Since 1968, Nantucket Looms has been proud to represent our local craftspeople. We carry the works of over seventy different artisans, including painters, potters, basket weavers, jewelry makers and wood carvers. To honor those whose unique creations reflect the natural beauty and history of our beloved island, we will highlight an artist on our website every month. This month, meet jewelry maker Megan Anderson.
Tucked away in her mid-island studio amidst the trees and the chirping of birds, Megan Anderson creates beautifully, intricate and colorful designs. It is clear to see this is her happy place - a place of tranquility and creativity. Growing up in Seattle, Megan was interested in crafting from an early age. "I think I made my first sale when I was seven years old. I used to make friendship bracelets and sell them at swim meets for candy money". After attending the University of Washington, where she studied graphic design, Megan took a break from her creative work. "I left school to travel. I really kind of hung my art up on the shelf for a while. The graphic design program was very competitive. There was a lot of very harsh criticism. I needed a break from it".
A solo back-packing trip around South and Central America, Mexico and East Africa was the first major influence on the work Megan now creates. However, it was not until after her travels that she found her way back to art. One winter spent in Jackson Hole, Wyoming turned into 12 years and Megan found herself working in finance. She began creating art again, selling her pastel work at local fares. When she took a metal smithing workshop with the artists association, she felt an immediate connection to this style of work. "The instructor said - you've done this before - but I hadn't!"
When she came to Nantucket ten years ago, Megan brought her jewelry making business with her and although the original influence for her work came from her travels, she now finds inspiration in the peacefulness of Nantucket's natural landscape. Upon talking to Megan, it is evident that the whole process of creating her beaded mosaic pieces is an almost spiritual experience for her. "I find that sitting in the sand helps me reconnect to the ground. I take my shoes off, sit and quiet my mind. I let it go wherever it goes and I get a lot of ideas. When I'm working on my jewelry, that's when my mind is clear. It's almost meditative".