Meet The Maker - Rachel Adam
Posted on 20 Sep 08:00
This week on the blog we talk to Rachel Adam, creator of Ethica Jewellery and @rachel_ethicajewellery. Rachel has turned natural horse hoof trimmings into something precious with the addition of recycled silver in this covetable collection.
Who inspires you the most?
My horse, Monica, is my main inspiration for this collection of work; from the surroundings in the stables looking for texture, shape and colour whilst also using horse hoof in the jewellery. The aim is to capture horsemanship and organic patterns in the designs.
The most inspiring jewellery designer to me is Emily Nixon. Her designs are inspired by delicate sea patterns and structures, although a very different theme to my work I admire the textures and shapes she creates with metal
What was the inspiration for this collection?
I have had my horse Monica for just over a year now, roughly the same time I began this collection of work. I believe the work mimics the journey we have gone through; it has taken a long time for Monica to settle in and to build trust between us, to learn everything about her personality. It was much the same with the jewellery collection, I had to understand, experiment, and test the material to push it to its potential. It is important to me that my work is as ethical as possible, another reason for using hoof material, however, all metals used have been recycled as well.
What jewellery making techniques have you used to create this collection?
Reticulation is one of the most prominent in this collection, it produces softer, textured surfaces on the metal that complement the hoof material. I have developed new techniques to work with the hoof material such as being able to make the hoof malleable to bend to any shape I desire. Using intricate saw piercing combined with reticulation and granulation on sheet metal can create pieces that appear to have been casted.
Casting is another technique used in this collection for ring designs. The idea behind these rings is to create a seamless ring from silver to hoof showing the materials in harmony together.
Please can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
I love to paint and draw my inspiration prior to designing on making anything. This is the first step to me understanding my theme in depth before moving on. It often allows me to discover shapes and textures I would like to explore further. Next, I will begin drawing design ideas and looking at materials and techniques I would like to use. I like to work with a sketchbook to capture what might inspire future designs.
What is your favourite piece that you’ve made?
This is my favourite piece (shown above) because the organic textures of the silver compliment the hoof so well. This statement necklace will encourage people to ask questions and open their minds to new and ethical materials for jewellery making.
How will you develop your work further for future collections?
I want to discover new natural materials for jewellery making and alter how precious jewellery is viewed. To me the hoof is precious because it is my horse’s hoof, however it is also a beautiful material to work with. [I want to] Increase general knowledge about ethical jewellery.
Who would be your dream person to make for?
Charlotte Dujardin is my dream person to make for, she is my idol in dressage and an inspiration to watch in the arena.
Rachel's 'Signature Collection' is available view and purchase from our New Designers Exhibition. Featuring alongside the talented works of Amy Findlay, Chen Yihan, Itziar Olaberria, Liz Crow, Lorraine Murphy and Nina Letts.
The New Designers exhibition is available to view in store and online until October 22nd.