Rebecca Mir Grady's jewelry is serene yet adventurous. Built into each ring, bracelet, necklace, and earring is a strong sense of femininity tinged with ruggedness and wanderlust. It's in the uneven texture on an otherwise demure opal ring; it's in the subtle dents and irregularities interrupting the gentle curve of a silver pendant.
"[Growing up] I was always scrambling over rocks at the beach in Maine, and I would set out on boating adventures or hikes with my family," said Rebecca, who makes comic books, installations and photographs in addition to her 1-year-old eponymous jewelry line. "Since then, I've always been interested in travel and adventures, and reading about great expeditions and journeys. [That] definitely spills over into my work."
Reverence for nature goes hand-in-hand with that ode to the landscape. Every piece of Rebecca Mir Grady jewelry is handmade using reclaimed metals and ethically sourced stones. "It only makes sense that my work be respectful in any way it can to the environment it's inspired by," she said.
Read on for more about the designer's love of the outdoors, what she's reading right now, and her go-to wardrobe items.
How did you come to be a jewelry designer?
There was actually a jewelry making class in my high school, which I was lucky enough to take. I loved it, and from there got an apprenticeship with some jewelry designers. I learned a lot about metalsmithing early on. I’ve been making jewelry on the side since then. After working for a handmade jewelry company for six years, I decided to merge my creative interests and skills with the launch of my own line last fall.
What's your favorite thing about working with reclaimed precious metals?
It's easy. I work with a great company that I can get all of my metal from. I can also send them any small pieces of metal, filings and scrap that I can’t use anymore to be refined and turned into new metal -- ready to be made into a new piece of jewelry
Is there an increasing demand for ethically-sourced jewelry?
Yes, absolutely. It’s also influenced by the shop local movement. People want to know where their jewelry comes from too, not just their food and clothing.
What are your favorite travel destinations?
I will always love going to Maine, because it is truly home for me. Living in the midwest, I definitely miss being near the ocean. But I also love being able to travel to new places. I just got back from a trip to Stockholm and northern Sweden, and it was amazing. I would love
to go back to Stockholm and explore more of the archipelago.
What influenced your fall collection the most?
I’ve been re-reading Susan Casey’s book The Devil’s Teeth, about the Farallon Islands near San Francisco. Thinking about travel, and rough waves and weather, especially in a place like the Farallones, definitely inspired this collection.
What do you love to wear?
I live in jeans and boots, and I love it when fall first sneaks in, adding blazers, scarves and a good sweater -- those are definitely my favorites.
What are you looking forward to watching this fall?
I’m really looking forward to seeing the new movie Tracks that [hit U.S. theaters] this month. It’s based on a true story of Robyn Davidson’s trek across Western Australia by camel in the 1970s. It’s a wonderful story, and the photos for National Geographic that accompanied her story are so beautiful. This new movie at the very least promises to be visually stunning.
Any fun personal projects in the works?
While I was in Sweden, I was on an artist residency. I am working on developing a series of photographs that I took there, focusing on some of the landscape details.
What's on the horizon for jewelry?
Launching a men’s collection and a bridal collection are the next big plans for my line.