• Biography Ute’s work is included in major public and private collections, such as The Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK;...
    the works of ute decker are described as “a powerful statement” that “sets a shining ethical example” (financial times). the economist 1843 compares her “avant-garde sculptural pieces” to “swirling sculptures” while christie’s simply calls them “wearable works of art”.



    Ute’s work is included in major public and private collections, such as The Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK; Crafts Council, London UK; Goldsmiths Company, London UK;  Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva Switzerland; The Swiss National Museum, Zurich Switzerland; Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas USA. Most recently, the artist has been working on a special commission for The Dallas Museum of Art, Texas USA. She is the recipient of several notable accolades from The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards UK, winning the Gold Award for Precious Jewellery - Silver in 2018, and the Gold Award for Precious Jewellery - Fairtrade Jewellery in 2020, among others. Ute’s work has been exhibited extensively at preeminent international fairs such as PAD London; Masterpiece London; TEFAF Maastricht; Design Miam/Basel; Design Miami; Salon Art + Design New York; and public exhibitions such as the Festival of Architecture, London UK; The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh Scotland; the Architecture Biennale, Venice Italy; and the Museum of Arts & Design, New York USA.


    The Minutiae of Experience in Making


    Ute Decker’s pieces express a joyful lightness of being: sculptural form liberated through a unique series of fleeting gestures. Each fluid stroke of metal is hand sculpted using intuition and the minutiae of experience that led to that particular moment of making; from growing up on a vineyard in Germany, relishing connected moments in nature; to diverse cultural experiences studying a degree in Political Economics and later, working as a journalist and translator; informed by knowledge of contrasting mediums such as clay and larger scale sculptures; and finally, to her studio bench - bending line and space, creating free-flowing forms of minimalist and calligraphic beauty. 


    Concept and Process - Playful Emptiness and Creative Meditation


            Ease of movement between emptiness and fullness, air and materiality, are intrinsic to Ute’s aesthetic: be it a curvilinear hand sculpture that draws our attention to the negative space billowing into its curves, or an architectural neck piece offering endless configurations, allowing the wearer to freely mediate empty space and engage in its creative possibilities. Ute’s interest in emptiness as a sculptural medium is born from her enduring engagement with the philosophy of Zen and the concept of ‘The Empty Mind’, in which we are free from the illusion of a separate self and can understand the interconnectedness of all things. When Ute expertly draws emptiness into her work - a moment of repose in the piece - it becomes all the more powerful as we focus intently on the contrasting line of material, analogous to the rhythmic pauses of a musical composition. We stop and we listen; we are drawn out of the unfurling activity of a chaotic world.


               The concept of play is as equally important to Ute’s practice; it nurtures both the artist and the wearer’s relationship to her work. Ute first explores forms using garden wire, which is then translated into a brass maquette. She wears this maquette for months - interacting and playing with it, understanding its personality, guiding it through tiny adjustments as she experiences it on her body, until intuition tells her she is ready to make the final wearable sculpture piece. Next, Ute works for many uninterrupted hours in her studio; based on her intimate knowledge of the maquette’s shape, she gathers a soft, dynamic flow of energy into making - akin to the practice of calligraphy - arching, folding and moving line until finally, it rests. During this process, it is vital to Ute that she uses only her body and does not engage her mind - if there is any self-conscious pause, then, she says, “all can be  lost".


    Jewellery Sculptures - Transforming Moments


    Ute does not ever truly know what the end result will be: there is always something unexpected in it and this surprise is transferred to the wearer upon engaging with the piece physically. In Ute’s work, nothing ever stays exactly the same: a sculptural hand piece such as Curling Crest of a Wave, formed by ribbons of multiple fluent turns, transforms under the light and shadow it graphically casts upon itself, or is otherwise metamorphosed into a pendant worn around the neck; a cuff’s placement on the arm is dramatically moved and adapted dependent on the wearer’s participation with it; and most prominently, the interlocking structure of a neck piece can never be worn the same way twice, by anyone.


                The Articulation neck piece, for example, is made up of segmented linear pieces of recycled silver - every time it is placed around the neck its metallic branches angulate in entirely unique ways, animated by the wearer’s body, movement and choices; crossed over itself multiple times or twisted in a surprising direction and it becomes a new piece again. Ute’s work naturally elicits a different physical response from each person, informed by mood, experience and self - so that with each wear we may approach it slightly differently, to reflect the ever-evolving internal iterations of our own being.


    Improvisation #3 Loops, drawing on the theme of connections, is a series of circles - some are left open so that they can be congregated into a composition of the wearer’s own invention. This freedom of form is an elemental part of Ute’s construction of the piece - so that each wearer is invited to play and develop their own spontaneous and personal relationship with it.


    Her aptly named Calligraphy series, transforms a length of metal magnificently into sculptures that effortlessly pirouette in space. Truly masterpieces of hand sculpted gold and silver.   Enfolding curves that roll beautifully, each piece remains fundamental and pure in form - like the fleeting movement of a calligrapher’s hand, made material.



    Respecting Nature - Provenance and Fairtrade gold


                Ute’s appreciation of transformation, cause and effect, is rooted in her childhood experiences of the gentle variations of nature. Growing up alongside the vines of her parents’ winery in the Rhineland, she was keenly aware of how small changes in the earth could impart characteristics to the grapes growing upon it. In this context, she observed with fascination the smallest natural incidents and their outcomes: a bee visiting a single flower in a field of many, or her favourite tree changing in the wind and light over the course of a day; she would enjoy the ephemerality of nature and the beauty imbued within quiet yet powerful gestures. This can be clearly traced in the lyrical yet minimalist movements within her work: her swoop of lines are reminiscent of a Japanese ensō, whereby the creator draws a circle in one expressive stroke - symbolising strength, enlightenment and the reciprocal universe. 


