By Eden Dawn
We’re a city #blessed with jewelry designers coming out of every nook and cranny. With star power everywhere it makes all the more impressive that newbie designer Nicolette Peterson debuted this impressive first collection that easily holds its own with Portland’s long-time creators.
Centered on handpicked stones, each piece from Beach Bones has its own unique charm only nature can give. Peterson delicately turns those treasure hunt items into wearable accessories in her NE Portland studio.
What made you decide to start your own line?
My Grandma Glitter was a big influence. She got her name from bedazzling our clothes and putting the most beautiful art materials in front of us growing up, including jewelry making supplies. She has been tastefully hoarding items from all over the world for decades. Her rock, shell, and bead collections would blow your mind. You can pick out any rock in her house and she can tell you the date she scavenged it, where in the world it was created, and how she felt the moment she fell in love with it. So I’ve been playing around making jewelry for friends and family as a hobby for a long time, but I would always reach a point where I’d get frustrated because I couldn’t make exactly what I saw in my head. Then I discovered metal smithing. That is when I fell in love. It is such a boundless craft; there is always a new skill to learn that gets me closer to turning my imagination into something tangible.
Where did your love of stones come from?
I feel like I am collaborating with Mother Nature when I make something with a beautiful stone. I’m aware of how obnoxiously cheesy that sounds, but it’s true. It’s impossible for me to ignore how much time it took for the minerals to form and crystalize. Not to mention the energy that goes into digging them up, and then shaping and polishing them into beautiful pieces I can turn into jewelry. Each one is like a little time capsule of raw material from our universe.
What do you think sets your line apart from other jewelry lines?
I know that when I buy something handmade, I like to see the ghost of the hands that made the item. That is what gives something character and makes it special. I hope you can see that in my work.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
The Black Star Crystal Necklace is my favorite. I bought these special rocks from a man who mined them in Madagascar. He held them up to the light and showed me the tiny stars inside each crystal. He said that the spidery, black inclusions are the mineral Hollanditie, and as the crystal forms and heats up the Hollandite bursts forming these beautiful little black stars inside the crystals. They also have metaphysical powers that are said to lead their owner to their spiritual destiny.
See more photos from the Beach Bones Jewelry look book here.