Debbie Dieckmann, winner of the 1997 Southern Queensland ABC Rural Women’s Award for Innovation, creates artistically unconventional jewellery from her own backyard.
This distinguishing nature of her jewellery means there are many fascinating stories of creation surrounding Debbie’s work.
“My work appeals for people who are looking for a work of art with a unique personal story,” she said.
Some pieces Debbie is commissioned to do include personal items such as earrings, button fragments and broken pieces from a relation who has passed away.
“It is always a nice time chatting and getting a feel for the person who owned the items and designing a new piece to be worn and loved for their remembrance,” she said.
Trips out to the feed stock in the drought became an art finding expedition for Debbie where she would find pieces of timber, fragments of rusty tin cans from jackaroo camps or broken pieces of china and glass. All of these artefacts Debbie repurposed into her unique jewellery.
“Polishing horn, bone and antler is always a delight as the inner textural beauty is discovered,” she said.
Her pieces are often worn to special events and recognised at award nights; one of her rustic bush Baroque collars was even worn to a garden party with the Queen and Princess Margret.
Debbie said that living all her life in the bush has encouraged her love of colour and sense of humour, both of which is evident in her jewellery.
“Living In the bush has endowed me with individuality, innovation and a fascination with colour due to my environment,” she said.
Debbie has been designing these unique pieces from her home studio in Millmerran for more than 25 years, and describes scouring the property for new objects to utilise as a continual journey of treasure hunting and inspiration.
Words by Harriet Hall