The Rebecca T Ruark

rebecca t ruark skipjack mast wood custom silver bangle bracelet by hkm jewelry

The Rebecca T Ruark is the name of a famous skipjack oyster boat out of the Chesapeake Bay. She was built in 1896 and is the oldest one in existence from the region which granted her a National Historic Landmark. In 1999 a storm caused her to sink 20 feet deep, once restored her mast was remade and the old mast was cut up and distributed to wood carvers in the community.

A little over a year ago, a truck ran off the pier and crashed into the docked boat, taking out the stern, rail and davits. Thankfully, she is all fixed and dredging for oysters again!

pickup truck crashed onto Rebecca t ruark boat. Photo by Wade Murphy III.

The historic Maryland skipjack Rebecca T. Ruark was damaged Dec. 27, 2022 when a pickup truck crashed through a piling along Dogwood Harbor on Tilghman Island and landed on the boat. Photo by Wade Murphy III. (link to article on image)

rebecca t ruark mast wood piece for making jewelry

My customer gave me a piece of the wood she acquired and wanted it incorporated into a beautiful bangle so we talked about possible designs and I drew it out.

drawing of custom skipjack bangle bracelet rebecca t ruark by hkmjewelry

She wanted the inside of the bangle to be engraved with the boats name, and her dredging number - 29. I created a half round base for the bangle so it had a flat interior to engrave on, and 3 charms were created for it. One was a bezel set piece of the mast wood that I cut into a disc and finished with polyurethane, the second was a hand fabricated scene of the ship on the water with her number engraved on the back, the final charm was a casting of one of my oyster seeds that was the perfect complementary size to the other two charms. This added a bit more texture and I just love odd numbers. 

rebecca t ruark skipjack mast wood custom silver bangle bracelet by hkm jewelry rebecca t ruark skipjack dredge number 29 custom silver bangle bracelet by hkm jewelryengraved rebecca t ruark skipjack custom silver bangle bracelet by hkm jewelry

As the bangle was coming along she had another great idea - matching earrings for the oyster seed and wood charm. I created long hook style earrings with 2 more matched discs of wood, finished and bezel set. She had the idea to create threader style earring with the oyster seed which came out so nice, I've added them to my line, click the image below!

oyster shell threader earrings in sterling silver by hkm jewelryrebecca t ruark skipjack mast wood custom silver bezel earrings by hkm jewelry