Hidden Treasure Necklaces, 2021
These pieces are made from oxidised (black) and surface enriched (white) sterling silver. As the wearer interacts with the piece over time—through touching, holding, wearing—the white and black on the surface of the metal will disappear, revealing a hidden treasure: a sterling silver necklace.
The pieces are made to respond to the wearer—an exclusive relationship between wearer and jewellery.
These pieces were exhibited in the M16 Artspace Studio Artists' Exhibition in July 2021.
The idea for these pieces, ‘Hidden Treasure I’ and ‘Hidden Treasure II’, was born from Nicola's desire to turn scrap sheet metal into beads that could be strung onto a necklace. The ‘beads’ in these pieces are all different shapes and sizes. Where the bead appears in a sequence, it has been made to respond to the bead next to it—the unique differences of the beads allow them to fit together snuggly, forming a harmonious sequence.
The use of ‘scrap’ metal comes back to Nicola's ethos about a sustainable practice (as much as the use of metal will allow), and Nicola honouring the material she uses to make her art. Nicola is very conscious of the environmental impact of her practice, principally that metal is a finite resource extracted from the ground. Nicola therefore tries to reuse and repurpose as much of the metal as possible in her practice, and sources ethically and sustainably extracted and refined metal.