Bold, beautiful & a spirit of positivity in all her creative endeavors.
Deborah Aull is an artist, singer and bass player who creates amazing jewelry and leather goods to support her family’s quirky and fun lifestyle. She travels the world with The Lack Family Band and a bag full of reclaimed items, beads and leather for continuous creation along her daily adventures. Giving up the ties of normal family life in a stationary place, she and the rest of the crew take their music to churches and events around the world every year. Despite the challenges of traveling this year, the family is still making music for all to hear. In their time between tours, Tuolumne County is the home they keep coming back to.
As a kid, Deborah lived in Tuolumne County and went to Summerville High. During these years, the family packed up and moved to the mid-west where she took a jewelry making class at her new school. Using beads and wire, she was introduced to the new skill set and found herself hooked. She soon veered from the class expectations, venturing on towards jewelry created with reclaimed items. Using up-cycled copper from old homes and vintage jewelry finds, Deborah turned them into new accessories. Her jewelry is unique and comes from the beauty she sees in the world before it exists for anyone else.
Leather is one of the many materials Deborah loves to work with. While she creatively fashions it into lightweight charms for dangle earrings and necklaces, she also sells beautiful wallets and mug makers for hot drinks. The mug makers are compatible for a range of cups and jars, with a convenient handle on and a variety of colors.
Deborah herself is such an eclectic person. Her personality shines through her jewelry and handmade wallets. They are bold, colorful and always unpredictable, in the best way. From a few new series based on Disney Princesses and Harry Potter, to pieces that hold onto memories, they all tell different stories about the striking moments within her daily life and what truly captures her attention.
It was Oscar Wilde who once said, “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” Art carries the beauty of the world on its back and those of us who identify with it are translators of the language. It begins with an overriding feeling pressed upon our souls. In a great many it feels like anxiety or a terrifying desire to cause something good from an environmental interference in our lives. It bubbles up and comes out with distinguishable presentation unlike anything else preceding it. Deborah feels this drive and uses her creative skills to carry messages through time.
On one of her adventures, Deborah traveled west across the ocean from the California coast. Broken bits of rubble and lost possessions were scattered in the aftermath of the 2011 Japan earthquake. She stood as a nomad in an unfamiliar place, but her heart swelled with sympathy for all that was lost in the destruction. A part of her wanted to take some of it home with her; shards of glass and china, keys that wouldn’t make it back to their locks. It seemed disrespectful and she didn’t want to disturb the people who were still in mourning for their loved ones.
During her visit to Japan, Deborah was able to talk with some of the locals. She relayed her feelings to a local woman about wanting to use some of the wreckage in her jewelry pieces. The woman was happy to hear that some good could come out of the losses they all felt and with this permission she picked up some of the broken ceramic and created a necklace that continues to remind her of this time in Japan.
More than once Deborah has gone to sites of natural disasters to make something beautiful out of the chaos. She loves to use keys, bolts, driftwood and anything small that will take on new life. She sells the jewelry and other handmade items on their international travels, which helps the family continue touring and sharing their music with the world.
Deborah comments on how different cultures perceive her jewelry and how she has had to adapt and learn to appreciate what people around the world connect to. “In Germany, the style is so drastically different. I know they won’t buy what I would naturally make,” she adds, “which are huge grandiose pieces. I have to think about what they love.” She elaborates on the gray scale nature of Eastern Europe. “There’s not much art so it’s hard for them to connect with the style.” In America, people are more diverse in taste. There is so much opportunity for self expression. In countries like ours, she can be more free to share the pieces that she loves to create the most and know that someone out there will love it just as much.
She often shares stories or inspiring factors that went into each piece. Looking at them is like glancing into a moment of her life or the lives of people around her that had enough impact for something tangible to come into creation from it. Like the butterfly effect, there is purpose in the making of everything and she hopes to instill further purpose in these pieces when they move on to new ownership.
Deborah has been making jewelry for 17 years, and the Lack Family Band is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. Everyone in the family displays creativity and bold positivity in a sometimes dark world. Deborah’s husband Jarrod is a fantastic watercolor artist and they further inspire one another to be bold in their artistic endeavors.
This year, they have had to adjust their tour schedule and will be performing in the United States in a circuit from the west coast to the east and then back again. Their travels begin next week until the family comes back home again in October. To learn more about The Lack Family, read this interview from 2018, and visit their Facebook, Instagram and website.