Rebecca Sarah Black
As a bone-smith, I locally and ethically source bovine bone and transform the material into statement, yet wearable jewellery pieces inspired by the coastal landscape of Scotland.
Since I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) last year, I have developed my work from my studio at Process Studios in Edinburgh.
I look back to historical objects to influence me, and take visual inspiration from the east coast of Scotland, where I spent a lot of my childhood. Each of my pieces is one-off, bespoke, and unique, and these words pretty much sum up the characteristics of my customers. Each person who wears a bone ring or cluster silver necklace is looking for something that tells a story and has a hidden quality to it. Many pieces would suit everyday wear, and some are real talking points – one will never be the same as another.
Over the past year I have designed and produced a new accessible collection, with silver stud earrings and rings that are more suitable for everyday wear. This work sits alongside my bone carving and they complement each other well enough that many people tend to wear mixed pieces from both ranges of work. I have also shown my pieces at One Year On in New Designers this summer, and I have begun teaching beginners’ jewellery making in Process Studios workshops.
To be chosen to exhibit in this year’s Summer Show is a fantastic opportunity for me. It will be the longest running exhibition of my work to date, placed at an ideal time during the Edinburgh festival season, allowing it to be seen by a very large audience. I regard this as the beginning of my professional career and can’t wait to be part of it!
I am showing a selection of both my new bone work and my newly launched Cluster Collection, including the new mixed media Sea Life Earrings, the Cluster Ring with bone rock set into silver, and some new carved brooches that emulate rock formations.
I design and print accessories and homewares from my Glasgow-based studio. I launched my first collection at Charlotte Abrahams’ “Spotted” Showcase at Top Drawer in London in September 2011, after a summer residency spent at Cove Park. Abrahams saw the “wet weather” suitcase I’d made and invited me to take part, and it all went from there.
My products are aimed at people who love bright colours and bold prints, so strong influences for me have always been people who use colour in inspiring ways – the obvious example is Finland’s Marimekko. Also, having just visited the Sonia Delaunay show at the Tate Modern, I would say that her approach to textile design is hugely inspirational right now.
At the beginning I tried to do everything – design, print, make, sell – but as I’ve grown I’ve worked out the best way to use my skills and outsource parts of production to local companies. I now get my products made by someone else not far from my studio and use a Glasgow printer to print my digital collections. We still print all screen-printed fabrics in-house, but moving parts of the production elsewhere has meant I can really focus on designing, screen-printing and looking for exciting new projects to work on.
It’s always an honour to be chosen to represent Scottish craft, so I’m showing some exciting new pieces I’ve been working on that haven’t been launched yet – it’s a bit of an exclusive for the show.
I’ve been working away on a new collection for the past few months. This includes some new wristlet pouches and purses in one of my most popular prints called Convergence (that I actually designed way back on that residency at Cove Park).
It’s always been a firm favourite so I’ve re-worked a pouch that was popular a couple of seasons back to update it, and added in a handy, pocket-sized purse. I’ll also be showing some existing screen-printed tea towels and book bags.
My vivid, cutting-edge jewellery, made using recycled silver and colourful resin, is inspired by nature and science, particularly the microscopic world. I extract shapes and patterns from images that develop in my sketchbook and these evolve into wearable designs at the bench.
I studied Silversmithing and Jewellery at Glasgow School of Art, graduating with an honours degree in 2006. After working in community art for a while, in November 2012 I created my first collection as an independent jewellery designer and maker.
My collections are aimed at design conscious people with a love of colour and pattern, and they include a range of items, from minimal studs to statement necklaces, so I like to think there is something for everyone. I also take bespoke commissions from a variety of clients who are interested in unique and sustainable products.
I love collaborating with others when I can. This has led to working with photographers on professional photo shoots and very recently a filmmaker on a short film about my work.
I am delighted to be part of the Craft Scotland Summer Show. It is a great opportunity to show work in the capital during the festival alongside so many talented makers. Shows like this are great exposure and a time to get valuable feedback. I also enjoy meeting and networking with all the other makers.
Craft Scotland is a partner of the Crafts Council Hothouse 5 programme which helped me to develop my business and has been a great support this year. I have decided to give them an exclusive and pre-launch my new collection at the show before it officially launches on my website on 1 September. I will be showing a selection of earrings, pendants, bangles and rings.
I started my jewellery design business in 2011, but I began learning about jewellery as far back as 2004.
My products are aimed at a public passionate about the arts and crafts and with a special interest in unique jewellery techniques.
My influences are my Portuguese roots, culture and heritage. I started studying jewellery in my native country, and after three years decided to study design in Scotland.
My interest in unique and traditional techniques has grown and I have been exploring these – especially the use of filigree. I have been developing and innovating with this technique which until now has been rather neglected.
Being part of the Craft Scotland Summer Show is quite an achievement and means my work and talent is being recognised by the Scottish crafts industry, which is truly important for me, being a Portuguese person living in Scotland.
It is also a pleasure to have my work shown along with so many talented Scottish artists.
I’m showing my latest jewellery collection, Strata, which is inspired by natural and geometric formations, with pieces in silver with sapphires, topaz, jade and agate. n
Craft Scotland Summer Show 2015, until 30 August, second floor, White Stuff, Edinburgh, 89 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3ES, Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 11am-6pm, Thurs 11am-7pm, Sun 12-5pm