Interview with Professional Jewelry Designer: Rebekkah Griffin of Canyon Moon Designs
In 2003 Rebekkah Griffin found herself with a dilemma. She had a new baby, whom she wanted to be able to stay home with, but she still needed a way to earn an income. Rebekkah used this predicament to create her dream-career, making handmade jewelry for her shop, Canyon Moon Designs.
She’d fallen in love with the beaded designs she was seeing in stores. “I tried making some,” Rebekkah tells, “and the obsession began there. My daughter was just a baby, and I wanted to be able to stay at home with her. This was a way I could make money from home and I enjoyed it.” Rebekkah’s jewelry-making, first beaded, then wire wrapped gemstones, developed into a line of handmade necklaces with soldered digital-art pendants. “I used to be a painter, so I like the idea of creating wearable art.” Rebekkah says. “I found two wonderful digital artists, and started soldering jewelry pendants.
Soldering is the act of melting of a thin layer of a metal and using it to join two surfaces together. “In the beginning I was so bad,” Rebekkah laughs at the memory. “I thought I’d never improve, but I kept at it. It took time, and several emotional meltdowns. Then one day I realized, ‘hey, I’m getting good at this’.”
Rebekkah’s inspiration comes from everywhere. “I’m completely random,” she smiles. “I’ll see something, a painting, or something in the park, or another piece of jewelry, and it’ll give me an idea. Then I’ll have to drop everything and get to work on it. It drives my husband crazy. If I’m feeling sappy, I’ll make pendants with lovey-dovey sayings. Sometimes I’m feeling a vintage vibe. I especially like women-oriented humor about kids and spouses. One of my favorites says, ‘You want breakfast in bed? Go sleep in the kitchen.’”
Rebekkah’s children, Savannah 7, Preston 6, and Liam 6 months, are her reason for following her dream. The kids help me while I work sometimes. I found that they’re much more cooperative in letting me have time to work because they feel it’s a family business and that they can help do things.”
When I asked Rebekkah what advice she might have for anyone who thinks they’d like to try their hand at jewelry-making, she has a lot to say. “First of all, you need the right equipment. In the beginning I tried to save money by buying a lower quality soldering iron, and the results were bad. So if you’re serious about his, invest in the best equipment you can afford. But even more important, don’t conform your style to what others suggest, or what you see in stores. Stay focused, stick with your own style and the people who like it will buy from you. Not every art collector likes Picasso. Not everyone will like what you do, but plenty of people will.”
See more of Rebekkah’s designs in her Etsy shop!
Photo credits: Rebekkah Griffin