Beca Beeby is a maker living in the legend-rich landscape of Gwent, where she finds her inspiration in the small, beautiful details of the plants, insects and lichen that live in the landscape & her own garden. Using macro and microscopic methods to study the organic forms she finds.
Beca combines her love of Science and Ethnobotany with her skills in making with metals and clay, to produce unique pieces of wearable and (usually) useable sculpture, which she hopes will spur in the audience, the same awe and wonder for the incredible beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world that she herself has.
Much of Beca’s work involves a study of morphogenetic pattern and structure: a phenomenon which is found on a cellular level right up to geological forms, and which is most recognisable in Beca’s Wild Honeycomb Collection, which begins its life as real honeycomb, carved and formed by hand, then cast in solid, reclaimed silver.
Beca’s background as a blacksmith and working with cast iron have influenced the contrasting finishes Beca uses on her jewellery, which is utilised to enhance the textures and makers marks, and which continue to develop and polish as they are worn. Her ceramics are kept unglazed to highlight the bone-like texture of porcelain, and the use of oxides enhances the texture of the stoneware. Her past experiences and love of experimentation and education mean that she may be casting with wax or metal one day, working with clay or plaster another, or forging steel and welding, then reducing in scale to work in silver and copper, all while planning experiments with electro-etching, vegetables or with mycelium.
As her work spans the ‘faint, wobbly line between fine art and craft’, Beca sometimes struggles to decide where her work fits and what to call herself, but as the act of making is such an important part of her development, the title ‘Maker’ seems to be right.
"I hope my work could be thought hewn from the earth; to have grown at the bottom of the sea; emerged from a cucoon or constructed by a society of huge insects". Usually made in metal: Steel, copper, brass., bronze and silver, Beca also works in porcelain and stoneware clays, wax, lime/limecrete and biomaterials. She also utilises plants and insects in her work: making sculptural pieces to ‘deform’ plants natural growth patterns; placing objects in honeybee hives, or encouraging them to build ‘wild’ honeycomb’ to use, and experimenting with Mycelium and ‘mycotecture’ (the use of mycelium in building structures and objects). Experimentation is a huge part of her practice, each piece of work inspiring and informing the next.