Rebecca Zelis

Growing up in New England I explored beaches, mountains and river valleys – always searching for the lovely surprise of a piece of sea glass, a beautiful river stone, or a unique fossil or shell. I continue to be inspired by a newly found object, or the history of an old button or tintype photograph. People send me found objects from around the world to make into jewelry that has personal meaning. In treating objects that have little value as precious, I expose the natural beauty of their color, texture, and shape.

I use each piece as found in my compositions creating each bezel and link one at a time by hand. The challenge is in creating harmony from arrangements of natural objects. The work often results in a play of asymmetry that allows each object to fully contribute to the structure of the final piece.

I was accepted to Rhode Island School of Design and studied Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. I graduated with a BFA in 1997, and now live in Brandon, VT with my husband and two children. My studio is located in the renovated Granary that also houses local painters, sculptors, and potters.

Jewelry is more than ornament. It can be a powerful talisman, a token of sentiment, or a symbol of love. It can inspire, comfort, or hold a special memory. Initially, one may see the beauty of a gemstone or an elegant composition, but the true value of a piece of jewelry is the secret it keeps, the special relationship between the jewel and the wearer.