NETTIE KENT AUTUMN/WINTER 2014 COEUR NEW YORK
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Growing up on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Nettie Kent’s playground was the beach. Raised by a painter and a librarian, Kent’s bohemian upbringing nurtured her creative spirit and abilities, she could hold a paint brush before she could talk, swim before she could walk. Her free spirit eventually brought her to Hampshire College where she earned a degree in Fine Arts.
After traveling to Mexico to study mural painting and pottery, Italy to learn fresco painting techniques and endless summers surfing the beaches of her hometown, Nettie made the move to New York City to pursue her love of art. She soon found herself moving beyond the two dimensional drawn towards an interest in metal work and sculpture. Untrained in metal smithing she sought out apprenticeships with leading jewelers in New York, and a love for handcrafted objects with stories to tell along with some self described ‘trial and error’ all combined in a perfect storm to inspire Kent to start her own line in 2010.
Nettie Kent has earned a cult following and loyal clientele that appreciates her organic forms, unique designs and her ethical approach to jewelry making that emphasizes sustainable design and sourcing recycled materials. Summers on the beach and winters in Brooklyn influence all of Nettie’s designs, a mix of organic shapes cast in rough golden metals juxtaposed with soft leathers. Nettie works with abandon – sketches give way to carving where she “just lets it happen” finding the piece as it unfolds itself from the wax she carves. Working texture into her designs, Kent says, “the process brings me back to my roots as a painter.”
Although she is now quite content living as a city girl in Brooklyn, Nettie continues to be inspired by nature, especially the sea – from coral reef bronze necklaces to leather and brass cuffs, her beautiful inspired pieces seamlessly juxtaposes the two world she inhabits, the urban and the seashore.
We practice sustainable production in our studio, minimizing the waste and chemicals that are so prevalent in the jewelry industry. Our pieces are a mix of organic shapes cast in rough golden metals juxtaposed with soft leathers. Our work is a culmination of organic forms, unique designs and an ethical approach to jewelry making that emphasizes sustainable design and sourcing recycled materials.
Most consumers don’t know where the gold in their products comes from, or how it is mined. Gold mining is a dirty industry: it can displace communities, contaminate drinking water, hurt workers, and destroy whole environments. We stand for social responsibility, a healthy environment and materials that are consistent with these values.
No Dirty Gold provides an overview of the major social, environmental, and economic impacts of gold mining.
Ethical Metalsmiths was formed for the purpose of stimulating demand for responsibly sourced materials as an investment in the future.
Earthworks is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral development, in the U.S. and worldwide.