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  • Writer's picturePeggy Nichols

Robyn Nichols, an artist who works in precious metals, to depict her love for nature...

'Mathematical equations seem to be foreign to me, even Spelling (correctly) puts me into a daze. But give me Nature: the botanicals, insects and earth’s flying things…

Now I’m in my environment.

This is my language and where Nature’s kind of history and findings fascinate me.

This is where my stories begin and where my creations come into life.'

'Thatch Palm Brooch', sterling silver

'I began drawing and painting as a youngster. My childhood dream was to become a botanical illustrator and my illustrations would be exhibited in the Kew, in the Royal Botanical Gardens in southern London.

Born to an artist mother, my sisters and I grew up in art museums. Currently, those famous botanical artists shown in the Kew have become my continuous research and reference when I need to view what is not growing near me. I still marvel at their botanical art skills and perfections.'

'My mother, two sisters and I moved from Los Angeles, California to Independence, Missouri early in my childhood. There, we grew up on a small farm with barnyard animals, pastures, woods and a lake. Each of us sisters grew our own separate vegetable, flower and herb gardens next to one another. Our grandmother introduced us to herbs for healing the mind and body and how to communicate with trees for guidance and wisdom.'

'One might call this folklore of the botanical kingdom and it has seeped into my beliefs and rooted into my artwork.

Within the botanical world is where I find imagination and inspiration, elegance and beauty, everyday existence and mystery, strengths and fragilities, the circle of life and death, the preciousness of life and an endangered life. It is also where I find what I call botanical architecture, the awe of Nature’s structures, forms and shapes.'

'Hydrangea Blossom Jewelry Box', sterling silver, ebonized cherry wood.

'I progressed from 2-dimensional works of drawings and paintings to teaching myself how to work 3-dimensionally in precious metals. I began working in 3-D in my late teens.

I am still inspired and preoccupied with using botanicals and natural forms in my artwork.

I have fascinations to experience and explore various habitats around the world to observe and collect inspirations for new art pieces.

Most often my ambition is to create art pieces that have a function as a useable object. I enjoy both kinds of researches: applying the botanical motifs and shapes into the design and learning the lore of such plant if I am going to include it.

'Lotus Leaf Cocktail Table', stainless steel and painted steel.

'Ohio Buckeye Sconces', sculpted aluminum

'I begin with drawings and then create paper patterns to find my forms and shapes, which will be cut from sheets of metal, in this case: fine silver, sterling silver or argentium sterling silver or 18 karat gold. I am attracted to the veining details in botanicals so apply them with chasing techniques using a special hammer and chasing tool that is much like a chisel. Then, I begin forming the metal over assorted steel and wooden stakes with rawhide and/or metal hammers to complete the desired shapes I need, composing and fitting the pieces together.

Each piece gets cleaned up of blemishes or scratches before being joined together. I will adhere by welding the cleaned up shapes of the sheets and wire together. I then file, sand and polish any imperfections from the last steps of completion.

Sometimes to get exact patterns I will use copper as a less

expensive metal to make perfect solutions to the form and function before using the silvers or golds.'

'Grenada Orchid / Table Ornament', argentium sterling silver, commissioned, private collection, Rome, Italy.

The Process of the Design, to Finished Work.

'Phalaneopsis Orchid / Table Ornament', sterling silver. Awarded into The American Orchid Society

'When asked why I use botanicals through-out my life’s work? My answer is besides being beautiful and displaying exotic forms: plants beckon, plants soothe, plants bring joy and excitement, plants mesmerize, plants give, plants connect and nurture.

Plants inspire and politely overwhelm the senses…

A relationship seems to happen. I borrow the design elements found from nature that attract me, forms begin to take shape and magic happens – the piece evolves.'

'Lady Slipper Orchid / Table Ornament', sterling silver. Awarded into The American Orchid Society.

New Work ~ 'Physical Pages Formed From My Sketchbooks'.

'Locust Pendant/Brooch', argentium sterling silver, brushed finish with polished details

'Cottonwood Pendant/Brooch', argentium sterling silver, brushed finish with polished details.

'Luna Moth Brooch', argentium sterling silver & copper

'Poppy Necklace', fresh water pearls & fine sterling silver

Robyn Nichols, in her studio.

I work primarily by commission and through my website

I am represented by Swanky Interior Design Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri where I am able to meet clients directly.

To see more work, Please visit the website:

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