Meet the Maker
Hello new friends! My name is Rebecca, and I am the founder, builder, and tuner of Spirit Handpans.
My handpan journey started off like that of many other handpan enthusiasts. Back in 2010 I was stumbling through the web when I came across a video of the most mesmerizing musical instrument I had ever seen! It was of a street performer playing an original PanArt Hang in Amsterdam. After watching the whole video, mouth agape, I dove into researching this new novelty. I joined the handpan forum and learned everything I could.
I joined waitlists, contacted makers, hopped on e-mailing lists, and I waited! I read as much as I possibly could while I waited, and I learned a plethora of information. One year later I was able to purchase my first handpan, and the journey continued. I made close friends and a became part of a community along the way, I traveled to new places, acquired various other handpans, and made a dear friend named Jon, who would give me the opportunity to dive deeper into the realm of handpans.
In 2012, while Jon busied himself with learning how to make this instrument, I got my hands to work as well. I helped him in any way I could; I was so fascinated with this new art form. As the years went by he and I each became more immersed in the community and world of handpans. By 2015 Jon had gotten very far in building and tuning and agreed to take me on as an apprentice to the craft. In becoming a team member of Aura Handpans, I became the second female in the world to build and tune this instrument, and as of today in 2019, I remain the youngest.
By 2016 I was proficient in the art and felt a shift coming in my life. Back in 2013 Jon and I made a trip to Asheville, NC to visit Saraz Handpans. I was so in awe of the beauty of this part of the country. The mountains were glorious, the city was charming, the people were welcoming and kind. I had never loved a place the way I fell in love with Asheville. When in 2016 I realized I had a skill that could support my life anywhere, I decided I needed to move out of my home state of NJ and make a new home for myself. I wanted to continue cultivating my skill of crafting handpans in a place that made my heart sing as much as the instruments do.
Spirit Handpans was founded in June of 2016, and four months later I began my transition to Asheville. Production began the following November after months of preparation. I had serious goals to bring a new element to the industry. I wanted to uplift my femininity in the industry and make it a vision to encourage other women to go after their dream, to believe they too are capable of anything! I wanted to honor my spirituality and be very intentional and loving in my craft. I wanted to honor community, compassion, creativity, and generosity.
To this day, I continue to lovingly build these musical vessels, as well as interact within community using these instruments as a tool for connection. I do my best to uphold my visions and to do this one thing that I have loved more than anything else! I hope you too dive into a handpan journey or dive deeper still. Much magic exists here. Welcome!