Nora Matos

Nora Matos



Eleven years ago Nora started designing jewelry as an avocation using materials that she collected from many exotic locations. Her travels through many continents (Europe, the Far East, Central Asia, northern Africa, Central and South America) have greatly influenced her designs. During her travels to Nepal, Bali, and Morocco, she observed ornamentation practiced among the Nepalese and Tibetans of the Kathmandu Valley, the Balinese of South Asia, and the Berber tribes of Morocco. Many of her jewelry art pieces incorporate unique and precious beads that portray the sacred symbols of Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Moslem world, as well as the tribal lifestyle and animalistic beliefs of the nomadic artisans of those countries.

Her work is eclectic in that it is constructed of materials from different ages and cultural origins. Many of her designs are spurred by special center beads that have been collected during her travels. A distinctive bead may dictate how many strands are needed for a necklace and what materials are use. Her artistic endeavors have matured to the point that she does not only explore new color combinations that fit together with the unusual textured and shaped materials available, but she is cognizant of the prospective wearer’s individual physique, coloring, and facial form. That is, she pays close attention to the individuals’ physical characteristics. The driving force in her work is the challenge of creating different relationships of color, texture, and shape in a design that is scaled and balanced, but also enhances the wearer with an uncommon jewelry application.

Currently her designs have taken on a more whimsical theme and frogs, felines, sea creatures, turtles, dragon flies, and forms of shells may be seen in her art on display at Quayside Art Gallery. Many of these components were collected on trips to Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, trips to Tahiti, Australia, and the Island of Bora Bora. Her jewelry is on display at the Emerald Coast Bead Society’s Spring and Holiday Shows. She has also participated in Quayside Gallery’s First City Juried Art Show.

Nora recently retired after thirty one years as a personnel psychologist working with the Department of the Navy. She plans to expand her vocation into participating as an artist more extensively and exploring the field of wearable art today.