely, talented Island girl (born and raised) is a rising star in the jewelry world.

Martha's Vineyard Jewelry Designer Nettie Kent. Photo by Rachel WrightIn 2007 after college, Nettie started making jewelry while living in New York City. Through trial and error, she began creating pieces that really spoke to her. Of course people began commenting on her jewelry.

In 2008, Nettie moved back to Martha’s Vineyard. She continued working on her jewelry. It was highly coveted by friends and family.

In 2010, she officially launched her label, Nettie Kent, her line of handmade jewelry. She also met her now fiancé, Colin Ruel, and the two now reside in New York City with lots of trips home to the Island.

Nettie works with mostly brass and bronze. She prefers the warmer metals, using silver sparingly. Plus, silver is more expensive. The brass and bronze keep her pieces affordable. The brass is all reclaimed and looks so rich.

How does Nettie come up with a design? Well, she loves texture. Her inspiration began with the patterns waves left on the sand.  She’s always loved to look at them, take in the beauty created by nature.

You can see this in her pieces, especially early collections like the ever-popular Sirens Collection.

Now it is less about a thought and more about a feeling. She loves the motion of the file she uses to carve out texture, and she just gets into the new piece she’s carving.

It’s an organic process. Sometimes the texture needs to be adjusted once its in metal, and all of her pieces are hand finished to get the best possible effect.

Before casting the metal, Nettie creates wax molds. Sound easy? Not at all. Sometimes it will take her months to complete a mold that will be made into a mold she can use with the hot metal.

Nettie likes to work on several molds at once, so each collection has a cohesive look and feel about it. The Fall line, her Compass Collection, features beautifully shaped and textured pieces. She loves working with shapes and textures.

Her jewelry is geometric. Many of her newer pieces have open spaces in them, like frames or windows. The lightness of the open space against the heavy metal is a perfect contrast.

Nettie will take the month of January to complete her Spring line, the Portal Collection. The Portal Pendant ($128.00) is currently one of her favorite pieces (she was wearing it when we talked).

Here’s how the artist describes this piece. “Why hello there new best friend…Here is the deal, the Portal Pendant is going to make you feel and look cooler, it’s just as simple as that. Just watch what happens when you layer it over a sweater and walk down the street, every eye is drawn towards it, commanding attention in such a simple, non-fussy, yet assertive way, or wear it short with a deep v… WATCH OUT WORLD!”

How’s that for a description! I loved talking to Nettie about her work. She is excited about it, and loves what she does. With each piece she crafts, she gives a little bit of herself.

Her work is ethereal but substantial at the same time, an interesting juxtaposition. She enjoys creating such beautiful things with her hands, things that bring joy to people who wear them.

Sadly, I did not go to NYC to talk with Nettie. She had a pop-up store with Colin, who is an amazing artist, for the holidays up in Menemsha. It was great to head up though. Nettie was there with Colin, and lots of her family and friends stopped by to see her.

Nettie loves her family so much, and seeing her talk with them about her jewelry – she couldn’t stop smiling. Her family and her friends have been so supportive. You could feel the love in the room. It was really nice.

Nettie’s jewelry is really popular, not only with Islanders, but also people in New York City, the West Coast, and Europe. She has such demand that she moved her jewelry making out of their apartment, and into a studio. She has her own jewelry making studio in New York City!

The joy of seeing people wear what she makes never lessens. Celebrities wear it (like Amber Valletta, just to name one), friends and family wear it, and now she sees people on the streets in NYC and on MV wearing it.

Strangers that she feels connected with through her creations. One shining moment for Nettie was when Baby Jane, Andy Warhol’s muse, bought a piece.

Wanting your own piece like me? I love the Gates Cuff and the Slice of Sand Pendant! You can get Nettie Kent Jewelry on her website or at one of her pop-up stores she’ll be doing in NYC, or if you’re on the Vineyard stop by the Green Room on Main Street in Vineyard Haven.

Remember, each piece is handmade by a woman who gave a little bit of herself to it.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the brass and bronze Nettie works with is reclaimed. So, it eco-friendly chic. So chic in fact, it made world famous stylist, Rachel Zoe’s Eco Friendly Gift Guide for 2013 on the Zoe Report. How cool is that!

It will be exciting to see where Nettie Kent’s jewelry pops up next.

The awesome photo of Nettie Kent and the lion was taken by photographer Rachel Wright. I only wish that I could such a beautiful picture.

Thanks for reading the On Point Blog.  You can find out more about Nettie Kent Jewelry on Facebook.  Speaking of social media, please don’t forget to  “Like” us on Facebook, on follow us on Twitter,  Linkedin, Google+Pinterest  and YouTube.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

sally apy January 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm

So so so wonderful! I love you and your work and your family forever!!! So much generous talent!

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