We discovered Nate Hicks and his Keepah cuffs through mutual friends, and when we heard the story behind Nate and his designs we couldn’t await to get his creations in the store. Nate uses industrial elements from the beautiful state of Maine to create stunning pieces of jewelry are are undeniably unique.
What drew you to jewelry design?
Metal! I love working with metal, big or small. I love creating work that allows me to make a connection with my customers; I love creating pieces(jewelry) that don’t fit in the normal confines of what jewelry is. In addition to making jewelry I also weld and fabricate, I get bored easily so I keep it interesting by working in all aspects of metal working.
Do you have a piece of jewelry you cherish?
The Keepah Cuff is probably my favorite. I made the first one for my wife back in 2008 as a gift. I think it worked, as she still keeps me around!
How did you come up with the idea for the Keepah cuff? What’s the story behind it?
I was ferrying a friends sail boat back from Tortola. It was about the time we were passing Bermuda that I came up with the idea. A number of days later we landed back in Portland. I cleared customs, took a shower, drank a few beers and headed to the basement and made the first Keepah Cuff. Anne, my wife, still wears the Original “Original” Keepah Cuff today.
How do you think your home state has influenced your designs?
Maine teaches you to be resourceful. I grew up in my dads truck shop and that has had a lot of influence on my design. My work tends to be more industrial with a refined aspect. In college I wrote in a paper: if you can find it in a boat yard or a truck shop I can make it into art. When I need new ideas, I run to the woods with my fly rod, clear my head, fish a little, and the ideas start coming. Maine is a great state, in that you don’t have to go very far to find a quiet area to think and reflect.
Where do you find inspirations for your design?
Industrial environments tend to give me the most inspiration. I am always looking at how I can repurpose things into things of adornment. When I need to come up with new ideas though I head to the mountains or the rivers. It is when I can relax and clear my head that I come up with new ideas.
What can we expect from you next?
I’ll tell you when I get back from my week of fly fishing in a couple weeks!