Florence, Oregon multimedia artist
Nicole Campanella is an award winning bead artist with over 400 publications, including 4 books of her own. After decades of beading design, inventing Nicole’s BeadBacking and instructing worldwide, Nicole was forced to change creative direction due to Lupus. In Nicole’s younger years, she was brought into an Athapaskan family that eagerly taught her the old Native ways, including hunting, tanning hides and leather work. Over the years, Nicole has taken those lessons to create contemporary leather sculptures. Even though Nicole no longer tans hides, she does acquire the best quality leathers to hand mold and sculpt into works of art.
Nicole creates in several artistic venues. However, leather gives her the freedom to express life in the folds and painting. Each piece is an expression of the world around us, the twists and curves of the leather bring forth an emotion that connects us.
Leather goes through a process of wetting and intensive stretching before the molding begins. Nicole prefers to do this stretching by hand so she can feel if the leather is at the correct stage for molding. The type and weight of leather has a different effect and the stretching is very important to the molding and drying. Painted pieces are done with a dry paint, or dye, once completely dry the leather will hold its shape. Nicole makes most of her own molds especially for her wall hangings of faces.