Blog : Artist Profile: Monte Nikkel of Just Us Chickens
One of the newest additions to Just Us Chickens, a non-profit artist cooperative in Kittery is Monte Nikkel, an amazing upcoming artist on the Seacoast. Monte who originally spent her life as a Nurse Midwife and Army Officer determined she needed a different calling after retiring and after years of relocating due to her profession. Monte says “I decided it was time for me to express my inner self through the art of jewelry making”. Having a background in knitting, Monte thought jewelry making would be more rewarding and not as time consuming. Starting her work with jewelry about five years ago, after recreating a necklace into two for both her and her sister, Monte fell in love with the process and created her business, Frog Hollow Wearable Art.
One of her main hopes through the process is to utilize all the natural resources that are available to her and try to make all items of her jewelry handmade. “My desire was to make as much of my jewelry from scratch as I could, The Zen in me brought me to glass and metal” says Monte. She is constantly drawing inspiration for her jewelry whether it’s from the shells on the beach to rocks that are found scattering the seacoast. Never leaving home without her molding clay, Monte says she has even made a mold from a table she once stumbled upon.
Obviously experienced in the jewelry making world, Monte has a few main techniques of jewelry making including Viking knit, chain maille, Kumihimo and metal clay. Each with its own individual personality these intricate wearable pieces of art provide Monte with a relaxing atmosphere to create. Both processes of “Kuminimo and Viking knit are close enough to my knitting roots so it’s very relaxing for me” says Monte.
A proud contributing member of Just Us Chickens, Monte loves working where she is surrounded by art. “It’s easy to draw inspiration from all this artwork” she says. Contributors to the co-op have the option of donating their time each month to operate the store which in turn covers the gallery fees, a system many artists take advantage of.
Monte’s jewelry can be found at Just Us Chickens in Kittery and Putting on the Glitz in Portsmouth. Monte also teaches lampworking and metal clay in one-on-one classes in her private studio, Frog Hollow Wearable Art located at 70 High Street in Hampton. For more information contact Monte at email@example.com.
Just Us Chickens Gallery is a proud member of the Green Alliance and offers 10% of all local arts and crafts found in their store to GA members. Stop in to see some of the amazing artwork that is being created around the Seacoast! Just Us Chickens Gallery is located at 9 Walker St. Kittery, ME.