The Story of a Jeweler: Nadine Essra

I studied fine art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), graduating in 2008 with a BFA in General Fine Arts. During my final semester at MICA I discovered a Jewelry 101 course offered through the Continuing Studies department. When my grandfather passed away in 2004 I inherited his jeweler’s tools, equipment, and remaining raw materials as well as his collection of precious and semi-precious gemstones that he collected over a period of 20+ years along his travels throughout the US. I had long been interested in taking a jewelry course in order to learn how to use these tools, and four years later finally found my chance.

Having always been more attracted to the more process-oriented art forms, in metal-smithing I found a new world of possibilities opened up to me. Since taking this jewelry course, I have continued to develop my skills at the workbench through trial and error, practice and persistence. I began my business “Nadine Essra Designs” in 2010.

I often draw my inspiration from nature and/or personal experiences.

I currently live and work in South Tel Aviv in a shared studio space with two talented visual artists.

One of my current and ongoing projects is the Carnivorous Plant series, for which I have attached several images. In this project I began to research the different families of carnivorous plants and their methods for ensnaring their prey:

– The Drosera necklace is a kinetic piece in which each joint moves independently and every flower can be removed at the wearer’s fancy. Necklace is made of Sterling Silver, 14k Gold, Red Agate.

– The “In her Final Moments” Ring depicts the moment before the Sundew digests the beetles, represented here by the opal, from it’s seemingly innocent petals. Ring is made of Sterling Silver, 14k Gold, Bloodstone, Opal.

– The Sundew pendant is another Drosera inspired piece. Here the unique Koroit Opal itself made of Sterling Silver, 14k Gold, Koroit Opal.

– In the Sundew Time Piece I wanted to pay homage to the old pocket watch style within the framework of my carnivorous plants series. Necklace is made of Sterling Silver, Copper, Jasper.

All works are entirely handmade (chains included) by myself.

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