Nicole DesChamps-Benke’s interests are deeply rooted in environmental preservation, global sustainability, and social influences impacting our choices on nutrition. While health and responsible coexistence themes drive her research and influence her art, she has an aptitude for pairing artistic vision with technology. As a maker, Nicole utilizes both digital technologies and traditional metalsmithing techniques, which has expanded her efforts from solo designed and fabricated art to include the functional design of objects and tools for science and engineering applications.
Accomplishments include awarded teaching grants, art and technology workshops, journal publications, and collaborations with the Manufacturing Engineering and Biology departments at Texas State University. Recently, her design and fabrication work on an environmental sensor was installed in Ecuador to facilitate ecological field research for measuring moisture level changes in the rainforest canopy caused by rapid deforestation, and she has been selected to create sculptures to convey the forthcoming scientific results and their implications.
In her studio work, Nicole creates wearable pieces that exploit the dichotomy between precious and nonprecious metals. Her jewelry made of silver and colorful surface printings from aluminum soda cans heighten the awareness of aluminum as a versatile and recyclable resource as well as amplify disturbing and complex health issues associated with the contents for consumption. Critical to our survivability on earth, maintaining our health and protecting our environment are issues of global proportions.