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Behind The Scenes

How Martha’s Vineyard Inspires Nettie Kent’s Jewelry

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 to prove how growing up on the Vineyard has influenced her angular-yet-organic jewelry. —alisha prakash “My Slice of Sand ring was inspired by the patterns the waves leave on the sand. I made it right after moving to New York two years ago. I wanted to keep the beach close. It’s such a source of inspiration for me—not only for my work, but it’s also where I find my calm and strength. My sister called me the other day and told me this story about watching a little boy running down the beach, jumping on a rock, spreading his arms wide, and yelling, ‘This is the place where everything is ok!’ I have always felt that way too—I love that kid.” “This is my younger sister Lizzy and I in our dad’s studio. I spent so much time in here—painting and drawing. My dad would set us up like this and just leave us alone. I was always encouraged to be creative, and I never questioned being an artist, even at such a young age. When you are surrounded by art and creativity, it naturally seeps into you.” “This is kind of a silly picture, but it pretty much sums up my excitement when I am getting ready to go surfing. I grew up on an island where everyone surfs. I hung back from it for way too long, but learning to surf has been the most challenging and rewarding experience. The ocean teaches you lessons on letting go, not letting fear take over. I try to put those to use in my everyday life and work. The waves are going to toss you—let them do their thing, and then come up for air.” “I can’t look at this photo without laughing. This is my brothers, sisters, and I—can you guess which one is me? Growing up in a big family and being one of the youngest, there was always so much activity, so much to keep up with. I remember the frustration of not being able to do what my older siblings got to do, but I think this contributed to my determination. When I want to do something, I find a way.” “What can I say? This is the ultimate trifecta—sun, sand, and surf.” Come back tomorrow to get your hands on Nettie’s Vineyard-influenced Of a Kind edition. Sign up here so you don’t miss out.
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The Mythology Behind Nettie Kent’s Of a Kind Necklace

“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 prakash Get Nettie’s necklace now! While you can! “I think I was drawn to mythology at a young age because it explained both everyday and unexplainable things in an exciting, visual way. I love all types of mythology—Norse and Native American—but the Greek myths are the ones that show in my work most often. D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire was my favorite—the illustrations are awesome, and it tells these fantastical stories that captivated me.” “A little while ago, I was home visiting my family on Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend, and my boyfriend Colin and I, hoping to surf, went to the beach. With no waves, we went on a walk to look for sharks’ teeth. Colin is a master at finding sharks’ teeth. I’m not so good because I get impatient, but that day, even I found some.” “I think those teeth subconsciously influenced my design for Of a Kind because after sketching some ideas, I ended up carving this.” “The necklace on the left, in progress here, is put together similar to my Mikri Vigla pendant from my Sirens Collection on the right—the challenge was making this smaller. Mikri Vigla is a beach on the island of Naxos in Greece. I’ve traveled a lot—not yet to Greece, but I will.” “This is William Russell Flint’s watercolor take on the Andromeda myth. It shows Andromeda chained to the rock as a sacrifice to this sea monster, and that’s Perseus saving her. What always interested me the most about this myth was the suspense—where was the monster? Was he going to eat her? I chose the name Andromeda for my piece because of the story, not so much for her (what did she really do, right?). The pendant is a shape reminiscent of a shark’s tooth, and the dangling chains are more about freedom and escape. Andromeda was freed, and she and Perseus escaped her family—ran away and had all sorts of great adventures together.”
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