Not all that glitters is gold (no offense to your lamé). Case in point: Jewelry designer Nikki Montoya creates bronze pieces that shine with time.
After picking up goldsmithing techniques at her father’s Seal Beach jewelry shop, the Southern California native of Colombian descent studied sculpture at USC and graphic design in New York before launching her collection, now handcrafted in her Mount Washington studio.
Inspired by Native American mythology, tribal themes, and a recent visit to the Gold Museum in Bogotá, Colombia, her latest collection blends rustic with refined. All necklaces, earrings, and rings incorporate vintage keepsakes/charms/found objects from excursions to Europe, South America, the East Coast, and around the Western United States.
Limited-edition soldered arrowheads balance delicate braided chains; three-dimensional stud charm necklaces and onyx cast rings are tough as nails next to bullets, pendants, and pendulums. A single shield medallion and hammered breastplate with hanging posts make stunning statements, and bronze baton earrings go the subtle route.
Not that you’d know anything about that.
Available online at nikkimontoya.com, $50-$160.
Photos: Courtesy of Nikki Montoya
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