Goldsmiths' Fair 2022: London - Goldsmiths' Hall, Week One
the largest fair of its kind , goldmith's fair is showcasing the work of over 120 international contemporary jewellers and silversmiths working in the uk today
celebrating my 10th anniversary exhibiting in the glorious halls of the goldsmiths' company during the 40th anniversary edition of goldsmiths' fair itself. (well, strictly speaking my 11th year if I count the virtual only covid year).
please join our celebration.
over 120 master craftspeople working in the uk today showcasing extraordinary pieces, available to purchase directly from the makers. from classical to contemporary pieces.
accompanied by insightful series of expert and artist talks.
the fair is held over 2 weeks, each week showcases a different group of makers.
Ute Decker is exhibiting during week 1
27 september - 2 october
stand 16, livery hall - opposite the champagne bar
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.”
- Can you please tell us about your inspiration behind this year's collection?
Goldsmiths’ Fair 2022 presents a series of new sensuous and powerful wearable sculptures by the master of the sculptural jewel Ute Decker.
The award winning, internationally exhibited artist jeweller, with pieces in several museum collections including the V&A sculpts movement into powerful minimalist forms.
Sensuous undulations characterize the new Waves series. Expressing the beauty of nature through abstractions, Ute Decker is arresting time to take a closer look at the movement of waves, usually so fleeting.
From the gentle and calming waves of her neck piece “Ocean” to powerful forces of nature erupting in her arm sculpture “Wild Waters”, they curve sensuously around the arm and neck.
“Improvisations” is another series Ute Decker will be exhibited at the Fair, drawing inspiration from the central theme of connections.
Exploring the idea of individuality and how we are nevertheless part of a connected world, the work in this series is not fixed but fluid.
Here Ute Decker made every single loop different, some are even open and can be connected in different configurations by the wearer.
With this sense of freedom and playfulness the piece becomes an engaging body adornment while at the same time inviting a dialogue about contemporary global interconnectedness.
Each of Ute Decker’s jewels is a conversation piece and storyteller “I want to acknowledge the profound human need to connect and commune with each other and nature. Jewellery, the most intimate of artforms, is my medium of telling a story.”
- You refer a lot to tribal motifs - what are you interested in, and what is it about tribal art that fascinates you?
I find inspiration both in tribal arts and Japanese Zen Calligraphy – seemingly very different art forms – yet they have in common an engaging spontaneity, a focus on the essential with a deeper meaning beyond the aesthetic.
I am often drawn to the dynamic form of the spiral. Powerfully explored from African tribal arts, the Celts, the Incas to Man Ray and Calder; I use this archaic form as a rich symbol of our common humanity across the ages, across continents and cultures.
- What materials do you use and are these all ethically sourced?
Ute Decker is a pioneer of the international ethical jewellery movement. She works predominantly in recycled silver and was one of the very first worldwide to create pieces in Fairtrade Gold.
My gold pieces can be traced all the way from the artisanal mining cooperative in the highlands of Peru to my bench in central london. The amazing work of the artisan miners, source of my Fairtrade Gold - ensures that the gold is mined in an as sustainable and ecologically sound way as possible, thereby preserving the environment for future generations. Fairtrade also promotes gender equality, guaranteeing women representatives are involved in all key community decisions, helping to build financial independence.
“Jewellery is my medium of telling a story, of making connections and working as sustainably as we can is certainly one of the most urgent stories of today.”
With a degree in political economics and background in news journalism, I try to think carefully about my work, its context in society and the world we live in - from the mindful sourcing of materials to only using non-toxic chemicals in the studio.
A guiding principle is a quotation attributed to Gandhi: "be the change you want to see in this world"
As an individual, I might feel anything I do is just a drop in the ocean.
This may be so but, we have to remember the ocean is but an accumulation of endless drops. Each one of us is one of these drops. Through our own choices coupled with public pressure and opinion we have more power than we realise.
“Ethics in jewellery is not just about the environment, it is equally about social, political and economic exploitation, empowerment, diversity and of course women’s rights.”
I am happy to pay a Fairtrade premium for my gold, which is guaranteed to go directly to investing in the community.
To verify it is Fairtrade Gold, the Fairtrade logo is engraved right next to the hallmark.
