london april 10, 2020
having recently won the gold and silver awards by the goldsmiths’ craft & design council awards, which are considered as the “jewellery oscars,” ute decker’s works can only be characterised as expressive, three-dimensional “geometric poetry”. her unique, and limited edition pieces have become such a beautiful, distinctive mark to decker that they have become so avidly collected, with her works sitting in the public collections of the victoria and albert museum, the musée barbier-mueller, the uk crafts council collection and the swiss national museum. elisabetta cipriani sits down with ute decker discussing her highly acclaimed wearable art collection.
ec: you are very involved with the production of these works, how far have you gone to independently work with each piece? do you fully focus on producing the perfect sketch for the work first? or is it the trial and error, hands-on approach with manipulating the metal?
ud: i don’t start with a drawing; i start with the ever-rewarding garden wire.
from there i move on to making brass maquettes. i am often seen wearing these test pieces, taking them off in the middle of dinner to make adjustments. this stage can be a challenge but vital to give these sculptures such wearability and perfect balance on the body.
i make the same shape over and over again until i have developed an intuitive relationship with the form, until i feel, i can just pick up a strip of metal and shape it in one continuous movement – like the well-practiced but seemingly effortless brushstrokes of japanese calligraphy.
of course, there are many abandoned maquettes and ideas, very few make it to this stage.
this free, serendipitous approach means each piece is different and unique, even within an edition.
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