Hello and thank you for stopping by!
I’m Rachel, the artist, designer and creative facilitator behind this small, creative business and if you’re looking for a bit more info on me, then you’re in the right place. Just as Maria (from the musical The Sound of Music) sang about a few of her favourite things, I thought I’d let you know some of mine:
Firstly, the colour Raspberry pink is a biggy – I’ve loved it ever since Prince, sang about a Raspberry Beret way back in the 1980s, so it features A LOT in my branding. I am also a big fan of circles and you'll notice that these crop up in my designs a lot too! I enjoy watching musicals and invariably start weeping on the opening number, (much to the embarrassment of my family), I like a cheeky pun, a play on words and an inspirational quote, oh and I adore tea & cake, especially when it’s served on vintage crockery (probably as I hope a plate will accidentally break and I can use it in one of my mosaics).
But, what I REALLY love is getting creative and meeting new people and with my job I get to combine the two, which is just the best thing ever. I work in my beautiful (and rather raspberry-pink themed) studio, on the site of a picturesque farm shop, on the edge of the Forest of Dean and Welsh border. I do sometimes have to pinch myself that this is actually work – because it rarely feels like it.
I started my career back in the early 1990s, when I trained at Manchester Metropolitan University gaining a degree 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/facilitating jobs, but in 2010 I made the HUGE decision to go self-employed and Rachel Shilston – Inspiring Creativity was born.
I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but mosaic has become another one of my favourite things. (Have you started singing it to the tune yet?!) I think it’s thanks to all that textile training when I was at university, as I’m a sucker for anything that is tactile and has a gorgeous texture. It’s also such a lovely medium to teach, not only in my workshops, but in schools too, allowing every single pupil and teacher to add their contribution, making it the ultimate collaborative, community project. I guess you could say my mosaics aren’t traditional, as I love adding in all sorts of treasures into my pieces and, over the years, I’ve developed my own unique style, combining mosaic details with painted artwork.
However, I do also like to ‘just paint’ without the addition of mosaic and I’ve had my work on seven public art trails to date, including Shaun in the City, (where my painted sculpture ‘Baa-bushka’ was placed outside Liberty on Carnaby Street in London), ‘Paignton by Numbers’ for the Great Big Rhino Project in Paignton, ‘Potter Otter’ for the Moor Otters on Dartmoor and 'Teacher’s Pest' for the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail in Bristol. These sculpture trails have been an absolute blast to be a part of and, more importantly, have raised mega bucks for worthy charities when the sculptures have been sold at auction.
In December 2018, I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief to be a finalist on Channel 4's TV show 'Kirstie Allsop's Handmade Christmas'. There was some serious happy dancing going on here when I found out I'd got through and to be honest, that is probably the highlight of my career to date.
So, there's a little bit more about me, I hope I haven’t rambled on too much, but if you’d like to learn more about what makes me tick, then head over to my blog. Before I sign off, I should mention that 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 teenage daughters Lily and Mollie-Mae. Yes, I really am the mother of an 18 and 15 year old – there’s never a dull moment in our house and never a hairbrush when I need one.
Please get in touch if you have any questions – I’d absolutely love to hear from you. And don’t forget to check me out over on Instagram and Facebook.
Hope to hear from you soon
Lots of creative love,