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Arizona Artist Series: Roy Benjamin Harlin of Rbenjeejewelry Q&A

How did you get into metalsmithing?
I was searching for an alternative creative outlet removed from the food world that I have spent my working career in.   I needed a new medium that still let me use my hands and tell a story, but without being edible. (ring)
Brass Flower Ring with two stones

What inspires you?
The natural world inspires me the most.  I look to the scenery around me for form and functionality.  Themes are important to me.  I like to set an idea and then open up the drawing books to let the creative juices flow.  I research botanical illustrations, animal anatomy, and maps to help ground my wandering mind. (earrings)

earrings with amazonite




What is your design process?
Draw, draw, draw.  I try to draw in my books daily, even if I feel that is not consistent with what I’m working with at the moment.  It helps me keep a log of what I was feeling at the moment.  I also make prototypes for myself that I can where out and see the response I receive.  The responses help me know if the piece is liked by the collective and not just myself. (earrings)

silver earrings with topaz stones

What is your favorite tool?
I’m currently obsessed with my soldering pick.  It can be a challenge at times, kinda like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.  The benefits out way the juggling act with cleanliness on the piece.


What is on your bench right now? My bench is a bit of mess currently with some research and development happening. I will say that there is a strong presence of opal and rutilated quartz with silver and copper.


various tool, notepad and plants





Do you have any upcoming shows?
I’m doing a show at noons on September 22nd.  I will be showcasing the #MOTHER line.  It is focused on asymmetry, elements, and clean lines.

Where else can we find your work.
Currently you can find my idiot line in Tucson at Popcycle.  I will be at noons starting October.   I also sell custom on line at www.rbenjeejewelry.com

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