Studio Visit: Rebecca Segall
As a fellow Philadelphian, Rebecca Segall was easy for us to get in touch with and get to know. We worked closely with her to curate her collection with us, and she has been a close advisor on finding a few of our other artisans featured in the marketplace. Best of all, her warmth, encouragement and passion for the arts made our every interaction with her while discussing her participation at Cultivations a pleasure.
Rebecca is a mother, artist, wife and admirer of all things handmade. Her home is a beautifully curated space in its own right: she has wonderful works of art on display and in use throughout the space. Ever the tireless artist and maker, Rebecca is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where she explores a number of different mediums; in addition to her beautiful beadwork, she is a wonderful painter and has many of her own works in her home.
In this sympathetic space, Rebecca also has her work studio, a small room perfectly set up to accommodate her many artistic talents. It is here where she creates her intricate necklaces, and we cannot help but notice the unifying spirit running through all of her works: in her necklaces, as in her paintings, there is a passionate and expert eye for color and texture, as well as a deep patience for superior execution.
We watch as Rebecca demonstrates how she creates her necklaces. With a steady and patient hand, she weaves fine sterling silver wire, linking vibrant stones that give each necklace a distinctive character. To be sure, these stones undergo a meticulous selection process themselves, as Rebecca works with trusted vendors to build a collection of beautifully cut and finished stones, ranging from quartz to emeralds, lapis, freshwater pearls and more.
Even with all the beautiful materials Rebecca employs in her art, the finial project manages to be more than the sum of its parts. Each work is simply beautiful to behold and a pleasure to handle: the stones play off each other to mesmerizing effect and the links coil and drape effortlessly, as if imbued with assured, refined movements of their maker’s hands.
In more general terms: they just don’t make them like this anymore. Rebecca doesn’t compromise, and her dedication really shines through in all of her work. The weight and ease with which her pieces fall are an art on their own, and simply wearing one of her necklaces is a rare pleasure.
Knowing Rebecca and having the opportunity to better appreciate how she creates these pieces instills an even deeper sense of meaning to handling and wearing one of these unique works of wearable art. In each, we recognize Rebecca’s mark and personality: her devotion to mindful living, her spirituality and deep respect for all religions echo throughout her work. This is an inspiring and impressive feat in itself—Rebecca’s ability to impart her own personality into her work is a testament to her dedication and thoughtful creativity.
After our tour of her studio, we watched Rebecca work for a time, her pliers and wire cutters coaxing silver around stone to form a gleaming, seemingly liquid chain. Rebecca’s steady hands and precise movements made it all look so easy, but when we moved in to examine the many minute, uniform links that form the piece, we see this ease comes with great skill. We thank her for her time and for showing us around and go, leaving Rebecca—pliers in hand—to continue on with her work.