Loren Nicole: Historically Inspired Jewelry
Loren Nicole Teetelli creates beautiful, ethical, and historically meaningful jewelry. Her minimalism makes ancient interpretations feel modern, and her curiosity and lifelong learner spirit bring joy and excitement to each new piece. In this interview, she shares her passion, and why that can resonate with you.
Your designs are very unique, can you tell us about the origin of your style?
My style is primarily a study of ancient civilizations and techniques. From that base, I interpret the elements that I find best represent civilization. By working with hand tools and producing every piece entirely by hand, I think it is important to leave the maker’s hand in the jewelry. You will often find small file marks and other imperfections. I believe choosing to do this has a powerful way of bringing the piece into the possibility that it could have been made in antiquity. I find that it reminds me, and hopefully others, of nature and where the material comes from.
Ethical and sustainable practices are valued at Loren Nicole. Why is it so important to you?
We need to be respectful of both our local and global environment. One major benefit of focusing on ethical sources is that it often involves a very short supply chain, in most cases only having one person between me and the person that mined the materials. I take a lot of pride in knowing that I am helping to support artisanal miners and know exactly where my materials came from. In choosing to work with Fairmined gold, I want to be on the side that is supporting the education of miners today. Giving them resources to practice in ways that are both best for themselves and the environment.
What is the most fascinating thing to you when it comes to jewelry design?
I love to watch the materials transform from flat pieces into something dimensional. This is most dramatic in chasing and repousse, which always feels like magic! While I may have a clear idea or even a drawing for the design before getting on the bench, oftentimes, I find that each piece has a way of evolving in the way that suits it best.
Do you have a creative process when you are coming up with a new collection? How does the process of designing and making a new piece start?
My archaeological background has given me a broad knowledge of history and artifacts. Because of this, I have been lucky in that the ideas for each collection find me when I am ready for them. When I decide to commit to one of those ideas, I will begin researching more about the relevant civilization—looking through museum online databases, books, and studying relevant mythology. I begin pulling images and sketching to identify what elements I am drawn to the most.
My style definitely has minimalism to it, which is what makes these ancient interpretations feel modern. This process can take several months, and pieces definitely get removed and added in, even after I have decided what the collection looks like and have started to make it.
You are committed to manufacturing techniques that are drawn from ancient times, and you make them by hand. Do you have a piece that you most enjoy making?
Yes, I make everything by hand using techniques that have been practiced for thousands of years. It is important to carry on the knowledge we already have, but I don’t let this choice limit me. I have the freedom to innovate how these techniques have been traditionally used. I have been most successful in doing this with granulation, chasing, repousse. These are techniques that I absolutely love, and are my favorite to work in, but I can only seem to focus on them when I am in the mood for it. I love making something new using any of these techniques. I don’t mind recreating designs, but I really love the adventure of a new piece and the opportunity for learning that it presents.
What pushed you to establish your own brand?
I’m not sure it was a conscious decision. When I decided to change my career and become a jeweler, it never occurred to me to work for someone else. From the start, this was a passion for me that combined my loves of archaeology, science, and history.
You have gone on a lot of archeological trips. What is one lesson that you learned during these trips that still comes to your mind when you make jewelry?
Archaeology has made me skilled at identifying patterns. I can very easily look at a collection of items and begin pulling out the elements that bring them together, defining the civilization’s “style.” This is a critical skill for how I approach and design my collections.
How or what do you want people to feel when they wear the jewelry you design?
I would love for them to feel inspired. Feel a connection to history and perhaps curiosity to learn more about the history behind the piece they’ve chosen. And it should also make them feel happy and confident. But I think all jewelry and objects we choose to surround ourselves with should do that.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collections you have created throughout the years?
Probably the Roman Signet Ring that I made for myself using a pale, minty colored Paraiba Tourmaline. It is one of the few pieces I have in my personal collection. I always enjoy making these rings. They are all about the gemstone. Who doesn’t love a great gemstone?
What is one of the most memorable things that you have experienced by being a jewelry designer?
Connecting with people and seeing them get excited as they discover a piece and the history behind it. I love it when others get so excited because they’ve recognized the influence behind a design or are reminded of a story from a visit to a museum. My jewelry has become this incredible educational opportunity.
What plans do you have that you’d like our readers to be knowledgeable of? Any new collections launching or events taking place?
I’ll be launching a new collection sometime this year, most likely in the early fall, but you can follow along with my Instagram account to get a peek at some of the new pieces.
To find out more about the beauty and history behind Loren Nicole’s stunning jewelry, visit https://www.loren-nicole.com/ or follow @lorennicolejewelry on Instagram.