As we are still in the grips of a pandemic it’s lovely to get to know other creative souls virtually. So, welcome to my first guest blogger, Deborah Black who is here to tell you a little about herself and her beautiful handmade jewellery.
1. Deborah, tell me a little about yourself. I am a full time silversmith now having worked in finance and banking all my life until the end of last year. I live in Maidenhead, Berkshire UK and am married with three adult children and a mad cockapoo. I have two grandchildren. I have always been creative from an early age and loved to draw, sew, knit and playing around with beads and old pieces of jewellery. I spend a lot of time on the coast in Lyme Regis and that is where the inspiration for the name of my business came from as I love watching the sea and the waves especially when it is stormy! I am in my element when walking along the shore line collecting sea glass and pottery. I am planning on adding a sea pottery and glass section to my shop at some point next year.
2. What drew you to crafting with metal? It was a bit of a fluke really. I was at a large country show near Bridport about six years ago and I came across a lovely silver jewellery stall and the seller Jenny was advertising the fact she was starting up jewellery classes in Bournemouth. As her jewellery was just the sort of jewellery I loved I purchased a pendant from her and signed up for one of her day classes. I made two rings, a pendant and a bangle during the day class and just absolutely loved it. Funnily enough these are still some of my favourite pieces. I then went along for a few more days classes and by then I was hooked. As Bournemouth is a bit too far from Maidenhead to attend regular classes I then found a teacher near me. A couple of years ago I started selling my work my person at art events and then set up an Etsy website. I have also exhibited and sold my work at various galleries around Bucks and Berkshire.
3. What motivates you to create? Is it difficult to maintain that motivation at times? I just love the fact I can take a blank piece of metal, whether it is silver sheet or wire, copper or brass or gemstones and crystals, and turn it into a work of art using different techniques and tools. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain motivation or get inspiration but if I have an off day I do something else like gardening or book keeping (!) and usually within a short space of time I have an idea and am itching to get back to my bench.
4. Do you like to bounce ideas off of other creatives, or do you prefer to work in a solitary way? How does your preference add to your creative process? Over the last few years I have built up a network of other creatives from all kind of disciplines and yes I do bounce ideas off them and it really does add to my creative process and gives me ideas for my next pieces.
5. How have the events of the past year impacted on you and your creativity? Well it has certainly been a challenging year. I was made redundant last December from my full time role and I had so many plans for in person events, art trails and exhibitions this year but only managed to get in two events before lockdown kicked in. My Etsy shop was quite busy from May to September with more orders than previous years and I did manage to make a lot of new pieces as I had more time in my studio and had time to try out new techniques. As I had more time at home I also decided to work on setting up my own website which I launched during the summer.
6. What, or who, supports you in your creative journey. My family are my biggest supporters along with close friends and they have all been amazing in helping me come out of my comfort zone and go for my dream of becoming a full time silversmith. My silversmith teacher has also been very supportive and encourages me to promote my work at exhibitions and shows.
7. How would you like to see your creative practice develop over the next 5 years? I would love to see my skills develop further and to work on more complicated pieces and to become more widely recognised online.
If you would like to learn a little more about Deborah, and see her beautiful work, pop on over toe her website and say hello!