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.
nomenclature: Fairtrade / fair-trade / fairtrade
Fairtrade - capitalized, one word is a protected term. it can only be used for products following the strict codes of and are certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. any other spellings are not protected and can be used by anybody for anything.
- Where is your workshop?
I am based at Cockpit Bloomsbury. Cockpit are London’s leading studios for contemporary crafts, and the UK’s only business incubator for makers and designers.
Home to over 150 makers, Cockpit is a hotspot for discovering creative talent. We have open studios, taking place over two weekends, 25.11.2022 - 27.11.2022 at Bloomsbury studios and 02.12.2022 - 04.12.2022 at the Deptford studios – we are excited to welcome visitors into to our studios to explore and discover the latest work by some of the UK’s most celebrated makers, designers and artists.
From hand-crafted affordable pieces to internationally exhibited artworks by artists represented in major museums.
With the studios typically only open by private appointments, this is a rare chance for the public to visit makers in their studios and buy beautifully crafted pieces directly from the makers.
public opening hours
tuesday – saturday 11am – 6pm
thursday open late 11am – 8pm
sunday 11am – 4pm
london ec2v 6bn
model photography - xavier young
ute deckerimprovisations on ovals, 2022sculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked18kt Fairtrade Gold4 x 10 x 3 cm
one earring - 4.3 grs
ute deckerocean, 2022neck sculpture, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold21 x 13 x 6 cm, torque 13 x 12 cm diameterindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckerimprovisation #3 loops - medium, 2022neck piece, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled silver, 18 kt Fairtrade Gold #3approx length on bust 32cmindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckerislands surrounded by waves, 2017-2022neck piece, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silveron bust 36 cm
full length 78 cmindividually sculpted, each piece is unique within the series
ute deckerwhirling wave - large, 2022sculptural pendant, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Goldapprox 5.5 x 4 x 4.5 cm
ute deckerwild waters, 2022arm sculpture, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silver10.5 x 9 x 6 cmindividually sculpted
ute deckerarticulation, 2022neck sculpture, initialled & hallmarked18 kt recycled gold, nylon coated steel cable100 cm on bust, 208 cm full length (ed 3)
ute deckerarticulationneck sculpture, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silver, nylon coated steel cable90 cm - wornmultiple yet individual configuration and segment lengths make each piece in the series unique
ute deckergeometric poetry, 2019-2022ear sculptures with bespoke standearrings - 18 kt Fairtrade Gold
stand - 100% recycled sterling silver, oakearrings - 8.5 x 3 x 2 cm
stand - 17.5 x 11 cm and 34cm total heightindividually sculpted, each piece is unique within the edition
ute decker infinity spiral sculptural ring, initialled & hallmarked 18 kt Fairtrade Gold 4.3 x 4.2 cm small - ring size, adjustable in size from extra-small to medium Edition of 6
ute deckercurl - thinsculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold3 x 2.5 x 2.5 cmedition of 24
ute deckerman ray spirals, 2022sculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold5.5 x 2.4 x 1.7 cm
one earring - 7.9 grsindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckercalligraphy in miniaturesculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold2.1 x 1 x 0.5 cmIndividually sculpted, unique within a series
ute deckerwaves, small, 2022sculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold2.3 x 1 x 0.9 cmindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckercurl, small, 2022minimalist earrings, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Goldindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckerman ray spirals, 2022sculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarkedbimetal - 18 kt gold fused with sterling silver, 36% gold content, all recycled7.5 x 3 x 3 cm
6 x 3.3 x 3.1 cm
one earring - 7.4grindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckerrolling waves at dawnsculptural brooch / pin, initialled & hallmarkedbimetal - 18 kt gold fused with sterling silver, 36% gold content, all recycled9.5 x 4 x 2.2 cmEdition of 24
ute deckercalligraphy #17sculptural brooch / pin, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silverapprox 22 x 9 x 2 cmindividually sculpted, unique within the series
ute deckerlong wave, 2022sculptural pendant and torque, initialled & hallmarked18 kt Fairtrade Gold13 x 6.5 x 3.5individually sculpted, each piece is unique within the edition
ute deckercalligraphy #2, 2019sculptural pendant, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silver22 x 9.5 x 5.5 cmindividually sculpted, unique within a series
ute deckercurl - single revolutionsculptural earrings, initialled & hallmarked100% recycled sterling silver2.8 x 2.3 x 2.8 cmindividually sculpted, unique within a series