How Martha’s Vineyard Inspires Nettie Kent’s Jewelry

11/05/2012

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 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.”

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