Debbie McCarty produces one of a kind jewellery pieces inspired by foraging, hand crafted using recycled precious metals and felt/ Debbie will be showing her work at the Palace Art and Craft Fair.
At what age did you know you wanted to become an artist / maker?
I was probably about 5-6 when I told my mum I wanted to be a maker. A maker of what, I don’t think I quite knew at the time. since then I have been devoted to Art and Design and have achieved many qualification in this field. I graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in 2006 with a BA (hons) 3D design metal work and jewellery.
Is being a designer your only job?Being a Jeweller Designer Maker is my only job, and it’s great to be able to work from my home studio as I can fit work around family life and the demands of having a 4 year old boy.
If you could be anything else what would you be?
I would probably like to be, a cake designer and decorator. I have a real passion for designing and decorating cakes and love making friends and family celebration cakes. I’ve been asked to design and make my friend’s wedding cake this year, very exciting.
One favourite living artist / designer?
Lindsey Mann is one of my favour jewellery designers and makers. Her work has a great concept; it’s playful, inventive and technically amazing. I also love basket weaver Lise Bech as she creates beautiful organic baskets using her own grown willow making her craft truly sustainable and solely UK produced which is a concept that interests me greatly.
One favourite historical artist / designer?
I love Scandinavian design and the Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala is one of my favourite post-war designers. His range of work was immense, designing glassware, stoneware, Jewellery, and furniture for mass production, as well as individual sculptures in several media. His knowledge of materials and how they worked together was amazing. His designs were beautiful, simple, contemporary elegant and timeless, a real inspiration. He looked pretty cool too.
Who / what has had most influence on your work?
The places I visit have a big influence on my work and I love seeing how places differ in landscape and nature. Living in Finland for a year really made me view nature in a different way as foraging in the local forests became a part of everyday life. It also made me realise just how naturally diverse our own country is.
The college I went to has also influenced my work greatly as it was there I first learnt to felt and took my first jewellery course, it totally sent me on a new path. It also taught me the importance of good sketch book work and even now I really enjoy spending time designing in sketch books. It’s a big part of the creative process.
What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?I worked for Andy Goldsworthy on his moonlit path at Petworth Park, the work wasn’t that interesting just maintaining the path but it was really exciting being a part of it and being able to meet him as he was one of my favourite artists at the time. I also got my book signed which was great.
What is your most prized item of art / design / craft?
My book signed by Andy Goldsworthy.
Last book / film that blew your mind?
A French movie called The Science of Sleep staring Gael Garcia Bernal, it’s very surreal. It literally blew my mind.
Radio 6 is quite good at the moment.
How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
I am a total internet addict, I do everything on it, researching, marketing, applying, social networking, shopping, even watching TV, everything. I would happily give up my TV but couldn’t live without my laptop. So as you could probably imagine quite a lot of time wasted on it.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?I have always wanted to live in the West Country either Cornwall or Somerset due to its outstanding natural beauty and this year I feel truly fortunate to be moving to the picturesque village of Winsford which is situated in the Exmoor national park in Somerset.
Where and what is your studio?At the moment my current studio is my shed at the bottom of my garden which just goes to prove that you can create and work in nearly any space. I am soon to move to my new studio which is a converted stable in the little village of Winsford and to be honest I’m really looking forward to having a larger nicer place to work.
Three words that describe your feeling of doing your work?
Excitement, enjoyment and energized
Chips or mash?
Mash as it’s so hard to find a really good fish and chip shop these days. However, I did go to a fantastic fish and chip shop on the isles of Scilly in St Martin. You had to pre book so the owner could go fishing to catch the fish needed for the day, his brother grew the potatoes in a nearby field. Freshly caught fish and freshly dug potatoes, you can’t get much better than that. I highly recommend it.