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Emerging Artist: Erin Nelson

“Like many artists, I am inspired by nature,” says artist Erin Nelson. Her jewelry, which Nelson creates in her home studio on Cape Cod, attempts to, “communicate the overwhelming awe found outside into a small piece of wearable art.” 

A love of beads sparked Nelson’s passion for the medium, and she began designing jewelry for herself and others. “These days I work more with gemstones rather than beads and do all my own fabrication and setting. It is much more labor intensive but also allows me more possibilities for grouping uncommon stones together, which is my favorite challenge,” the artist explains.   

Pink Blossoms • Colbalto Calcite & Dendritic Agate in oxidized sterling & 14k gold • 2″ x 1.5″

Nelson’s inspiration largely comes from Cape Cod. She describes how “Long walks on the beach (mostly in the off-season) are inspiring in many ways because my mind can wander and work through design problems or simply let new ideas flow in. I walk a lot and find inspiration in tidal pools with pileups of texture and color, cloudscapes, wooded pathways, the many colors of the ocean, sunlight sparkling on the water, sunrises and sunsets, driftwood and beachgrass and of course seashells, just to name a few of the gifts of living on Cape Cod.”

Before making jewelry full time, Nelson taught high school art. Her life path shifted when she met her now husband, Marcelo, while she was teaching in Switzerland. “He had studied small business administration, and seeing how much I enjoyed making jewelry, suggested I could make it my full-time profession,” she reflects. Since then, Nelson has built a flourishing online business while selling in outdoor craft shows and markets, like the Chilmark Flea Market.

Jewelry has a personal connection for many of Nelson’s patrons. She explains, “As with other forms of art, there needs to be a connection to the piece for someone to want to…



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