Meet our very first Debut Artist of the year, Nicola Macklin. All the way from New Zealand, the jeweller behind ntm. jewellery now works out of her Revelstoke studio, surrounded by the inspiring mountain views.
One of the things we love about Nicola’s work is how each hand-crafted piece is unique not only through process but also material. Her use, where possible, of recycled silver and copper as well as other found materials creates beauty from unexpected places and causes us all to consider whether memory or material is the true source of value. It’s a romantic thought to ponder and makes Nicola the perfect candidate to feature for our February market.
Read below to learn more about Nicola’s work and process.
When it comes to my work, I think my personality and identity are reflected in my simple, yet detailed style. I have a great appreciation and passion for simple and functional objects that are well thought out and beautifully executed. For me, beauty is far from the same as perfection. It is this view that allows me to create pieces that are beautifully imperfect just like the best things in life. I apply the same principles with making jewellery as I do to most other facets of my life by enjoying the challenge of making what I can, from what I have.
My interest in silversmithing began when I was still in high school. During my final year I decided to take a basic silversmithing night school course, run by the Canterbury Silversmiths Guild in Christchurch, NZ. At the time I did not seriously consider jewellery making as a career option. It was not until a few years later, when I was living in Perth, Western Australia and feeling the need to reconnect back with my creative side that I decided to revisit working with metal and extend my knowledge and skills. I began studying towards a Bachelor of Arts initially majoring in Jewellery Design. I graduated four years later with a multifaceted portfolio that included furniture and lighting design, sculpture and jewellery. My university studies simply highlighted the fact that I just love making things. I began creating under my label ntm. jewellery when I moved to Western Australia’s idyllic Southwest in 2012. I have been fortunate enough to be able to combine my passion for travel and creating jewellery ever since.
I love the entire process of creating one of a kind pieces that each have their own story and identity. My favourite stage is when I get to the point when I choose the final texture and finish. This is when I feel a piece goes from being one of the crowd, to being a total individual. I don’t simply finish my pieces to a traditional high polish, so it is hard to explain the feeling of just knowing when a piece is finished and my part of the story is complete. It is then up to the wearer to add their own chapter to the story through wearing the piece and allowing it to evolve further, depending on how it is worn and stored.
Jewellery in all its different forms has many different symbolic meanings, many of which have romantic connotations. Essentially though, jewellery is a perfect romantic gift as it is so personal. Whether it be something to be worn everyday or for special occasions, the process of selecting a piece of jewellery for someone to wear is intimate in itself.
Canada had long been on the ‘bucket list’ for me so when my brother and his partner needed to sell their van which they had bought in Vancouver and travelled around Canada and the states it seemed to be a sign that I needed to come over, buy it from them and start my own Canadian adventure. I roped in my bestie from NZ for the journey and we spent 5 months living and travelling in our van (Vincent Van-Go) until she needed to return home and I decided to settle in Revelstoke for the ski season. One season soon became two and now it seems I might be what they call ‘Revelstuck’.
It is really hard not to let your environment and surrounds influence your work. I have always had a really strong sense of style that undoubtedly stems from growing up in NZ but travelling and working in other places has influenced and defined this. I do not traditionally choose to directly reference my surrounds as part of my usual collection however, since working here in Canada I have developed a mountain series of cuffs, rings and necklaces that is fondly linked to my time spent here. Working in a number of different studios since arriving here has also greatly affected my work as it has encouraged me to adapt many of my processes to suit the resources and facilities that I have around me.
My ultimate project and dream is to build and live in my own simple, tiny house. I feel like I am getting to a point where this could become more of a reality at some point and not just a distant dream, so it is bumped to the top of the list!
Check out my website to find out a bit more info, feel free to contact me directly through there too.
Feb 3 - 5
Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre (197 1 St SW)
Friday: 4pm - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 10am - 6pm