Rachel is an Atlanta based multidisciplinary artist, designer and fabricator specializing in creature art and miniatures. She works in a variety of mediums including digital design, sculpting/ mold making, oils and felted wool. Her work is both playful and grotesque, providing small glimpses into strange worlds.
In addition to gallery shows, Rachel works in the film and theater industries, collaborating on a wide range of projects including set sculpting and painting, puppets, costumes, specialty props and public art installations. She loves learning new skills, and is always looking for a challenge.
You can get in touch with Rachel about custom projects at email@example.com.
I love going to toy stores. Colorful things with moving parts are scattered everywhere, the brighter the better. I remember walking in as a child and being overwhelmed by curiosity and desire. It wasn’t about possession; it was about being transported through imagination and design. In my artwork, I seek to rekindle the childhood experience of stumbling upon something for the first time and wanting more. I’m interested in what happens in that moment of hesitation–when a person pauses and leans closer, hoping for a small glimpse into another world.
About the Process
The process begins with cleaned, brushed, fluffy wool and special needles used by the artist as a sculpting tool. Felting needles have notches along the shaft that grab the top layer of fibers and tangle them inward as the needle enters the wool. Over time, the loose fibers are compacted into a near solid form that can be shaped by adding tufts of wool and poking repeatedly. It’s a time consuming, deliberate process–every area of the sculpture must be shaped and tightened by hand with an individual needle.
One of my favorite materials to work with is wood–it’s one of the few mediums that makes the studio smell good. My wood sculptures are hand carved from basswood with wood burned details, finished in oil paint. I dip coat the end product in a clear epoxy resin that provides a durable high gloss finish.
Epoxy clay is a durable two part resin that cures at room temperature and can be carved and sanded once it’s set. Its strength and ability to be manipulated at different stages of curing makes it great for a wide range of projects. I finish the epoxy clay sculptures with airbrushed acrylic or urethane paint, and hand painted details. Sculptures with small delicate parts usually have an underlying wire armature to provide stability as the epoxy clay cures.
Art toys are sculptures created in small scale, limited editions. They can be made out of a variety of different materials, including vinyl, resin, wood, metal, and fabric. The art toys I sell through my shop page are created by taking silicone molds from original sculptures I make out of wood, epoxy clay (see description in above section) or Monster Clay–a nontoxic, reusable, heat sensitive clay. After creating the mold, I cast the toys in resin and finish them with airbrushed details and varnish.
I cut, bevel, and hand finish wood panels to use as substrates for my paintings. I often use poplar because of its light uniform grain, but I also like to experiment with more unusual woods. I start by sketching out the painting in pencil. I carve and wood burn select portions of the painting to provide sharp lines and physical depth. The color and soft areas of shading are formed through thin layers of oil paint. The finished panels are varnished.