About Bonnie

Bonnie V. M. Nelson always enjoyed exploring and creating art. She has been designing beaded jewelry since collecting African Trade Beads with her children in the 1980’s. Subsequently her designs have expanded to include metalsmithing. Bonnie has taken metalsmithing workshops at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY, but is mainly self-taught. She uses sterling silver, copper and brass metals to forge, solder, enamel, and cold connect jewelry from her home studio in Buffalo NY.

Elle Valin Jewelry

The name Elle (short for Ellsworth) stems from her mother’s name who taught her the joy of being creative, and the name of her daughter and other family members. Valin (short for Valinda) is Bonnie’s middle name.


Artist Statement

“I am inspired by the art and craft of Africa, and the modernist jewelers of the 1900’s. I believe that jewelry can add a spark to any outfit; but I also believe that jewelry is an expression, an emotion, and an extension of who we are as individuals. I design jewelry in anticipation of it requesting your attention and speaking to that part of you longing to be heard.”