Welcome to Maker Spotlight, a column featuring the Spoak editorial team’s favorite makers, creators, and artists right now.
Shelby Nico Bryant is an artist & healer who creates under the moniker essinbee. They lead virtual community breathwork offerings and design precious talismans in the form of fine jewelry. Their primary offering is The Sigil Signet, a solid 14k gold signet ring with an inscribed sigil on the front. In case you don’t know what a sigil is (don’t worry, we didn’t either until recently): It’s an ancient method of creating symbols to represent energy, like an intention or even a person. The Sigil Signet is a reminder to connect with or embody the energy behind the symbol. You can choose an intentional sigil from essinbee's Sigil Library or can work with Shelby to create a custom sigil. They create in small batches and their shop opens each month for a short window. In fact, it’s opening up tomorrow on 8.22.22, for the week, and includes a limited edition sigil collaboration with musician and artist, D'LEAU. You can learn more about sigils here.
Keep on reading to learn more about Shelby!
I create intentional and precious adornments to help with self-empowerment. My current offering, the Sigil Signet, is a series of three signet rings with sigil engravings. A sigil is an abstract symbol that represents energy, like an intention. To create a sigil, write down the word you want to encapsulate, cross out the vowels and repeat consonants, and create a symbol with the remaining letters. The journey to get here includes many twists and turns. In 2011, I started taking metalsmithing classes and loved learning about the possibilities of manipulating metal in its liquid form through the process of lost wax casting. Around the same time, I started producing video and photo content. Through many years of producing and a little bit of directing, I got the opportunity to make content for publications like Vogue, i-D, Teen Vogue, VICE, and GARAGE, and brands like Telfar, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Puma. In my downtime, I continued exploring jewelry creation, and very slowly started to learn 3D modeling in Rhino. During these same years, I also started an interior design company with a close friend and partner, Tron Le. We began by working with the rental management company to gut renovate a three-story loft. This loft, called the Boswjik, became our calling card. From this space, we got other clients and were able to design interiors for a six-story rental building in the Lower East Side, a commercial office in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and a few Brooklyn apartments. As glamorous as may seem, I was burnt out from the demand of being on-call 24/7 for all of the above. After much consideration, I decided to make a change, move to LA, and explore creating a life abundant in time, peace, and freedom. I began exploring metalsmithing again, leaning more into 3D modeling and outsourcing production instead of making everything myself. After many years of experimentation and exploration, the Sigil Signet was born! I now focus on creating practices that allow for rest, rejuvenation, play, and adventure.
All my inspiration comes from a subconscious tether to the energy that animates all matter. Some call it Muse, or Higher-Self, or God, but I like to call it Source. I truly believe that all ideas are not from us, but we are simply the channels to catch and communicate the ideas, turning them into reality. I find that I'm most inspired when I am connected to my body and engaged in play, simply goofing around and allowing the creations to come to me. I always make room for happy accidents and notice that the more I try to control the outcome, the less the creativity flows to me.
I'm crushing on Rachel Saunders and her intentional ceramics. I absolutely love the way she shares herself and her creativity on the internet, the meaning behind all of her pieces, and the style of her content. She's inspired me to apply to some artist residencies next summer, and I'm grateful to her for the inspiration! Definitely give her a follow and check out all of her incredible ceramics.
When I'm feeling run-down, without fail, going into nature recharges my creativity and vitality. I love going into the Angeles National Forest or out to the coast to Malibu or Carpinteria to move my body, read, and soak in the sun. I also love getting out of my head and into my body, whether that's through wildly dancing in my house, experimenting with clay at my pottery studio, practicing breathwork at home, or simply going on a neighborhood walk with my pup.
I like the ambiguous nature of this question and how it can apply to many things...
Book: Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. It took me well over a year to finish all three volumes of this book, and it was a true joy to go on the journey with the characters. Maybe on a subconscious level, the Rings of Power influenced my concept of the Sigil Signet. Side note: Peter Jackson missed a real opportunity when he eliminated Tom Bombadil from the films!! Film: Nope, by Jordan Peele. I absolutely love the commentary on spectacle and the ongoing commodification of experience within our notoriety-obsessed society. He made an alien-flick totally relatable. Show: The Rehearsal, on HBO. I always feel conflicted when I watch Nathan Fielder, but I can't deny that his brain is unlike any other. I consider this whole series performance art. Food: A fresh melon, feta, and mint salad from Botanica in Silverlake. All of their food is delicious and quintessential California healthy.
We are an online interior design studio for enthusiasts and professionals. Get a real-world design education, easy-to-use tools, job opportunities, and a tight-knit community. All levels welcome.Join now