I'm Nell Johnson and I can't stop making things.
Simply put: I don't know how not to make things. Even when I am standing still, I am making something. I will take up almost any medium that lets me use my bare hands to create art. I have painted, embroidered, sculpted, sewn, modified furniture, constructed lamps, illustrated, soldered, molded resin, sawed through wood and everything in-between. I have the innate ability to learn the skill that is necessary to make the object that my clients desire.
My most formal training is in fashion. I studied in New York at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and in London at Central Saint Martins. While I was in school my good friend Marissa Von Bleicken, who was starring in the television show “The Glee Project”, asked me to make a pair of big banana earrings from scratch for her to wear on the show. I happily accepted the challenge by designing and creating a bold pair of hand painted wood banana earrings, which Marissa wore so many times on the show that viewers started going bananas for my bananas. I soon learned that when people are on TV wearing things that you make, it makes other people want to buy those things. So, to meet the demand, I launched my “What The Nell” line of eye-catching, playful jewelry in 2011.
After I graduated from college in 2014, I decided to try my steady hands in veterinary medicine to combine my passion for animals with my desire to apply my manual dexterity towards providing preventative and emergency care for people’s beloved pets. The experiences that I had during my career working in an animal hospital were invaluable because it solidified my commitment to animal welfare in my personal life and led me to pursue my desire to create various forms of art, often depicting people’s pets, professionally. It is very rewarding to witness the joy on the faces of my clients when they first see a miniature replica that I sculpted or a custom portrait that I painted of their pet.
To indulge the more luxurious side of my tastes, I introduced the “Marble Road” line of gold and silver jewelry in 2017. With Marble Road, I handcraft distinctive pieces that often feature the unique Herkimer Diamond stones, which are exclusively available near my grandparents’ home in upstate New York. Click here to read about how I hand pick each of my stones with care from the Herkimer mines and how being connected to this special place influenced the launch of my Marble Road line.
I'm Nell. I make things. You will love them.