                Ute also understood from a young age that the land provides sustenance and energy, and it cannot be exploited indiscriminately without effect. As such, she carefully uses recycled silvers and Fairtrade gold to make her pieces. Surprisingly, the latter has only been accessible in the last twelve years. Long before it became accepted discourse, Ute’s pioneering and inexhaustible efforts brought green jewellery practices into the foreground. In 2009, when Ute began exhibiting publicly after years of developing her practice privately, she became increasingly concerned by the provenance of her materials. Upon asking her peers for leads to reputable sources, the shadowed challenges of buying traceable gold came sharply into light. Ute kept looking, asking and investigating, until at last she met with a person working on traceable gold from Oro Verde, a small mining cooperative in Colombia. In 2011, history was made when she and a small group of twenty jewellers became the first in the world to work with certified Fairtrade gold. Her ring, The Curling Crest of a Wave, 2015, is the first Fairtrade gold jewellery piece in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection. 


    Ute’s ambitious work has continued without pause and she is now an international authority on ethical jewellery practices. Gathering evermore research, her knowledge is world-renowned. She serves on advisory bodies, is a regular speaker on the subject and has developed the world’s largest free online resource for green jewellery practices, which can be found on ethicalmaking.org in partnership with The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust and The Goldsmiths’ Centre. 


    Material Verse


             Ute’s stewardship of this world-changing movement ensures a lambent purity of language in her work - the beauty of her wearable  sculptures  is guaranteed inside and out. Pioneering in both form and concept, its haptic and material verse is one that is hard to forget. It tells a story that resonates deep with human life upon this earth: of how we are always coming into being, marked by the soft yet indelible movement of gesture. We have agency within this narrative - to play, to innovate, to commune, to seek a moment of repose, so that we may reflect on the interconnectivity of a universe much greater than ourselves.



  • Press Quotations

    thank you for each and every beautiful word






    Ms. Phillips (jewelry curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum) said Ms. Decker’s work was an example of the sensitivity to materials that makes contemporary jewelry so exciting… “Like contemporary art, it’s jewelry that makes you think,” she said.

    read full article in the International New York Times





    Rachel Garrahan, Jewellery and Watch Director at British Vogue, on selecting only 40 pieces from the wealth of talent on offer at the Goldsmiths’ Fair 2022 to represent the “now” – our life and times, and the matters that captivate and concern us, writes:



    "As this summer’s own blistering heat demonstrated, the urgency of combatting the climate crisis has never been greater. Ute Decker was a pioneer in this respect, putting ethical sourcing at the top of her list of values long before it was fashionable to do so. It’s heartening now to see it becoming accepted practice among an ever wider group of makers, who take on this complex and thorny issue with the research and commitment it deserves."




    “jewellery that makes a powerful statement…
    this sculptural jewellery sets a shining ethical example"

    Financial Times, How To Spend It






    "the architectural jeweller" 

    Financial Times



    “Ute Decker won international acclaim
    for jewellery that is as much sculpture as body adornment”

    FT How to Spend It





    “The master of the sculptural jewel"

    Carol Woolton, Vogue



    “Ute Decker has built a reputation for striking,
    minimalist pieces made in Fairtrade gold”

    FT How to Spend It



    "Ute’s pieces will be future icon of jewellery art"  

    Didier Haspeslagh, Gallery Didier





    “Ute Decker is the first name that comes to mind
    when the words sculptural and jewellery come together. She creates jewels that look just as striking sitting on a museum-style black block of wood as they do on the body”

    The Telegraph Luxury




    “Ringing the changes at Goldsmiths’ One of the designers [Zaha Hadid] has picked is Ute Decker, a German political economist-turned-journalist-turned-jeweller whose designs also show the fair's change of pace. She makes avant-garde sculptural pieces that look like… swirling sculptures. …producing her minimalist designs using Fairtrade gold”

    The Economist, Intelligent Life / 1843





    "Ute Decker’s arrestingly beautiful creations – wearable sculptures
    to adorn the hand, arm or neck – caused a considerable stir when they erupted onto the jewellery scene in 2009, instantly establishing her as one of the UK’s most exciting new studio-jewellers. Aptly described as ‘architectural jewellery’, the sweeping scale and ambition of her pieces, married to their minimalist design and unfettered originality, have since earned ute recognition from prestigious galleries, acclaim from the international press and collectors..."

    Goldsmiths’ Company - Who's Who In Gold And Silver






    The queen of green:
    How Artist Jeweller Ute Decker is spearheading the fight for sustainable jewellery
    Tempus meets Ute Decker, a trailblazer of the ethical jewellery movement and advocate for change
    Artist Jeweller Ute Decker was has long been ahead of the curve.
     A trailblazer of the ethical jewellery movement and advocate for change, Decker was one of the first Fairtrade Gold licence-holders worldwide, and one of the first jewellers to launch a collection made entirely from such material. The limited-edition, wearable sculptures that have become her signature – all of which are individually hand-crafted – have garnered notable acclaim. Not limited to jewellery showcases, the avant-garde pieces have been presented at art and design shows across the world, including Masterpiece London, Design Basel and Paris’ Art Elysées, as well as being selected by the late Dame Zaha Hadid to showcase at London’s Goldsmiths’Fair.

    Tempus Magazine