Designer Q&A with Flotsam & Jetsam's Rebekah Harris

Welcome to our new blog feature where we ask some of our designers some extremely pressing questions. Our first victim is the amazingly talented, super lovely and incredibly gracious Rebekah from Flotsam & Jetsam. (She is so nice - she gave us Spa gift certificates last year!)

Who/what is your style inspiration? 
The path that led me to jewelry included the study of design and interior architecture and some basic blacksmithing.  To me jewelry is more miniature sculpture than fashion object.  In my opinion the highest masters of metal form include the Renaissance sculptor and swashbuckler, Benvenuto Cellini, master of the Art Nouveau, Victor Horta, and modern day blacksmith, Antony Robinson.

Who, living or dead would you most like to have tea with, and why?
It would be a close tie between Nikolai Tesla and Dolly Parton.  While Tesla would be more interesting, drinking sweet Tea with Dolly Parton on a rocking chair in Appalachia would probably be more relaxing.

What is your favorite part of making jewelry?
There are so many fulfilling moments.  The inner prankster gets a kick out of the alchemical showmanship of mixing hot metal and chemicals and having them make loud sounds and puffs of smoke.  The inner Scoundrel loves the seediness of the Diamond District.  The Human in me loves the look of appreciation on the face of the person wearing the jewelry and being part of their special moment.

Do you have any other hobbies?
It has been a few years but I used to spend a month a year working and learning at Cold Hanworth Forge in the midlands of the United Kingdom with my beer swilling, opera singing, blacksmith teacher, Bob Oakes.  As taking that much time off is no longer my luxury I have been trying to learn my way around sailboats and I love a good Sunday spent in the Garden.

What are your favorite places in New York? 
For years there was the skeletal shell of a burned out factory sinking into the Hudson River around 59th Street.  This was hands down the most beautiful artwork, sculpted by the tragedy of fire and perseverance of the metal refusing to sink into the Hudson.  The Irish Hunger Monument down the way is also something to behold.  For a moment’s peace its the Dia’s Earthroom in Soho or St Thomas Aquinas on 5th Avenue.  It is the most beautiful church in the city and there is always an organ playing, candle burning and respite from the insanity of midtown.  I also can never get enough of Greenwood Cemetery, City Island, Port Morris and Jackson Heights.

Favorite NYC restaurants?
I am happiest in the oldest darkest places: Keen’s, Pete’s Tavern, The Ear Inn.

Favorite NYC places to shop?
Rosenzweig Lumber in the South Bronx and Ethnic Grocery stores.

What do you covet at Catbird?
The Jezebel Evil Eye Ring and maybe the closet of the ladies who work there, they all have such great style.

Featured in this postBrass Enamled Globe Necklace, $220;  Love Stamp Necklace, $140;  Captain Sully Baby Spoon, $250;  Pygmy Seahorse Ring, $90;  Spanish Galleon Ring, $160.  Rebekah covets Jezebel Evil Eye Ring, $288
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