Meet The Maker - Nina Letts

Posted on 5 Sep 11:25

This week in our 'Meet the Maker' series of blog posts we talk to Nina Letts. Coming from a textiles specialism and an interest in sculptural design, Nina's work is characterised by bold shapes and patterns in her graduate collection "Nina's Floor Plan". Here we learn more about her design process, inspirations and future plans.

When did you start creating?

I’ve always had a keen interest in the arts, and during my foundation degree I specialised in textile design, being attracted to more sculptural making and designing, which in turn led me into jewellery.


Mark making developmental work by Nina Letts


Who inspires you the most?

My family is a huge inspiration to my work, and my graduate collection is inspired by the three generations of women in my family who have lived in my childhood home, my grandma, my mum and me. Both of my grandma’s are very influential to my work; they were both creative people and a huge source of reference throughout my life.

Developmental work - Nina Letts


What was the inspiration for this collection?

My collection explores the hidden shapes and patterns we are surrounded by within our daily lives, but which often go unnoticed. Taking inspiration from the footprint of my own childhood home, I have developed these shapes into new and exciting designs for wearable jewellery.

Which are your favourite materials to work with and what have you used for this collection?

I love working with unusual materials, especially ones which evoke a sense of playfulness and tactile qualities, so when thinking about what I wanted my final collection to be made out of I knew I wanted it to be a flexible material which could mimic fabric. For my graduate collection I used of a range of different plated and coloured meshes which allowed for a mouldable flexibility to each piece in my final collection.

Pieces of wire mesh by Nina Letts


What jewellery making techniques have you used to create this collection?

My collection employs a lot of cold connections, using rivets and wire frames to give each of my pieces strength and wearability. I enjoy working in a meticulous way when developing the repeating patterns. Each geometric pattern is hand cut and drawn onto the metal mesh I work with, some more detailed patterns are laser cut using vinyl. I then used sandblasting to bring back the copper colouring.

Final piece coming together Nina Letts


What would be your dream piece to make?

I would love to make a set, including a necklace and rings which are plated in gold and silver. It would be fantastic to explore the different qualities of these metals and how I could work with these colourings. I would also love to explore solid gold fastenings which could have more delicate stone settings.

Copper wire mesh bracelet Nina Letts

Finally, who would be your dream person to make for?

If it was possible I would have loved to make a piece of jewellery for textile artist Annie Albers. It would be exciting to make a piece for the person who has influenced me the most throughout this year of making.

Nina's work is available view and purchase from our New Designers Exhibition. Featuring alongside the talented works of Amy Findlay, Chen Yihan, Itziar Olaberria, Liz Crow, Lorraine Murphy and Rachel Adam. The New Designers exhibition is available to view in store and online until October 22nd.