Born and raised in Taiwan, Deborah Tseng studied art at University in Taipei. This is where she developed her skills, learning different techniques in wood, ceramic and metal.
As her passion for jewellery continued to grow, she decided to move to Birmingham to take a postgraduate degree in Jewellery and Related Products.
For Deborah, jewellery is a wearable piece of art and you can definitely see that communicated through her delicate designs.
After being selected by Talente Munich, an international competition that showcases new young artists, for her MA graduation work - Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover, she had the opportunity to exhibit her work in different countries and founded Deborah Tseng Jewellery.
Designing and making jewellery is the chosen media that Deborah uses to express herself.
We sit down with her today to discuss and understand more about the jewellery making process!
We are aware that jewellery is a key part of your artistic expression, however, what do you think you would be doing today if you weren't a jewellery designer?
I think I would still be an artist, maybe a photographer or a sculptress and make jewellery as a hobby... Although, I would also enjoy becoming a chef!
What would you say are the challenges faced by jewellery designers nowadays?
I feel that the world moves so quickly nowadays and what I find challenging is to stay focused on the goals that I have set as well, as well as finding the right balance between work and my personal life.
I also find it tricky to remain innovative and original in such an incredibly creative society that we have filled with so many amazing designers and talented artists.
What does a normal day at the studio look like?
A normal day at the studio will start with me watering the plants and having breakfast while I am still half asleep - eggs and coffee are very important to me at this time of the day!
Then, I check my e-mails, make a to do list and play some music before start creating!
Could you tell us a little bit more about your creative process when it comes to designing and making?
When I am going to create a new collection, the ideas come from playing; playing with shapes, materials and photography to hone in on what I believe has potential. Then I take my favourite elements to the next level to see if it can become a piece of jewellery or an object or even a photograph.
The way I work is very organic and really flows depending on what I want to express.
"I design jewellery that is not driven by fashion or trends, but that is timeless and enduring"
We understand that each piece is different and unique. How long does it take you as an average to make one of your pieces?
It really depends on the piece.
My signature design, photographed on the left, for example, takes me a few days to make. All the small parts that look like petals are handmade one by one in porcelain. After this process is finished, I fire them in my kiln at over 1.200 degrees for a day. Once the porcelain cools down I can make the bespoke silver attachments which have to be hand cut, filled, soldered and polished.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I normally draft my ideas in ceramics before I work with metals as they are easier to manipulate. Once I have a clear design concept, I start thinking how I can transfer it to metal finding a balance between the two.
The Flow collection made me find a new joy in working with Silver. I used Crystal Rock and Silver to create organic shapes with clean aesthetics that represented the collection concept perfectly.
What would you want to communicate to the person who purchases one of your products?
I would love them to hold the piece with their hands, breathe, be present in that moment and feel the lightness and flow that the piece carries.
A more sustainable lifestyle is extremely important to us and our customers. Could you tell us what you do to approach your business in a more sustainable way?
I design jewellery that is not driven by fashion or trends, but that is timeless and enduring. It is a philosophy that echoes Cuemars': Buy Less, Buy Better.
As an independent business I have a full control on the supply chain and I source locally as much as I possibly can.
Also, reducing waste created from jewellery making is something I am working on. At the moment, I am proud to say that over 50% of the metal and packaging at the studio are recycled and I am working hard to make it 100% soon.
If you had to choose only one of the products that you made to take with you forever, what would it be?
There is a pair of statement earrings from the Flow collection that I absolutely adore. They are so versatile that I can wear them on any occasion.
I always create a connection with my possessions and I like to treasure all of them equally and have them with me for years to come!