Rebecca Swann earned her M.F.A. in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of North Texas. For the past 18 years she has been teaching classes in jewelry fabrication, lost wax casting and enameling at The Creative Art Center of Dallas. In addition to teaching, Rebecca creates one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry as well as small scale sculpture. All of the work is hand-made by the artist employing various techniques of fabrication including piercing, soldering, forging and cast elements. Sterling silver is the dominant material but other metals such as bronze and steel are used to provide contrast. Though the metalwork is always the focus of the pieces, many also incorporate stones, colored glass and pearls. Visual themes are drawn from a wide variety of sources ranging from religious art, archeology and architecture. Work is often done in a series, exploring shapes and elements of nature and considering the human relationship to nature as we build shelters and seek to invent and create.
I have always made things and I have always been drawn outside. The backyard is my favorite room and I am an avid gardener. I was drawn to metalworking because of its technical complexity and the attention to detail it requires. You cannot do metalworking frantically. It requires some peace of mind. For me, that comes from connecting to the natural world. I believe that many of us live too separate from nature and that our lives could be happier and the world safer if we reduce that separation. That's what the work is about. The wearable pieces often suggest the balance of things in the garden – the way a thing can be graceful but strong, delicate but prickly. Colors are introduced by the use of stones and glass. I like to challenge the preconception of jewelry's preciousness by presenting a broken piece of glass as equal to a faceted stone. There is often a contrast between architectural images both primitive and modern and plant forms with the hope of a cooperative result. The small sculptures address this issue in a more direct way. They are meant to suggest temples or ritual objects constructed to convey respect for nature and our part in it as we seek to invent and create.