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October's Artist of the Month, Maria Gotta of Nest

Posted on October 01 2018

I have always had a love for nature. From a simple walk in the woods to hiking high up into the mountains, from seeking out wildflower meadows to searching for heart-shaped rocks in creek bottoms and hiking trails; I can never get enough of being outdoors, being in nature. On days I am not in the great outdoors, I can be found in my perennial garden. I love watching my garden come to life in the spring and then take its form throughout the summer and autumn. 

I've also always enjoyed creating with my hands, watching a vision come to life, and seeing the expression on someone's face when they receive one of my pieces. The process gives me a sense of peace, connection, and accomplishment. 

I started making jewelry in my late teens. Back then, I was mainly doing traditional beadwork, making pieces for friends and family. I sold my first bracelet in the early nineties. I remember clearly that feeling of satisfaction and appreciation of my first sale. Throughout the years, my curiosity and enjoyment in creating jewelry have grown into different mediums: beadwork, wood, glass, and paper. 

I soon discovered PMC jewelry. One of my favorite local artists started holding classes in the art of PMC. I took a few classes and was hooked. I purchased all the basic tools I would need to create my own pieces. Working with precious metal clay is one of my new passions. So, it only made sense to combine all these loves of mine to create my unique nature inspired jewelry - incorporating my love of nature with my silver creations. 
 
And from all this, NEST was born! Always Hatching Creativity! 

All my creations are made personally by me in my home studio, here in beautiful Livingston, Montana.
Wondering how it works? Here is my step by step process:
My original silver jewelry is created using PMC (precious metal clay). PMC is made with microscopic particles of pure silver and an organic binder. 
While in clay form, I mold and texture the silver clay using bits of nature, such as leaves, flowers, and petals. 
  
Once the piece is dried, the edges are hand sanded to a smooth surface before being fired in the kiln.
 
While in the kiln the organic binder, that is the clay, burns off and what is left is 99.9% silver. 
 
Each piece is then buffed to a shiny silver after a patina has been added, which brings out the natural texture of the impression. 
Each piece is then buffed to a shiny silver after a patina has been added, which brings out the natural texture of the impression. 
 
Since each piece is handmade, imperfections will exist. This contributes to each piece's own uniqueness.
Loving what you see?? Shop all of Nest here! 
    
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