Nikki Couppee

from: Pensacola Beach, Florida

currently residing:  in the San Francisco Bay area

education/major: B.F.A Jewelry/Metals with Rob Jackson and Mary Hallam Pearse 2007 University of 

Georgia, Athens, Georgia,  M.F.A Jewelry/Metals with Kathleen Browne 2011 Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.


How did you come to jewelry?  My mom has a love for jewelry and it was something we have shared since I was little. The sentiment and emotional content jewelry carries is fascinating to me and I love hearing the stories of where her jewelry and some family heirlooms came from- whether precious or not each piece has a story. I grew up making jewelry out of anything and everything and then when I was a junior in high school I started taking jewelry courses at the local college as a dual enrollment student. I have not stopped since! I have had the most amazing professors and have always felt encouraged and supported to continue making. 

Where do you gather inspiration?  My beach back home inspires my aesthetic and color use. I am also influenced loosely by royal jewelry, 16th/17th century pieces, nature, my mood and sometimes I will look through fashion magazines and see an outfit I like and make pieces to wear with it. 

What do you do for fun?  I love exploring the bay area sites and hiking. I recently went camping in Yosemite and it was so beautiful. 

Jobs before you got into jewelry?  I’ve always had a serving or catering job throughout school.  I now work in my studio, part time at the Velvet da Vinci Gallery in San Francisco and have upcoming enameling classes I will be teaching at The Crucible workshop facility in West Oakland. I am very happy to be working in different areas in the field.

Do you do other types of art, besides jewelry?  I have a strong background in painting/ drawing and have been missing it lately. I would like to get back into watercolor enamel painting on porcelain steel, I usually set the finished paintings as brooches though but have been thinking about making a series of wall pieces. 

Favorite trip you have taken?  I have two trips- The Netherlands and Brazil!  I participated in the SIERAAD International Jewelry fair in Amsterdam this past November and the show was so inspirational and having never been to Europe I was in awe.  Also, Brazil is a very special place and I hope I get to go back one day.  

Do you have any ideas or concepts for your next body of work?  I would like to incorporate steel gemstones back into my work. It has been a couple years since working with it for my thesis Luxsteel and I am ready to play with the material again. I also would like to revisit these carved wood coral pieces I paint with nail polish. They are fun to make because I have to think reductively.