Stacy Sawyer Phebus of Raleigh-based Juniper Bay Metals got hooked on metalworking while attending East Carolina University. We think she owes a bouquet of flowers to the friend who encouraged her to take a metals class that ultimately changed her path.
How did you come up with your business name? I decided on my business name for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the name represents my family’s coastal history. I felt it was important for me to give a nod to my past because it’s a huge part of who I am. Having grown up the daughter of a fisherman in eastern North Carolina, I often heard my dad and his buddies speaking of the best fishing spots. Juniper Bay was one such spot and the name always resonated. I like the way it feels, the imagery it conjures. It’s a beautiful coastal area along the “Inner Banks” where the Pamlico Sound meets the marshlands of Swan Quarter, NC. And since a lot of my work, for years, has been influenced by treasures of the sea, it just made sense.
The juniper branch logo ties the place, the name, and my aesthetic together: raw, simply refined, nature-derived designs.
Tell us about your newest style, design, or creation. Sea creatures – their shapes, textures and forms – have been an inspiration of mine for years. I’ve been focusing on developing my Urchin line this year. Some pieces in the series are raw silver or copper. Others are enameled in a kiln or by using a torch. This method allows me to achieve rich, colorful surfaces that compliment the forms and their textures really nicely.
Are there any new skills or techniques that you’d like to learn? How might this new craft fit with your current method(s)? One technique I’d like to explore more deeply is lost-wax casting. I’ve done this type of casting in the past, but it’s been several years since I’ve had access to the special tools and equipment needed. While I love fabricating work and would continue to do so, it would be really awesome to incorporate cast elements into my work.
Is there a new item that you’d like to share? Wax Yellow Urchin Necklace
Which artist(s) are you most excited to see at The Handmade Market? I’m super excited Tara Locklear will be at The Handmade Market this year! I just adore her work. She and I came up through the same Metal Design program at East Carolina University School of Art & Design, but were were there at different times. I haven’t actually met her yet, but I’ve been a big fan of her work for a while. Hoping to finally meet her (and buy a piece!) at the market.
What was your first concert and/or all-time favorite concert? My first real concert was DEF LEPPARD at the Norfolk Scope in VA. Ha! I’m showing my age, right?! I was in 7th grade and a friend’s dad took us. Bless his heart, he was not into it at all. When they played their hit ballad “Love Bites” thousands of lighters waved back and forth in the crowd. Classic.
My all-time favorite concert? Gosh, that’s so tough. I think it would have to be Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at Cat’s Cradle several years ago, 2006 maybe? The band, Sharon, the vocals, the sheer energy of the show – everything was amazing. And I danced all night with really good friends. It doesn’t get much better than that!