Rebekah grew up surrounded by people who loved and lived amongst antiques—celebrating the simple lines and bold colors of early American folk art. Her degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh did not satisfy her need to work with her hands, so she was challenged by her mother to paint a cupboard in the Rufus Porter style. Ever since, Rebekah has celebrated her affinity for old surfaces and textures, moving from the world of painting into the world of wool and other textiles.
For the latter part of her career, wool consumed her time—she designed and created wool applique from her own hand-dyed wool using both natural and commercial dyes. Having published three books and a line of patterns, she also taught workshops across the country. Her studio space was housed in a cottage behind her and her husband Bruce's 1838 Western Reserve home in Chesterland, Ohio. At one time or another all three of her daughters, Kelsey, Karly, and Tessa, helped in her business, while she simultaneously supported their creative gifts.
Rebekah passed away after a year-long battle with brain cancer in April of 2022. Her funeral was publicly streamed, and you can watch it here. She leaves a lasting legacy of quality design coupled with kindness and a desire to share a love of wool with those around her.
If you would like to see her family's creative works, you can find them here:
Bruce Patrick Smith: 1-bruce-smith.pixels.com
Kelsey Anilee Smith: kelseyanilee.com
Karly A. Smith: karlyalexandra.com
Tessa Christine Smith: @tessa.christine.creative on Instagram