April 11, 2016
A home to metalsmiths and creatives, Rebecca Overmann studio is a design space, workplace, and showroom. Offering an array of conflict free, and rare diamonds, they honor each piece and the value of collaboration with its wearers. We spoke with Rebecca about her creative process and adoration for jewelry.
Why jewelry? Was it your calling — tell me about how it became a love in your life.
My appreciation for jewelry began when I was younger. My aunt was an avid jewelry collector and we would spend hours getting lost in her treasures. I began dabbling in metal arts training at Savannah College of Art Design. My heart was immediately drawn to the craft but the practical side of me pursued a degree in graphic design. In the early 90’s I moved to San Francisco and fully immersed myself in the world of advertising and design. The industry did not feel like the right fit…all I could think about was how much I missed working with my hands. I decided to take a risk and begin my small collection of enamel pieces which were hand crafted in my garage at the time. My work slowly began to evolve as more and more elements inspired me to dive deeper. The best part of making jewelry is that there is always room for improvement, efficiency, and creative growth - it appeals equally to the perfectionist and artistic sides of me.
What is your process; the production. What are the most integral steps involved in which average people aren't privy to?
My designs are conceptualized from wax carvings. I prefer to actually carve in wax or work with metal instead of sketching. Texture and form are what speaks to me and I find that can be lost when translated from paper. Laying out diamonds in various patterns and playing with color palettes and movement is also a strong and critical part of my design process.
Every aspect of my collection is completed in our San Francisco studio - from carving to casting to stone setting. This gives us tremendous control over the materials and the process — it wasn't easy to getting to this point but I can’t imagine it any other way. While we’re a very small studio (there are 6 of us), the breadth of talent and skill has enabled us to create in ways I wouldn’t have imagined when I first started out. To work with such an accomplished and versatile team is not only fulfilling, it’s critical to my process.
If not jewelry what else would you love to do/try?!
I would have to say animal rescue! When I’m not at the studio you will find me home with my pups. My life so heavily revolves around my work that I really appreciate how pets remind us how necessary it is to pause and enjoy the little things.
Do you have a favorite piece?
That is a tough decision. I have been incredibly excited about the pieces I have been working on lately. I would have to say the new hand carved bridal pieces featuring incredible re-purposed Old European Cut diamonds are some of my current favorites. There are a few carvings on my bench that are on their way to becoming new favorites once I cast them in gold! Stay tuned…
What would you say to the person or bride selecting a piece from you? What is the most important element in finding that perfect piece of jewelry.
While every piece strongly represents my aesthetic and craftsmanship, the most important element is the need to reflect and appeal to each individual — to make sure that the piece works with their own unique style. The perfect piece has to be comfortable, timeless, and of course crafted with attention to detail so that years from now you can dig through your jewelry box and share that treasured piece with your niece.
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