Niki Ulehla’s inventive jewelry is deeply tied to her work as puppet maker. Her sculpture education began in the Czech Republic, her father’s homeland, where she went to learn to make marionettes. When she returned home to San Francisco, she studied jewelry making and continues to split her time between both art forms. “Many of the techniques I use in making my jewelry come from discoveries in the puppet-making process,” she explains.
In her jewelry, she uses a combination of traditional (gold, silver, gem stones) and untraditional materials (wood, paint, gold leaf, fabric and plastic). As a puppeteer, she has performed in the SF Bay area since 2005. And more recently, she has also begun to explore the overlap between puppets and jewelry more deeply in small scale performance.