After hand-crafting a bracelet for her Mother containing photographs of her Grandchildren embedded in resin, Nicola Taylor struck a keen interest in creating eco-resin jewellery. What started as a small production of custom-made jewellery for her friends and family has now expanded onto popular online store Etsy where Nicola runs the store Pip and the Sea and sells a wide range of almost 120 different designs of earrings, rings, bangles, necklaces, pendants, and custom photo-embedded bracelets. Nicola has found Etsy to be a useful and informative setting to sell her craft in, as she is offered a great deal of educational tools that are designed for sellers who have limited marketing and sales knowledge, as well as the encouragement she receives from people that shop and browse on Etsy who value original and lovingly handmade items. Nicola has also created an Instagram account where she has an avid community of loyal and supportive followers from across the globe, and occasionally attends local markets where her work is put on display and sold to the community.
Nicola has always loved crafting and jewellery making and she worked with silver-smithing before she moved onto using resin. “Resin is my favourite medium as it is so versatile. It’s corny to say, but I feel as though I am only limited by my imagination when I am creating new designs with it.” She has found that designing and making jewellery is a hands-on experience giving her an outlet to be creative and express her own personal taste, as well as giving her the opportunity to develop her own techniques.
When Nicola first began working with resin, she felt uneasy about using materials made with non-renewable fossil fuels. After embarking on some research, she found a plant based resin made using the by-products of paper pulp and bio-fuel developed by Californian surfers wanting to build their surfboards from environmentally-sustainable materials. After doing a number of trials and experiments with the eco-resin, she found it was incredibly high quality and maintained its vibrant colours over time. Moreover, Nicola is always trying to find ways she can reduce, reuse and recycle in her workshop, and many of her earrings and rings are made with leftover waste resin from her past orders. “I am always thinking of other ways that I can improve my products, my customer service, and how I can reduce my footprint on the planet.”
For anyone wanting to get into eco-friendly jewellery, Nicola suggests spending an ample amount of time researching materials, trialling creations, and finding out what is appropriate for what you want to create. Using eco-friendly materials has the capability to make your product stand out from the rest, and can be used as a great selling point as it is something to be proud of!
“I think it’s important to spend time paying attention to the natural world and understanding how we depend upon it, how vulnerable it can be, and how we can best protect it.” says Nicola, and it is no surprise that she has such a passion for using eco-friendly materials in her unique range of jewellery, as she greatly enjoys getting in touch with nature: her family regularly embarks on weekend bushwalks, and keeps both a hive of bees and a worm farm to help with the pollination and growth of the herbs and vegetables in their back garden.
In the future, Nicola is hoping to develop new products and strive to create affordable pieces for everyday wear that are made with environmentally responsible materials. “I feel that creating eco-resin jewellery is an ever-evolving process and I feel excited to think about what discoveries or techniques I will be making or using in the future that I have yet to discover.”
Check out Nicola’s Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/PipandtheSea and give her a follow on Instagram @pipandthesea