Rebecca McLaughlin Neigher
My work begins in very different ways. The first impulse could be a shape, a texture, a stone, a thought, a spiritual leading. During the process I remain open to new ideas and directions. The unexpected can lead us to a place that is deeper than our initial understanding.
Having been a professional actress, I love comedy, drama, and good stories. Consciously and unconsciously this plays a part in my work. Prior to, during, or after completing a piece an entire story will come to me about what the piece is and its meanings. But the initial impulse comes from a place without words.
The majority of my adult life has been spent in two cities---Manhattan and Los Angeles. These cities are a visual smorgasbord and often one’s energy is directed outward not wanting to miss anything. In 1996 I moved to North Carolina. I live and work in the woods overlooking forest and meadow. Now my energy is directed inward first and flows through me into the physical, mental, and spiritual acts of making. Keeping my studio wide open, I have seasonal visitors including, moths, butterflies, spiders, skinks, frogs, birds and an occasional snake. So far the squirrels and deer are happy looking and not venturing in..
I love being a full time studio artist. There is joy in playing with fire, shaping metal, perusing and arranging stones, and creating pieces that express my inner feelings and my sense of beauty and meaning. I feel a deep connection to the earth and ocean where most of my materials come from. And I feel a kinship with the ancient metal smiths working over open fires and hot coals.
Holding a finished piece in my hand, I get great satisfaction knowing that I am involved in someone having an inner connection and response to a piece I’ve created. Whether they give it as a gift to themselves or to someone they care about, I love that it has the potential to lift or reveal the spirit. And hopefully to become a cherished object to be worn, enjoyed, and passed on.
Click here to see a video made by a PBS affiliate about Rebecca's incredibly interesting background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkSZYm_w_Wc