It’s fair to say that I have two passions in life, art and people, and I love nothing more than when I’m combining the two. I set up my business in 2010, initially with a view to providing quality art workshops to schools in the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire, but over the years, this has evolved and I now work with people of all ages and abilities inspiring creativity in countless ways. I’d struggle to give an exact number of people I’ve worked with, but it must be in the thousands!
I have delivered art projects in many schools, but also projects in collaboration with local organisations including Cinderford Artspace, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, Hart’s Barn Cookery School and the Forestry Commission. I’ve delivered activities at Wychwood and Cornbury music festivals, plus created some interesting commissions for private clients. I’ve had work on several public art trails including the Shaun in the City trail, (where my painted sculpture ‘Baa-bushka’ was placed outside Liberty on Carnaby Street in London), ‘Ahoy there Scrumpty’ a cheeky pirate for the Scrumpty Trail in Gloucester and ‘Paignton by Numbers’ for the Great Big Rhino Project in Paignton. In 2016, I launched my studio at Hanley Farm Business Centre in Tidenham, just outside Chepstow, which has allowed me to offer even more classes and workshops. Also in 2016, I was delighted to be the winner of ‘Creative Woman of the Year’ in the Gloucestershire Business Awards, plus a Finalist for the ‘Business Person of the Year’ in the Forester Business Awards. It’s never a dull moment at Rachel Shilston Inspiring Creativity HQ and no two days are ever the same!
I started my career back in the early 1990s, when I trained at Manchester Metropolitan University gaining a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textile design and then gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Art Education. I’ve gone on to do all sorts of creative jobs working with people of all ages and abilities that has provided me with a wealth of knowledge in leading art projects. My main area of work is mosaic but I also love to paint and when I get chance, I still do dabble in a little bit of textiles. I take my inspiration from nature, pattern, texture and I am also a big fan of colour.
I juggle my very eclectic working life with my precious family and live in the beautiful Forest of Dean with my husband, Adie, and two daughters Lily and Mollie-Mae. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about any of my past work – I’d love to hear from you.