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Georgia Jeweler Is Inspired by Navajo Jewelry Making Techniques

Meghan Proctor learned from her father, who grew up on a Navajo reservation.

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Georgia Jeweler Is Inspired by Navajo Jewelry Making Techniques
Meghan Proctor
Hubble Proctor Design

Award-winning jewelry designer Meghan Proctor owns Hubble Proctor Design in Newnan, GA. Her career was inspired by her father’s jewelry making, honed on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico on which he grew up. He started as a teenager learning from his great-uncle whose last name was Silversmith, but he put his own spin on his designs. By the time she was 6, Meghan was learning to make jewelry in the basement of her family home. Now, Meghan’s 3-year-old daughter, Evelyn, has begun her apprenticeship. “My dad had her filing rings at a year old with a hand file. She knows the difference between a diamond and an amethyst.”

NAVAJO TECHNIQUES. There are techniques my dad used in the reservation that I still use today, even down to sand casting. People normally have a dapping block, but I still have a log, a stump that my dad made in New Mexico that’s over 50 years old.

NO LIMITS. I’ll just walk down the, see a leaf and wonder if I can make that leaf into a cuff. When my girls here ask, “What if I make something and somebody doesn’t like it?” I tell them, “Don’t limit your creativity. There is somebody somewhere who WILL like it.”

CAREER SATISFACTION. This career path, I wouldn’t change it. It’s allowed me so many different avenues. It’s limitless. You’re only limited by yourself, and that’s what I like about it.

INSPIRED BY THE MOMENT. I make what I feel in my heart and I get inspired by that moment. Sometimes I feel like making an art deco piece or art nouveau, and some days I’m into my Navajo stuff.

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ONLINE EXTRA: Q&A with Meghan Proctor

What do you love about your chosen career?

What DON’T I love about it? I love stones, I love creating things. You can do anything your mind can think of. Everything about the industry and my career, I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else. I like being a part of people’s lives; when both of my parents passed away people came in just to hug you, and sometimes you don’t realize that’s what you need. This career path, I wouldn’t change it. It’s allowed me so many different avenues. It’s limitless here. You’re only limited by yourself and that’s what I like about it.

What do you like about your community?

Newnan is so great. Our community is warm and wonderful, and we love each other and take care of each other. As much as I love the West, I still love Newnan; I still consider myself a Southern gal. You can walk down the street, and someone knows you and calls out your name.

How have you been influenced by your heritage?

I’m very proud of my heritage and my background. We carry a lot of turquoise. There are still techniques my dad used in the reservation that I still use today, even down to sand casting. People normally have a dapping block, but I still have a log, a stump that my dad made in New Mexico that’s over 50 years old. I still use that in here.

What kinds of customer experiences do you create in the store?

The customer experience is the main thing that sets us apart. We did a signet ring for a girl’s Sweet 16 and her parents brought her and her friends in to watch us cast it and polish it and engrave it.

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What inspires you?

I’ll just walk down the street to go to the post office, see a leaf and wonder if I can make that leaf into a cuff. When my girls here ask, `What if I make something and somebody doesn’t like it?’ I tell them, `Don’t limit your creativity. There is somebody somewhere who WILL like it.’ I make what I feel in my heart and I get inspired by that moment. Sometimes I feel like making an art deco piece, or art nouveau and some days I’m into my Navajo stuff.

What are your customer demographics like?

This is not your typical store. So many people come in here: there are multimillionaies, but we also work on things that are $5 costume stuff. All the work is done in house.

Why did you decide to host an AP high school art class in your store?

In school art is very limited, mostly to painting and pottery. And so we had them come for a couple of hours and we did a lot of things to show them how to incorporate art into jewelry. A guy poured 24K gold; we did casting and soldered a bezel setting to some silver sheet. And I now have five students coming in to ask more questions; we’re going to sponsor the tools and equipment they need.

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