The week before Christmas I received an office wide email at work stating that jewelry designer Becky Firth would be visiting our office to show and sell her work. Never one to turn down the opportunity to shop, especially when it's encouraged by my employer, I headed straight down the stairs to her table.
I was so impressed by Becky's work that I immediately began peppering her with questions. As it turns out, she also works at my company! It is so fun to discover coworkers' hidden talents!
I wanted to continue our conversation and asked if she'd be open to be featured on the blog. Enjoy our Q&A below!
BF: I first started making clay beads when I was about 10 years old – our whole house would smell like baking clay constantly. Then I moved on to beading necklaces and earrings when I was in high school and college – I lived in bead shops – and gave pieces to friends and family. When I was laid off from my job in ’08, I decided to take a class at MassArt, and I started metalsmithing in earnest ’09. I opened my Etsy shop shortly thereafter.
PBS: What do you love about it?
BF: I love the physical act of making something – bending metal, using tools, feeling stones in my hand. I love taking something raw and turn it into something polished and beautiful. And ultimately, I love making something other people love. It’s great to meet so many people who have a similar aesthetic, and it’s awesome to think that they will be wearing this thing I made, and cherishing it, and possibly passing it down a generation.
PBS: What are your favorite materials/stones/gems to use and why?
BF: Gold! It’s luxurious, and yet so primitive. It has a very ancient and rich sensibility. And I love that there is a finite amount of it in the world – it feels special when you wear it. Also, it’s very easy to work with – it’s easy to realize a concept with gold because it can physically do so many things. Aside from that, I have always truly loved Amethyst and all of the amazing colors it comes in.
PBS: You make custom wedding bands. How did that come about?
BF: Completely by accident! When I began metalsmithing, I just made things that I loved – very simple gold rings. One day, I received an email from a customer telling me she had received her ring in the mail, that she loved it, and was “so excited to get married with it!” I was floored. With all of the ornate, over-the-top wedding rings that are being churned out, it hadn’t occurred to me that people would view these simple gold bands as wedding rings. But as it turns out, a lot of other people love simple and classic. Yay! Since then, I’ve geared my shop and the rings toward the wedding crowd.
PBS: How does it feel to know you are creating the physical representation of a couple’s commitment to one another?
BF: Amazing. And scary. Every time I begin making someone’s wedding ring, I get butterflies in my stomach. I want it to be perfect! It feels wonderful to know that I’m part of one of the most important days of their lives, and I am always honored when someone chooses a ring from my shop.
PBS: You have a full time job as a copy editor. How do you find the time to make new pieces?
BF: I work on my projects at night and on the weekends. Sometimes I’m exhausted, but I love it so much, I really can’t complain! Although I’m sure my husband can – he deals with my constant hammering and clanking. I’m looking forward to converting an old cobbler’s shed on our property into a true studio – I’m sure he is, too!
PBS: Your work is showcased on Etsy.com. What do you like about being part of this artist community?
BF: Etsy is truly amazing – I have met so many people from all over the world. I’ve sent rings to London, Germany, Nova Scotia – and I love connecting with and getting to know these customers over Etsy. It’s crazy to think of someone in Europe sporting one of my pieces! And people are so friendly and supportive of your craft here – it’s a real community. I solicit advice from other Etsians all the time, and they are always real-time on their email, ready to help.
PBS: When you shop for jewelry, where do you go?
BF: Lately, I’ve been making a lot of pieces for myself! I’ve been making some gold bangles that I wear every day, and I’m planning on adding some gems are pearls to them for a little sparkle. Other than that, I obsessively covet all of the amazing jewelry at GOOD on Charles St. in Beacon Hill. On Etsy, MaaPStudio creates these incredible porcelain bangles and rings – really unique and gorgeous. I also really dig OrangeistheSun, another Etsy shop that does a cool take on textile jewelry, and mixes it with metals and vintage goods. Like grown-up friendship bracelets. It’s so fun!
PBS: Now onto the jewels!
I love this cocktail ring!
These feminine, rose quartz earrings are the ultimate girly accessory:
This multi-strand garnet necklace is finished with a gold, equestrian clasp:
This piece is a real show stopper! An deep purple, amethyst necklace finished with a vintage, glass clasp:
I am obsessed with this necklace! Smokey crystal quartz, white and silver vintage Japanese pearls and grey and gunmetal Czech glass pearls are all hand set on silver headpins and poised on a satin ribbon:
These earrings are very Audrey Hepburn! They are like the drop waist of earrings!
If you're looking for something beautiful yet understated, this delicate gold and green amethyst necklace is perfect for you:
Now for the best news of all! Becky was kind enough to set up an exclusive coupon code for Pop.Bop.Shop. readers! Visit her site and enter "POPBOP15" at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase! Thank you, Becky!