Origins // Variance Objects

At Crown Nine our motto is 'Real Objects Made By Real People' because we believe that where things come from matters.  That how things are made and who makes them matters.  That objects have significant power and can deepen our everyday experiences.  So with that in mind, we are beginning a new regular blog feature called 'Origins' in which we will talk with each of our artists in depth about the origins of the objects they make.

First up is one of our newest artists, Nicole Rimedio, the designer behind Variance Objects.  Nicole founded Variance in 2013 with her partner Scott. Scott manages operations and Nicole is the artist. They both have a passion for gemstones and together they source the finest natural and unusual gem specimens and rough rock. Nicole and Scott live and work in Santa Cruz, California.  Find them on Instagram 



We have met Nicole and Scott a few times over the years, and this summer added Nicole's work to the shop which they dub as 

Rough Fine Jewelry

.  We love the cohesiveness of her irregularities, how each piece almost looks suspended in it's process.  Fusing silver and gold together for her settings, the overall aesthetic is an esoteric twist on classic gemstone-centric jewelry that we just cannot get enough of.  Here is our interview together, boiled down to the essentials.

KE:  Why do you make art?

N: I'm unhappy doing anything else.  I tried to not be an artist and I was miserable.  I think I was born this way.

KE:  What themes are in your current work?

N:  Destruction and erosion and the juxtaposition of those themes to the pristine. Those qualities become magnified when in relation to each other.  It's both pleasing and confusing to the eye.

KE:  Current obsessions?

N:  Stones.  I have lots of books on stones, both scientific and metaphysical.  Nothing better than a day at a gem show. One of the things I love about Santa Cruz is all the young travelers selling rough stones on the street.  Each room in my house has a place set aside for stones.  I hold, carry them and sleep with them.  I even hide them under Scott's pillow (my husband and co-owner of Variance).  I don't think he minds.  Well, he doesn't always realize it until he has strange dreams and I have to come clean.


KE:  Best piece of advice you have gotten?

N:  A glass artist I worked for in Cleveland, Steven Tater, once told me, "the key to being an artist is to keep showing up".

KE:  What artwork or artists influence your work?

N:  Abstract expressionist painters such as Agnes MartinJackson PollockGerhard Richter.


KE:  How do you want someone to feel while wearing your work?

N:  I want them to feel like the piece is theirs, like it has always belonged to them.  Sometimes it feels like the jewelry is looking for the right person as much as vice versa.

KE:  How do you know when a piece is finished?

N:  It feels like it takes a breath.  And also there aren't any sharp edges.

KE:  What do you admire in other people?

N:  Competence and risk-taking.

KE:  What special talent would you choose if you could magically gain one?

N:  Fireproof hands

KE:  How does destruction play a role in your work?

N:  Big time!  Sometimes I think about Variance jewelry as artifacts or found in ruins.  You know what I mean if you know my work.  Sometimes the pieces are about the way the fire moves the metal; that molten quality has a destroyed feeling. It's all about the interaction of the fire and metal.

Stay tuned for more Origins posts with our house of artists.

L O V E + M E T A L

All images courtesy of the artist, Copyright 2014 Variance Objects.