By Michelle M. Sharp, Founder and Content Creator of Meet the Minnesota Makers
“This lifestyle is a little nutty,” laughed Rebekah Rush of Duluth’s Wonderfully Made.
Rebekah is a full-time resin artist who incorporates natural materials found along Lake Superior’s shores and northern forests to create distinctive Minnesota art. Many of her pieces incorporate birch bark. After harvesting it from downed trees, Rebekah flattens it in specialized molds. For her mounted pieces, Rebekah frequently incorporates driftwood, “Everyone likes to have a piece of the lake. Whether or not you live along the North Shore, Lake Superior is literally a big part of Minnesota.”
Rebekah pours hundreds of resins each year. Every single pour has a different result thanks to the delicate nature resin and its unique properties. “Each piece is designed and individually handcrafted by me,” shared Rebekah. “I keep my workshop at 70 degrees year round. It’s essential to maintain good ventilation and the right humidity to allow the resin to work its magic.”
There is a magic in every piece that Rebekah creates. “It’s really fun to pour resin layer by layer. It’s a surprise every time,” she reflected. “The resin changes as it cures. You especially see that with my signature Lake Superior ornament. I love watching customers compare pieces to find their perfect image of the water.”
Rebekah’s workshop is attached to her home. This cozy spot tucked between the kitchen and the garage was a major factor in choosing to buy the house when her family moved to Duluth. Organized with the tools she’s collected over a decade of dedicated artisan work, the scroll saw is her favorite. “I love the precision and possibility of the scroll slaw. It’s a powerful tool that allows me to create whatever I can imagine.”
Rebekah credits her success to the supportive network of creative artisans centered around Duluth and to her family’s support. “I am grateful for the wonderful help of my dad, husband, mom, sister and kids. This has become a family business.” Her dogs, however, are banned from the workshop. Dog hair and multi-layer resin pours do not mix.
Rebekah loves being a part of in-person events to meet customers face to face and learn about which of her pieces speak to them. Attending events allows her to collaborate with area makers as well. She’s been preparing all year for the Duluth Winter Village on December 2 and 3. “I make ornaments year round for the Winter Village. It’s one of my favorite community events. You have to come out and see the cabins. It has such a great feel.”
Rebekah will also be a part of the Great Hall Marketplace at the Depot on December 16.
This feature is a part of the 2023 Meet the Minnesota Makers Holiday Gift Guide series. Visit meettheminnesotamakers.com to download your copy of the gift guide featuring over 100 of Minnesota’s talented makers. Find Wonderfully Made on page 51!
See two of Wonderfully Made’s unique ornaments from the November 27 segment on KSTP’s Minnesota Live about the MTMM Holiday Gift Guide.
Visit www.wonderfullymadegoods.com to view more of Rebekah’s Minnesota art.
Follow @wonderfullymademn on Facebook and Instagram
Follow @meettheminnesotamakers on Facebook and Instagram to discover more of the people who make Minnesota an amazing place to be!