I can’t quite believe we are on to number 5 already – wowzers! I hope you are going to enjoy this one. Becca Williams is a local lass, working out of Birmingham.I can’t remember where I first found her though – how embarrassing! It may have ben whilst I was looking for great craftspeople and designers in my area on twitter, or it might have been through the Mangojuice website, a fantastic shop in Worcester that stocks both our work. Either way, not only does she make some quality stuff, she also has a great blog, well worth a look-see to watch in pictures how her work is done.
So without further ado, here are the questions…
1. Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!
I’m Becca Williams, a Silversmith, from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.
2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been creative forever but I didn’t discover metalwork until I was in sixth form. I was lucky enough to go to a college with a Jewellery Design A-Level course which I took as a way to get away from writing modern history essays. I never looked back.
One foundation year , a BA and a business course later and I’ve been self-employed/outworking for about 3 years.
3. What is the hardest part of your work?
Being commercial – I’m very aware that my work pays my rent and there’s a skill to balancing what you want to make with what’s saleable – in the past I know that I haven’t always landed on the right side of that particular line. I’m lucky that I’ve had some very skilled people to learn from over the years but taking a new collection forward to sell to the public is still scary.
4. And what is the most rewarding?
I still feel a little overwhelmed when someone falls in love with a piece on my stand and buys it there and then – it’s a very unique way of connecting with another person. It’s a wonderful feeling but most of the time it’s not quite real until they’ve walked away with their purchase. I also love working to commission – making something unique that’s tailored to an individual and knowing that they’ll treasure it is very special.
5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?
I suppose that I’m a Designer/Maker as I work right through the process, from paper drawings to final piece – though I’m comfortable to just be a Jeweller/Silversmith too.
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
People who’ve been like mentors over the years, who are successful business people, like enameler Rachel Gogerly and silversmith Martyn Pugh, and all the people I meet at shows and exhibitions, moving forward creatively in a world that can be very dark at times.
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
I think that I do some of my best design work when I’ve stopped thinking about design! Sometimes you need to logically work through a problem like, ‘how am I going to get this spoon handle to balance properly?’ and try a lot of very technical options but sometimes you go with the design that you doodled on a napkin while you were meant to be having a tea break or the one that wakes you up just as you’re drifting off to sleep. I think it’s important to always be observing the world and drinking in what interests you – it gives your mind material to mull over so that you’re always pushing your work forward without always realising it.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
I tend not to watch TV while I work – it would be far too easy to get distracted and saw off a finger! That said, I do have a radio on almost constantly in the workshop – I’m a Radio Four girl.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Working steadily, on my own collections and private commissions – though maybe from a slightly larger studio or with a gallery-come-workshop of my own in the Jewellery Quarter.
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
Oh, a few – I’ve worked some terrible jobs to pay for metal; from cleaning tables for a manager who didn’t pay me to collecting statistics forms in the broiling sun – but what artist hasn’t?
So now that you know all about here, you will be wanting to know how to find out more. Well you can find her in the following locations…
So that will keep you busy for a while! Right, I am off to play with the children (one has climbed up and currently sitting on my shoulders as I type – byeeeeee!