Meet The Maker
We would like to introduce to you our new monthly update ‘Meet the Maker’. Each month we will be posting a little bit about one of our talented MJN members who has taken the time to answer our questions and give a quick insight into their work and lifestyle!
To kick-start the project we are getting to know Rebecca Beyond, a Manchester based jewellery designer and maker who has been a MJN member since 2015.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
I love making jewellery, it’s much more than a business or a hobby to me and it reaches into every aspect of my life. Currently I’m loving using techniques which change the metal to create one off pieces that you can either turn into jewellery or design a more complex piece around.
What drew you into making Jewellery and pursuing a career in the craft?
I’d dabbled in all sorts of creative practices over the years but had not settled on a career. When I got a taste of working with metal I was immediately hooked!
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect, which skill wise could have translated really well into jewellery making and design.
What is it about having your own jewellery business/independently making jewellery that you enjoy the most?
Holding a finished object that I’ve made by hand is the best feeling. I even find it hard to part with a piece of jewellery the same day I have finished it as I feel so connected to it.
What is your favourite piece of advice or feedback that you have received that has given you the confidence to persevere?
The best feedback of all as a maker is when someone wants to own a piece of your work. When you’re just starting out and you sell a piece it lets you know that you are on the right path. We put so much into the things we make and I’m so grateful that people love my work and that I can continue making it.
What are your key inspirations in your practice?
Frequently my main inspirations are experimental play with composition and the materials I’m working with. Design wise I’m drawn again and again to look at plant materials and continuous line drawing.
Which project or piece in particular are you most proud of so far and why?
The work in the current Link exhibition at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale symbolises six months of hard work and almost a year of planning. Thankfully it looks incredible and it was all worth it. I’m proud of what Caro Inglis and I achieved visually and creatively, exhibiting traditionally contrasting disciplines (handmade paper and jewellery). From building the wall sculpture together over a two month period to creating an eleven piece jewellery collection, stylistically different to anything I’d made before in around eight weeks, there were certainly challenges, but they kept things interesting.
What is your favourite tool in your toolbox?
I have the most amazing wide faced hammer that used to belong to my friend’s father. It can’t have been originally meant for making jewellery but it’s better for plannishing (flattening and smoothing metal) than any I’ve seen made for the job. I use it everyday!
How do you spend a typical weekend/day off from making?
I love making too much to have a full day off very often! Perhaps designing something or looking for inspiration in the great outdoors. Recently I’ve started selling my work at Didsbury market (last Sunday of each month) and Knutsford market (first Sunday of each month) which is fun. Several evenings a week you can also find me at a boxing class.
What are you working on right now?
I’m just about to deliver a Shakespeare inspired collection to the Royal Exchange and then I’m working on a couple of interesting commissions, then it’s starting to prepare for next Christmas if you can believe it?! I’ve also just discovered a new metal process I’m really excited about which you’ll see lots more of soon.
Do you have any current or upcoming shows where we can see your work in person?
Link is on at Waterside Arts Centre (diagonally opposite Sale tram stop) until the 15th of April so you can still catch it. It would be great to hear what you all think of my new work.
The Royal Exchange Manchester will have the Shakespeare collection on show from the 4th of April and Manchester Art Gallery will showcase a new collection of my work with other MJN members at the end of next month.
Finally, could you choose one of your favourite designers from MJN and tell us why?
You can keep up with Rebecca’s work on
Facebook- Rebecca Beyond Jeweller