My work is really an exploration of decoration using many sources of inspiration, the main ones being the rich symbolism of the Catholic Church, the trappings of royalty, playing cards and chess, calligraphy and the language of symbolism.
Making jewellery is an ongoing process. I don’t bring out different collections in the way that a fashion designer would.
I add to my ranges all the time and get inspiration from a lot of different things. In 1990 I visited Italy and came home with the idea of incorporating aspects of Catholicism like the Sacred Heart into my work.
I then started to develop a range which had my handwriting on it which makes the work very personal.
What do you love most about being a jeweller?
Being able to make things! One of the most satisfying things to me is to have an idea in your head of something that doesn’t yet exist, refining and expanding that idea and then creating it in the real world.
Even when the idea doesn’t quite turn out as you’d imagined it can lead to the next idea and so on.
What or who has been the biggest influence on your work?
I don’t think I have one overriding influence to be honest. I think there have been many people, places and things that have influenced me at different times. I’m sorry that I can’t give a definitive answer, all I can say is that ever since I was a child I’ve enjoyed making things, and I still do, so maybe just to create has been my biggest influence.
If you could chose a figure from history or public life to wear your jewellery who would it be and why?
I think that’s quite a difficult question to answer as I feel the wearer really needs to desire and chose a piece, not the maker to choose the wearer. I’m happy when anyone falls in love with a piece of my work and wants to wear it but if I have to make a choice I’d pick the author Angela Carter.
Sadly she passed away too young, but she is probably my favourite writer and her book “The Bloody Chamber” was a big influence on me when I was younger. If she was ever to have worn something I made I would have been swooning with delight.
If you could own a piece by another maker working in any discipline, no price limit, what would you choose and why?
Oh dear, we could be here all day there are so many makers whose work I covet, particularly ceramics and paper works such as the amazing pieces made by Sarah Bridgland . I love the work of so many jewellers too with Lucy Sarneel and Helen Britton being amongst my current favourites but in the end I think I’d choose a brooch by the Spanish jeweller Ramon Puig Cuyas. His work is stunning.
How do you like to relax after a day in the studio?
I’m obsessed with books and love reading – there’s nothing better after a hard day than looking at a beautiful book. My other passion is food so I spend much of my spare time cooking and baking. I find this a particularly good way to de-stress ….and let’s face it any day is made better by the consumption of cake!
If you were not a jeweller what would you like to be and why?
That’s easy, I’d love to have trained as a pastry chef. I’d pretty much like to spend my day baking and cooking, inventing recipes, possibly talking and writing about it and be handsomely paid for the privilege….sadly I think I want Nigella’s life!
Where in the world is your dream holiday destination and why?
I have two. I’d love to see India to visit somewhere so utterly different from Glasgow, and secondly Japan.
I’ve always been intrigued by that country with everything from the food to their approach to craft and design.
Nicola has a beautiful selection of her jewellery available at http://lovedazzle.com/shop/NicolaBecci.aspx