Hologems, neogems and fire opals are just some of the names that pop up in Nikki Couppee’s jewellery. What drew me to her work was the interesting shapes, colours and construction of each piece.
Nikki Couppee is originally from Pensacola Beach in Florida in the United States. Now, she’s based in Oakland, California where she creates all her dazzling creations.
Royal jewellery made from everyday materials
Nikki’s current work focuses on how jewellery functions in society. Someone’s jewellery can say a lot about their social status in society. Jewellery that’s made from precious metal with expensive gemstones is valuable and expensive and not all of us can afford these luxuries.
Of course, royal jewellery gives its wearer the ultimate or ‘highest’ status you could get. But Nikki aims to reverse this. Her jewellery is hand crafted, just like royal jewellery. But she uses everyday materials not expensive metals and gems.
Plexiglass and metal brought together to make jewellery
Nikki mostly uses plexiglass in her work. Plexiglass is an acrylic resin that comes in all sorts of colours and effects. It’s not expensive like a gemstone, but Nikki makes sure it’s just as eye-catching. Nikki cuts each plexiglass piece into different shapes and sizes and combines them in different ways and patterns. To hold it all together, she sets the plexiglass onto a metal backing. This gives her the flexibility to create unique and quirky shapes. She also plays with scale by making some of her jewellery very big, much bigger than a dainty royal tiara.
Opulent ocean earrings
But Nikki doesn’t stop there. Some of my favourite pieces are her earrings that include shells collected from her home town or gifted to her.
She combines the colours and shapes beautifully to form unique, stand-alone earrings that you won’t find anywhere else.
I absolutely adore them and I’m pretty confident that I will own a pair in future. Just saying.
Other materials that Nikki uses are:
These everyday materials stand in for expensive gemstones, gold and pearls that you would expect from royal jewellery and high fashion.
Nikki plays with what we think we know about value because her earrings are just as exquisite (if not more so) than a royal set of gem encrusted earrings. Her work has also featured in Vogue Brazil, Styleblazer and Dailycandy. So it seems even the world of high fashion is placing value on these unique jewellery items made from everyday materials.
All image rights belong to Nikki Couppee and are from her website and Instagram account.