Victoria Nikkel

I am a coppersmith,

an artist,

a lover of Florida's natural beauty.

I have always been enamored with the combination of beauty and functionality found in fine craft.

My journey into the arts began with glass blowing at the Indianapolis Art Center before taking me to the Mountains of Tennessee and the Appalachian Center for Crafts, a branch of Tennessee Tech University. It was there that I had my first introduction to metal work and I found my craft. Metal expanded the functionality I was able to obtain with my art, while retaining the shop work and beauty that I loved so much in glass.

After graduation, I apprenticed with internationally renowned Nashville metalsmith, Ben Caldwell. Ben had gone to art school too, but had learned his craft from a grizzled old Appalachian craftsman, Terry Tally.

In Ben's studio I learned a love of old school metal. I learned not to be limited by the tools available and , in true Appalachian tradition, to repurpose tools or even create new ones to get the effect I wanted. I learned the joy of hammering texture into copper until my arm felt like it would fall off. I learned the unique beauty of capturing the inspiration of the natural world in solid copper. I brought all the lessons and expertise I gained with me to Florida.

Here in Florida I let those lessons marinate and develop while I took time away from art to start my family. I embraced my new environment and let the beauty of Florida flow into my designs. With the help of my supportive husband Josh I have now returned to this beautiful and rare craft. It is my honor to share the inspiration of the Florida Gulf Coast by creating this one-of-a-kind functional art in copper.