Get to know Megan Rugani, the skilled designer/jeweler/engraver extraordinaire behind one of our favorite brands, Maiden Voyage!
Formerly Bay Area-based, Megan now creates her richly detailed fine jewelry from her airy studio in her new hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her edgy and androgynous Maiden Voyage line features weighty signets, powerful and unusual stones, and exquisitely intricate hand engraving. Widely hailed for this hand engraving work, Megan has taken an ancient and time-consuming art form and given it new life with her fresh, modern voice.
Megan was kind enough to share some details of her work and life in Santa Fe with us - read on for our interview with Megan.
Alexis: What is your favorite (jewelry making) tool and why?
Megan: That’s hard to say, because tools sort of work collectively, each one makes the others useful. But I think my most used tool that is necessary for just about everything is my scribe. It’s just a sharpened piece of steel that I use for laying out my engravings- after sketching the design in pen I scratch it into the metal with the scribe, before actually engraving it. I also use it for laying out stones to be set, marking designs in wax, basically every design element starts with a scribe mark. An illustrator has her pencil, an engraver has her scribe.
A: What are two things that you love about your new town, Santa Fe?
M: I definitely love the proximity to nature; not only is being surrounded by mountains breathtakingly beautiful, but just the small elements like waking up to the sound of birds in the trees outside our windows, isolated by pure silence. Aside from that, in the short time I’ve lived here I have made some really amazing and caring friends. I got pretty sick last week with a stomach thing when I was home alone, and the amount of people that came to my rescue to bring me supplies made me feel super loved.
A: What does the idea of adornment mean to you?
M: To me, adornment is an agent of self-expression that celebrates our human vitality. It arises from our fundamental need to apply meaning to material and visual objects to make sense of the world and our place in it. We move through space and time collecting ideas and experiences that we in turn embody with our adornment, be it jewelry, tattoos, or garments. For me, adornment is a very personal and idiosyncratic expression. I’ve personally never felt a strong tie to group dynamics, so I have not felt the need to signify my status or place within one- I personally use adornment as a means of connecting with my own past, my family, and my fantasies.
I find it interesting that the word “cosmos” is derived from the Greek verb “kosmein” which has many definitions, one of which is “to adorn”. So like the gods adorn the universe in stars and planets, we too adorn ourselves with that which gives us life.