de Quin, Rebecca (British, contemporary)

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Rebecca de Quin is a contemporary silversmith and fine metalworker, designing and crafting modern tableware and containers. Straddling the boundary between functional objects, decorative arts and sculpture, her interest is rooted in the traditions of metalwork practice. Her pieces combine silver with non-precious metals, creating simple, streamlined forms for practical use or decorative display.

Her early work expressed interest in the development of traditional scoring techniques towards complexity in the construction of sheet metal forms. Currently, inspired by practical Modernist precedents and the Purist paintings of Le Corbusier and Ozenfant, de Quin considers abstraction and geometry to highlight the preciousness of silver and explore sculptural constructs of replication, inversion, positioning and scale. She is motivated by the challenge to maintain Modernist traditions, using metal to express the possibilities of sculptural exploration.

Highlighting the value and uniqueness of silver, de Quin’s methods of craftsmanship involve play with the formal constructs of shape, form, proportion and scale, emphasising similarities and contrasts between positive and negative space, lightness and darkness, reflective and matte surfaces. She introduces colour and texture using patination techniques or plating to add vibrancy and depth to surfaces. Geometric patterns are developed according to the three-dimensional nature of particular forms, applied using hand-punching techniques.

Rebecca de Quin graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1990. Since then she has combined silversmithing practice with a career in teaching at a number of UK institutions. Her work has been shown in major exhibitions at home and internationally, and she is represented in several major UK collections including the Crafts Council, Birmingham Museum and the Goldsmiths’ Company. She was appointed to the RCA’s department of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery as a tutor in 1998, and acquired her current London studio in 2002.

The works on display at Mayfair Gallery demonstrate her powerful ability to blur traditional and historical boundaries between art and craft. The modern pieces stand out as engaging products by a highly-skilled craftswoman, simple complimentary additions to antique furnishings.