Ethical Metalsmith Emerging Artist, 2016
What events led to you becoming a metalsmith?
I’ve always loved working with my hands and making objects. In my sophomore year at Peck School of the Arts, I took my first metalsmithing class and fell in love with the challenges metalsmithing gave me to solve. I love that I’m able to study metalsmithing everyday and will never run out of things to learn!
What is the tool you love the most? If you could have one tool, that you don’t have already, what would it be?
I appreciate all of my tools, but my favorites are my saw frame and calipers.
Right now I work out of a small home studio and a community studio space. I love the balance of having a personal space and tools, partnered with a communal studio space where I can access tools that I don’t need on a regular basis/are expensive. Although I’d love to personally own some larger equipment, it’s not really necessary right now…I’d love to have a really solid wooden stump or beam.
Who are some of the artists you admire and why?
I really admire Natalie Jeremijenko’s work because of the way she seamlessly connects community, science and art. I also admire Iris Eichenberg’s work and appreciate her understanding and use of materials.
After receiving the EM award, how have you considered ethical practice?
Receiving the award was such a great honor. It really challenged me to consider ways in which my practice can improve. It’s made me more aware of conversations surrounding trying to achieve a more ethical practice and how overwhelming it can feel. I’ve been working with the Ethical Metalsmith’s Student Committee to start an Instagram to encourage conversation around these topics.
What is the significance of wearables in your work?
Wearable work is important in my practice because it allows challenging and overwhelming topics to be more accessible and conversational through the body.
How do you select your materials?
I research what exists, how it’s made, and how to safely use it. Selecting materials just takes time. It’s definitely something that can ALWAYS be improved on.
What do you listen to while you work?
It really depends on what part of a project I’m on. Sometimes I really enjoy the sounds of the studio. Sometimes I listen to podcasts – my favorites are Call Your Girlfriend and An Organic Conversation.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit.
What’s next for Rebecca Lynn Hewitt?
I’m starting a residency at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in March! I’m really excited to be making around and hopefully with my community. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other artists this year!