Rebecca de Quin
- Jewellery & Metal MA
Rebecca is a practising silversmith, metal artist and researcher exploring possibilities for innovation in the use and display of handmade contemporary domestic silverware.
Rebecca has taught on the Jewellery & Metal programme at the RCA for 25 years. She is a personal tutor, leads workshops focusing on objects and is an experienced member of the programme’s curation team. Rebecca’s particular interest is in encouraging the broadening application of specialist knowledge around metal; its materiality, manufacture, sustainability and cultural significance.
Rebecca has a PG Cert from University of the Arts London. She supports students interested in pursuing a career in teaching alongside practice through a scheme offering basic training in teaching skills and teaching internships.
School, Centre or Area
Rebecca’s research includes the re-interpretation of traditional uses of silver tableware, in order to broaden its appeal. Her handcrafted, multipart, mixed metal compositions, connect surfaces common to the domestic interior; that of the table and the wall, to extend possibilities for use and display of objects for dining. The work is directed towards the established interior design audience and has been tested at industry trade fairs, at the Goldsmiths’ Company’s precious metal fair and in UK and international exhibitions focused on contemporary silver and metal design.
Rebecca is currently using her longstanding interest in working with sheet metal to inform a practical, experimental project exploring intersections between vessel and garment forms. The work is undertaken from the perspective of precious metals-focused studio practice and produces a series of studies in fabric and sheet metal examining differences and similarities in material characteristics through implemented knowledge and understanding of metalwork and garment construction.
Rebecca’s practice is run from her studio in an industrial building in North-East London which she has co-owned since 2002. She and her partner have built up a small creative community here by sharing the space with other local artists.
Rebecca’s pieces are handcrafted in silver and non-precious metals. Her batch-produced and one-off designs explore the vessel and tableware at various scales from personal items to cutlery sets and multi-part wall panels.
She has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad and has regularly shown her work at Collect, London and Goldsmiths’ Fair, London.
Rebecca’s work is well represented in the Goldsmiths’ Company’s prestigious collection with seven works dating from 1994 to 2019. In 1999 she was commissioned to make a table centrepiece to celebrate the service of Sir Roger Cunliffe, Architect and Prime Warden of the Company in 1997/8. Her pieces are included in several UK museum collections, notably the V&A, London and Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery.
Gold Award, Smallworkers, GC&DC 2023
Bronze Award Silversmiths, GC&DC 2023
Current and recent projects
Metal and Cloth: Exploring Intersections Between Vessels and Garments
RKEI Research Costs Fund Award (2021–22)
This ongoing project points to the body as a convergence for apparently disparate outcomes; clothing and the domestic vessel. Based on the premise that while not worn, cultural, spiritual and philosophical relationships that apply to the domestic vessel and the body can be compared with those existing between the body and garments. In this project, garments and vessel forms are seen as integral to the body rather than as either for use on the body (worn) or off the body (unworn) and considers bodily requirements such as the need for warmth and sustenance.
Rebecca uses existing knowledge and skill in metalwork combined with machine sewing and garment construction to uncover new possibilities for expression using two apparently dissimilar sheet format materials, metal and fabric. The sewing machine becomes an alternative, adaptive form of tooling in a metalwork studio setting, providing a practical means by which to develop methods of building form, in order to discover new relationships between fabric and metal.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
(2014) 30 Years in the Making. Lesley Craze Gallery. London.
(2015) The Silversmith’s Art: Handmade in Britain Today. National Museums of Scotland. Edinburgh.
(2016) Silver Speaks: Idea to Object. V&A Museum. London
(2017) Made for the Table. Harley Gallery. Welbeck, UK. Ruthin Crafts Centre. Wales. Holburne Museum. Bath, UK. The Goldsmiths’ Centre. London. Osterley House, London
(2018) Collect, represented by Goldsmiths’ Fair. Saatchi Gallery. London
(2019) Silver Triennial international. Deutsche Goldschmiederhaus Hannau, Germany
(2021) Mastery: Women in Silver. Ruthin Crafts Centre. Wales
(2022) What Colour is Metal? Dublin Castle. National Craft & Design Gallery. Kilkenny, Ireland. Winchester Gallery. UK.
(2023) Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards Exhibition. Goldsmiths’ Hall. London
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Freeman of The Goldsmiths’ Company.
- Founder member of Contemporary British Silversmiths and current committee member
- 2000 External Examiner, University of Brighton
- 2005 External Examiner, School of Jewellery Birmingham City University
- 2017 External Examiner, London metropolitan university