My name is Rachel and I create handmade, one of a kind ceramic monsters and limited edition watercolour prints.
Born in Manchester, England to a house of incredibly creative and supportive people, I have been making and creating things my entire life - it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I studied art all the way through school, took on photography in college, spent a year at Manchester Metropolitan University doing their Fine Art Foundation Course and then when to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at Dundee University to study for my BA Fine Art!
Since then I have come home to Manchester, found myself a little studio and started my own business selling my work. As well as selling online and doing the occasional commission, I also attend artisan and craft markets to meet the incredible people who buy my work (as well as other awesome artists and makers).
It was during my 4 year degree course that I found clay and my monsters found me. I had been doodling little monsters in pen for a while when I decided to switch to watercolours and this seemed to bring them to life. You have to let go of a lot of control with watercolours and let the water and paint guide the direction of the painting. I find this technique means that even quite simple, minimalist paintings can have real depth.
It’s a very similar idea with my clay work. When you create characters like my monsters on paper, you instantly want to see them come alive in 3D. These monsters were developing so organically with paint that I wanted another medium that felt connected to nature and the earth, so clay was the obvious material to try and I fell in love!
Working by hand to form each monster makes it feel as if I’m literally pulling them from the earth. Sometimes the clay doesn’t cooperate or just takes me in directs I wasn’t expecting to go and I’ve learnt it’s best to let it do it’s thing. There’s a Japanese idea called wabi-sabi which focuses on finding beauty in the imperfection and impermanence of everything. Since my work is all inspired by the earth and natural world, these are ideas that really appeal to me.