“I always thought I would be a painter,” says Nettie Kent, who spent her childhood in Martha’s Vineyard hanging around her artist dad’s studio, content for hours with her brushes. When the time came, Nettie enrolled at Hampshire College for studio art and creative writing. “See, I also fancied myself a poet—I’m in love with Frank O’Hara,” she explains. “I was still painting, but I felt my attention beginning to drift. I was always getting in trouble for using my hands.” She dropped out and hopscotched around the globe: to Mexico for ceramics and painting, back to Hampshire for public art, to Italy for frescos, and then, in 2004, to New York.
“I was laying around my dad’s friend’s apartment, moaning and groaning about the plight of being 22, and she marched me over to meet jeweler and sculptor, Jill Platner,” Nettie says. The very next day, she started working for Jill, and she was hooked—instantly.
She escaped back to the Vineyard in 2008, where she started to make her own pieces on the side, like a ring carved to look like a mermaid tail, but didn’t last long there: Two years later, she was in NYC once again, with gigs with Pamela Love, Philip Crangi, and, once again, Jill. “I was too busy working three jobs and sending my own line to stores. So I left each job one at a time, and, by the time I was unemployed, I didn’t even notice because I was so busy filling orders for my own work,” says the jeweler, who made things official and established her namesake line in 2010. “It was all trial and error,” she notes. “I nearly burned my house down with a torch a few times before I found my way.” —alisha prakash
Behind The Scenes
The Mythology Behind Nettie Kent’s Of a Kind Necklace Inspired by a Greek princess? We’ll take it.“Ancient Greek myths are my jam—I’m a total romantic and love stories about princesses,” says Nettie Kent, whose jewelry line is more earthy than regal. “I call my Of a Kind edition the Andromeda Necklace after the myth of the princess who was chained to the rock as a sacrifice, but was saved by Perseus.” How did she turn that story into something you can wear? Well, read on… —alisha prakashGet Nettie’s necklace now! While you can!“I think I was dra... READ MORE »
How Martha’s Vineyard Inspires Nettie Kent’s Jewelry Sun, sand, surf…and siblings.Though Nettie Kent currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with her boyfriend, she still considers her home to be Martha’s Vineyard, where she was born and raised—by a librarian mother and painter father alongside four siblings and countless pets (including a “mean old turkey”). “I had this kind of nomadic, hippie upbringing,” she says. “We lived in a cabin in the woods during the summers and different houses—always on the island—every winter.” Here, five pics ... READ MORE »