BEHIND THE COLLECTIONS
DIVING DEEP INTO THE MEANING BEHIND AND CREATION OF EACH OF THE REBEKAH J. COLLECTIONS
JEWELRY THAT CONNECTS US THROUGH A SHARED STORY
I have a deep and lifelong connection with craft and an empathetic nature. I've found that I love being able to connect the objects I create with compassionate meaning that validates my own thoughts and in turn you as well.
If you've ever had a moment when there was an instant "ah-ha" moment or a feeling of deep knowing when something happened, then you know the feeling I hope to create with my work.
It could be something minor or significant but it feels like a sign.
The best joy I have as a maker of is seeing this moment happen before my eyes in you.
AS A MAKER I HOPE TO CREATE WORK THAT INSPIRES YOU TO CONNECT WITH SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE
LOW TIDE COLLECTION
Inspired by the contentedness you find while slowing down and taking in your surroundings.
Visually inspired by the treasures found at low tide with all their textured goodness.
CREATING THE LOW TIDE COLLECTION
QUIETING THE DEMANDS
Imagine a place that’s stripped down of the chaos and busyness of life. A place where you can still the demands on your time and simply be in the moment.
For me, this happens while beachcombing at low tide. I find sheer childlike joy and wonder in sifting through shells and peering under rocks at low tide with the sun on my skin, the breeze tousling my hair, and the cool water rhythmically lapping at my feet. I am completely content. The pressures and chaos of life are shed and I am simply in the moment.
It's a feeling I strive to be in more often than not, and I'm nearly positive that others feel the same.
REALIGNING + REEMERGING
During our time in isolation and stripped-down lives due to Covid, many found that, pre-Covid, they were doing too much, and these simpler, less busy, lives suited them and were fulfilling. We became content with the slowness of life and through this contentedness we’ve been able to shed the old layers we no longer need while remaining rooted in who we are.
As we reemerge into the world, more confident in what’s important to us, shedding our sweats like a butterfly sheds its cocoon. We have the beauty of choosing how we want to step back into it and what we want to bring back in.
From pearls to shells, and moonsnail collars to seaweed, I’ve taken inspiration from the treasures found at low tide and created a collection that’s full of opportunities to let your butterfly wings unfurl and dawn something beautiful, special and perhaps glamorous again - even if just to go out for dinner.
As you’ve navigated through life you have grown to be a carrier of pain and sorrow, joy and triumph.
You may carry the stories of your family, the struggles of parenthood, the memory of loved ones gone, the pain of childhood traumas, and even precious moments of love and intimacy - among so many other things.
You are a vessel for all of your life experiences, a vessel of memories, and a vessel of dreams yet to be fulfilled.
Inspired by the way Mother Nature creates beautiful, evolving vessels in rocks & beach logs.
By visualizing these natural vessels as metaphors for our own inner vessels this collection allows us to process and hold space for our experiences as they evolve within us over our lifetime - just as the earth is shaped and reshaped by the elements.
I invite you to honor your own inner vessels with an object to serve as a token of it.
CREATING THE VESSEL COLLECTION
NATURAL EVOLVED VESSELS
Living in Seattle gives me plenty of opportunities to walk along the beaches looking at rocks and worn beach logs. During these quiet walks close to home I found inspiration from the "vessels" created in beach logs. The best part was finding small treasures in these vessels and seeing how the treasures would affect the space and change the space over time. Where you could see a pebble had formed a larger hole with its existence was magical for me. It also visually imagined a space I might have within myself for the things that I've come to carry within me over my lifetime. What if they created similarly beautiful vessels inside of me? The metaphor for these visual vessels was a huge ah-ha moment for me. Over the next few months, it stimulated a deep internal conversation about how we carry things, and how healing it can be to physically hold an object that serves as a talisman of them.
QUIET TIME TO LISTEN
At the time that I created this collection, I was new to the full-time artist gig. I'd been working a day job for several years while building this business. Leaving my day job generated space for me to be more deeply intentional with the time I spent creating. In the past, I was always in a hurry and my thoughts, and the robustness of the collection seemed underdeveloped. For this collection, I took a solo retreat so I could have quiet intentional time with my thoughts and at my bench creating.
The Chosen collection explores the beauty of feeling loved and supported in our closest relationships at a time of transition and change.
It’s about taking a CHOSEN leap in life and trusting our intuition and the strong foundation of loved ones to help guide us through the process.
CREATING THE CHOSEN COLLECTION
Visually the Chosen Collection was inspired bt Gustav Klimpt’s painting, “The Kiss”. I appreciate the juxtaposition between the feminine and masculine halves of the painting. One side is very feminine and organic. It’s round, delicate and floral. The opposite side is very masculine, strong and block-like, covered in rectangular shapes like a foundation. Free-flowing and organic positioned opposite to constructed and rigid. Natural versus abstract and linear. I found beauty in how these opposing things met in a tangled embrace of love, self confidence, safety and support.
