April’s artist of the month, Nance Trueworthy has been a professional photographer for 49 years, working as a photojournalist for most of her career. She is a published author of eight books on Maine and only began her career in jewelry design around 2010.
So how did she get into Jewelry Design?
“One day I was sitting on my couch & I happened to go into a drawer in my living room that I hadn’t looked in, in a long time, and the bottom of the drawer had Coral, Turquoise and Pearls. I decided that they were so pretty I wanted to make a pair of earrings. For some reason, those pearls, the turquoise and the coral that day just opened a door for me.”
Listening to her childhood story, it seems as though a life surrounded by gemstones and pearls was fate. Nance grew up with her dad in Manchester, New Hampshire. She remembers as a young child building a lobster boat with her dad and always appreciating the outdoors. Whether lobstering, deep sea fishing, clamming or worming, they lived a life on the sea and she always had a love for it.
Nance also liked rocks & minerals. At age 10, she could be found on the back steps of their home, chipping garnets out of rocks. It was always in her to enjoy everything out of nature. You see this in her work, as she marries the energy of the earth and the sea together.
Why do you like working with Pearls and Gemstones?
“I’m really excited working with the stones and the pearls. Nature doesn’t duplicate these things. I try to find unusual things. When it comes out of the earth, nobody can ask for 12 of the same.”
The pearls and stones are all one of a kind & hand-picked. She takes her time to hand select gems with the finest luster and the highest quality of pearls. Each design is a special piece that nobody else will have.
What is your biggest influence?
She loves working with color, working with contrasting colors and colors that are complimentary. Nance’s vision has always been color, texture, form and the natural world. When looking for inspiration, Nance will grab one of the many color books around her house. While gemstones do not come in some of the vibrant colors she sees, it can inspire her to try new color pairings.
“I have to remember that what I see on a piece of paper or in a painting is not going to be what the gemstone color is going to be.” It can inspire you to try new color pairings, that may or may not work.
What do you hope a customer takes away with a piece they buy from you?
“To really be able to feel good when they put that piece on.”
Her jewelry is meant to be worn with a pair of jeans for a casual outing or for a fancy evening out. Nance says “jewelry is made to be worn and loved”, not safely stored in a deposit box. Wear it!
She wants customers to feel the energy of the earth and the sea in each piece they purchase. It’s her inspiration from both places; a grounding of good energy. Come made with good vibes. Most of all, Nance hopes it makes people feel happy.
What’s it like to have a following or people who really want to buy her pieces?
“Every time you put something out there you don’t know if you are going to have a following or not. You can put something beautiful out there and you hope that someone likes it. I never take it for granted that someones going to like my work.”
Nance is very appreciative when someone enjoys her work and wants to wear her jewelry. To have somebody really enjoy something you have created is something she is always grateful about. “I feel very lucky and blessed that I can do what I love.”
A favorite piece of her own personal art?
A photograph from a very good friend, that comes with a big heart. “He inspires me every day of my life to be a better photographer than I am. This is one of my very favorite treasures in my lifetime.”
Jim Daniels was a friend and a photojournalist that passed from brain cancer about 6 years ago. While on a book assignment in Africa, Jim was in a jeep with his crew when they saw Maasai Warriors walking toward their village. He insisted that they stop so he could go and photograph them. His crew told him no and he threatened to jump off the jeep if they didn’t stop right then. Jim went to the Maasai Warrior Tribe’s village where he was embraced by the tribe and danced under the moon with them.
Come into our store and check out Nance Trueworthy’s work for yourself!