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Deborah Beck creates striking-yet-minimal sterling silver ear climbers and ear cuffs for both upper and lower ear cartilage.
Deborah studied drama, and spent seven years working in television as an assistant director. She then worked as a sports therapist and personal trainer for nine years, before a serious accident in 2011 forced her to leave personal training, directing her into a less physically demanding career and to rediscover her creative roots.
She took up silversmithing and jewellery design as a hobby, while recuperating from her accident, learning through evening classes and workshops. She enjoyed it so much that she signed up to study for a diploma in jewellery art and design in Manchester, graduating with distinction from the University of Arts, London, in 2015.
Deborah’s talent was recognised. Whilst still studying she was selected to attend the Goldsmiths Undergraduate summer school, and awarded the Rowena Golton memorial award for creativity. She was then selected for the newcomer place at the final Art Market show in Holmfirth; was selected for the Ones To Watch exhibition at Sunnybank Mills gallery in Leeds; has recently exhibited at the Saltaire makers trail; and won the “Emerging Maker To Watch” award at the York Art & Show.
Her debut ‘Mangrove’ collection was inspired by a trip to the forests in Guadeloupe, where she learned about the vital role the small shrubs or trees growing in coastal saline water play in protecting the environment against rising CO2 levels and global warming. Their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is becoming increasingly recognised at international level, yet they are hugely at risk – and being destroyed – by rapid global deforestation.
Deborah designs and creates entirely by hand, from her “very small workshop at home” in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.Her simple 1.5 and 1.8 ear cuffs were created especially for Arlette Gold, and reflect the current trend for carefully curated lobe jewellery. They require no piercings, making them an easy way to try out more adventurous looks without commitment.
Deborah uses a mix of traditional techniques and experimentation. She tends to sketch out her ideas before committing them to silver, “occasionally diving straight in if I have a very clear idea in my head of what I want to make” she says. Deborah sketches her designs on paper then develops them with maquettes and models; working on them with other metals before finally creating them in sterling silver.
She views her art as a constant learning process, attending workshops and masterclasses with other makers – “there is so much more to learn and experiment with” she says.
Deborah Beck is definitely one to watch; her alternative designs are clean yet eye-catching, easy to wear yet fascinating, and have, at their core, a deep love for the environment.