Nina Forrest, Jewelry for a Colorful Life


Nina Forrest, Jewelry for a Colorful Life

At heart, I am a fashionista. As a child, I spent my days gazing into a makeshift armoire, organizing my dresses and daydreaming of beautiful outfits. My Saturday shopping expeditions and visits to museums with my mother in downtown Philadelphia became a means of exploring the world of art and design. (It was the era of elevator operators with white gloves, wooden escalators and no cost shipping of all the parcels you couldn’t carry sent to your home the next day by UPS!)
I'm inspired by everything from an Armani dress to a Matisse painting to the humble paper clip. When my husband Jeff and I "retired" and moved from Atlanta to Albuquerque in 1998, I discovered an exquisite blend of artistic culture, beauty and diversity. And the sweeping vistas, New Mexico sunsets and Santa Fe art became another wellspring of design inspiration for me. 
After years of being a passionate crafter - sewing, knitting, painting and dying textiles - my jewelry design journey began one day in 2005 while visiting a local bead shop. I spotted some simple necklaces: silk cords strung with crystal beads. Taken by their easy elegance, I picked up a few supplies, starting stringing my own necklaces, and was soon swept up in a creative whirlwind that took me from metal smithing to wire wrapping to enameling. Grandma's retirement was officially over!

Like a stylish mad scientist, my curiosity and boldness ignited a love for design experiments. I wrapped wire willy-nilly around stones. I hammered into metal surfaces and created one-of-a-kind textures. I fused gold on silver, a Japanese technique I taught myself, known as keum boo. Combining the unusual with the unexpected became my passion: wood with jade, rhinestones with recycled glass, shells with smoky quartz.
And with each day, as the sun rises over the New Mexico mountains, I continue to find inspiration and create new one-of-a-kind designs--for women like myself, who want to journey through life boldly and colorfully.

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