A graduate of prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, Becca Hulbert is a visual person. Attracted to the world of arts and crafts since an early age, the designer discovered her passion for jewellery design in a very organic, natural way, that has led her to where she is now: the creative director and manager of her eponymous label, Becca Jewellery, characterized by a mix of ancient coins, raw pearls, animals and even Calder mobiles.
Hello Becca, tell us a bit about yourself and how did you end up where you are now.
After studying Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins in 2000 I launched my own brand and I've been going ever since.
Why jewellery? Was it your first interest?
I've always had a strong interest in art. I'm very creative and visual, so I just naturally progressed through college into 3-D design. Jewellery design became a strong interest and I liked the logistics because it's small enough for me to work anywhere, and also it's a portable wearable art form.
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You created a collection in collaboration with Peter Jensen inspired by art collector Peggy Guggenheim and the work of Alexander Calder. What is your relationship with art?
Well, I see art everywhere to be honest, whether it's created by us the human race, a natural phenomenon or something completely accidental in whatever form. Anything can trigger emotions of every kind.
Could you tell us more about the research and exploration process you follow to discover and choose new shapes and materials?
I have a design process that mainly happens on the workbench. I then sometimes bring in different materials – for instance, I’ve just started using resin.
Have you ever thought of experimenting with unusual materials for your designs?
I like traditional jewellery techniques and tend to apply them to whatever idea I have but adding a slight twist. Also, I can stumble on something accidentally whilst experimenting. I have recently been using a patterning method called ‘engine turning’, which consists of a hand-controlled machine that can cut beautiful textures on to the surface of metal. I've been fortunate to have access to a machine, as they are very few of them left in the United Kingdom, so it's not very common to see it being used today.
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When seeing your pieces, I think your approach is minimalistic. Would you describe yourself as so? If not, how would you define your style?
For the Peggy collection, I'd say minimal with elements of detailing. But not all of my work is like this.
Let's talk about your collaboration with Peter Jensen, with whom you’ve worked a couple of times already. How did it all start? And how was the evolution from the first one to the second?
We all went to Central Saint Martins and we have mutual friends, so it was that simple really. He wanted some pieces for a collection back in 2004 and I did a very small group. Then again for Fall/Winter 2016, he approached me again with the Peggy Guggenheim inspired collection and naturally I was led by Calder.
What aspects do you find interesting about working with other creatives? Would you do other collaborations? Do you already have one planned?
I really love a collaboration; working with a brief and under pressure suits me! Nothing else planned yet, but you never know what lands in your inbox.
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Your creations are handmade and personalised for your customers. How do you see the future of custom jewellery?
To be honest, I don't know. I don't contemplate it. My work is precious, but there's always room for fine and costume jewellery. Woman and men will always want to adorn themselves with fashion and accessories.
Any projects for the future?
I tend not to do much planning, I just carry on doing my thing and it always takes me down roads I never expected.
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