CHOSEN VS. FORCED CHANGE
Most of the change in my life has been the result of external forces. When I was young and my parents lost their jobs, I was forced to change to a new town and a new school, and make new friends. For context, I went to 12 different schools before my freshman year in high school. I adapted, made new friends, and eventually, fell in love with the town we settled in (Seattle). But it was difficult and completely out of my control.
As I was creating the Chosen Collection my thoughts and emotions swirled around making this chosen change in my life. I was gearing up (and had been for a long while) to quit my corporate job and become a full time entrepreneur - supporting my family with my income. I focused my attention away from the powerful, swirling negative thoughts and focused them on how I felt loved and supported in this time of chosen change by my loved ones and by myself.
Each piece in the collection features elements I use to self soothe (the repeating patterns), and shapes that harness both things I see in the painting “The Kiss” as well as shapes that represent protection like shields.
Inspired by patterns and rhythms within nature and the city that create an opportunity for us to refocus and shift our perspectives from a negative one to a positive one.
My hope is that these pieces will help you find beauty in where you are right now even when it’s not what you planned for, and perhaps feels fragmented.
What causes you to take a pause in your daily grind to see the beauty of a moment, in a person, or in a feeling? How can you let that small moment nurture yourself and shift your focus?
As the pieces created for the FRAGMENT Collection touch your skin I hope that these objects will bring those meaningful moments back to focus and in turn help you feel less fragmented.
CREATING THE FRAGMENT COLLECTION
The balancing act of motherhood, family life, and small business ownership is complex and full of surprises. Add a day job to that and you’ll find you’re juggling many balls at once.
I was lost in the midst of this fragmented life when I created the Fragment Collection. I felt I was often headed one way only to find that I needed to re-route and shift gears, again and again.
I never felt like I was giving everything my all or my best and I was frustrated. There wasn’t a whole lot I could change at the time - except my perspective.
This collection was born from physical manifestations of my thoughts surrounding this maze of life. I needed to shift my perspective and choose to find joy instead of fear and resistance in that current situation.
The patterns were inspired by the rhythms that could center my mind, like the ebb and flow of water, or the way that looking up at the city skyline yields a juxtaposition of beautiful angles that were never a part of the original plan.
SOMEONE TO LISTEN
Through my own internal work during the making of this collection, I began a practice of choosing gratitude instead of frustration, calling attention to the greatness of myself and my ability to do all the things I was doing even if they weren’t perfect, and honoring the fact that even though this track wasn’t the way I had hoped that when I look for it, it comes full circle - at the end of the day my family loves me, we have a roof over our heads and we are healthy. Beyond all other things, these are the most important.
We are beholden to where we are right here and now. It’s my hope that the pieces in this collection will serve as gentle pushes for you to shift your perspective and see the greatness in your life, to find beauty in where you are right now, even when it’s not what you planned for, and perhaps feels incredibly fragmented. Even if it’s just in really small minute moments - there is beauty there.
AWA COLLECTION FW16
Born from a healing trip to Kauai, Hawaii after a year fraught with health scares. I was seeking growth, coupled with feeling intense gratitude for my health.
I created the AWA Collection as a translation of the feelings that came from this magical place. Upon returning, I began to deconstruct images taken on the trip into primary shapes and then using them to create pieces that harnessed the feeling of magic in Hawaii.
The word AWA is the Hawaiian word for Harbor - a sheltered place. Always near water, growing up in Southern California, and now with my home in the PNW - water is an integral place, creating healing, focus, calm, and always inspiration.
I hope you find these pieces to be talismans of those very same things.
CREATING THE AWA COLLECTION
AN EMOTIONAL TIME
Experiences have a way of showing you what’s important, what’s needed, and when to begin. In the early summer of 2015, I was given some health news that was scary and emotionally charged. There were a lot of unknowns, many Dr. visits, and scary words like cancer and potential for no more children.
I ended up having dual surgery to remove a CANTALOUPE-sized ovarian cyst with my right ovary, and my gall bladder. It didn't end up being cancer, but the stress of its potential really took an emotional toll.
A stroke of good fortune came during my recovery when my husband was asked to go to Kauai for a work project. We jumped on the opportunity to go while I was recovering. If I could recover on the couch I could surely recover on a towel in the sand!
Emotionally my whole soul needed the trip, but so did my family. The experience was hard on us all. Thinking about my future with the words' cancer and no more children floating around was scary and painful. I became swallowed up and closed off by those swirling thoughts and emotions.
TIME TO HEAL
BREAKING DOWN THE VISUALS
Until this trip, I hadn't realized how devoid of emotion and connection I was due to the stress.
The soothing sound of the water and the sun on my skin made me feel alive again. Kauai brought me back to myself and my fears were stripped away.
I began to see images and shapes in everything. My new work showed its face through the peace I felt.
Upon returning from Kauai, I gathered images that were visually captivating not just for their subjects but for their composition and interest. I took these images and broke them down into simple forms - lines and shapes. I cut the shapes out of paper and played and once they were satisfactory I carved them in wax and added textural details. The photo with the red line is an example of how I truncated the images into lines and shapes. This image became the HORIZON earrings.