Rachel Thewes: a jewelry designer who works with three-dimensional shapes
Rachel Thewes is an American jewelry designer. She creates products that make a person a part of an artistic composition.
Tewes’ works have a bizarre shape, unusual colors and expressive texture: these are jewelry that tell the owner something new about himself. Rachel Tewes calls her work sculptures for the human body. She is inspired by the desolate natural landscapes surrounding her Texas home, as well as jazz compositions.
Rachel grew up in a family where almost everyone knew how to do something with their hands. The parents built the house in which they lived themselves, furnished with their own hand-made furniture and decor. The mother of the future designer was engaged in making Christmas trees and selling them in Detroit department stores. Children in such a family were also constantly busy with creativity, constantly creating and inventing something.
Rachel’s father was an engraver. He has collaborated with several jewelry companies, including Tiffany, as a freelancer. The daughter spent almost all her free time watching him work in the studio. After leaving school, Rachel decided to study art, just like her two older brothers, who later became artists. She gradually lost interest in classical sculpture, as she was fascinated by artwork made of metal.
The girl graduated from the University of Southern Illinois and Kent State University, and soon she herself began to teach. From 1976 to 2014, Rachel Tewes served as professor of metal art at the University of Texas. She initiated a program that allowed students to receive funding for their projects, as well as arrange sales and exhibitions of finished work.
The program was very popular among young and often poor artists. In 1995, Rachel was invited to teach a master class at the Royal College of Art in London.
Rachel Tewes’ work is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has won numerous prizes at prestigious American and international competitions dedicated to jewelry design and arts and crafts. Most of the work Tewes ever produced is in private collections.