Green Vessuvianite Necklace - photography and design by Rachel Unger.
I'm happy to announce that my "Tea with... [insert name of artist here]" series will now become full-blown interviews with living artists whose work I admire! Their art is also somehow related to my visual obsession, esp. tea scenes, Japan-inspired art, and insect drawing.
Charm Necklace - photography and design by Rachel Unger.
Today, I am happy to introduce you lovelies to the work and design of Rachel Unger. I first discovered Rachel Unger jewelry by chance through random netsurfing on Etsy. I instantly fell in love with her timeless designs and finely crafted jewels. I ordered one, then, two, three four etc... Each design is unique, her pieces of jewelry being all different and of a "heirloom-quality" as Rachel puts it.
She agreed with enthusiasm to answer a few questions.
Q: Hello Rachel! Make youself comfortable & have a cup of tea with me today. Could you please describe your perfect morning?
My perfect morning would be to wake up with both my kitties snuggled up to me in bed and to know I didn't "have" to do anything that day except create whatever I wanted. I would then put on a pot of coffee, check in on my etsy shop, turn on the pickle pot (for cleaning soldered pieces), and get going on making some fun designs with some beautiful gemstones!
Q: When did you start making jewelry? Where did this passion rise from?
Although I was always artistic, I choose the academic route and never even fed my artistic side until after graduating college! It was then that a roommate brought home some beads and I started experimenting. Soon I was getting requests for jewelry from friends, family and co-workers. Gradually my hobby became a passion and then a business. Funny thing is...I later found out that my grandmother also made her own jewelry. She got Alzheimers while I was still quite young, so I didn't really get to know her, but my mother says I get my knack for decorating and jewelry making from her.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
I am in love with the beauty of gemstones and much of my inspiration comes from simply trying to show off the gems in the best way possible. I handpick every gemstone I buy to ensure beauty and quality. Most of the time I have a design idea for the gems as soon as I see them. But sometimes I have to mull them over in my head for a while, sometimes months, until suddenly the design pops into my head.
I also find inspiration in nature, in decorating, and in the work of other artists. One little item or idea can spur a whole line of designs. I guess inspiration can come from really just about anything that I find beautiful, unique, or interesting.
One of Rachel's many orchids...
Q: Some of your designs remind me of Chinese lanterns (a pair of vintage earrings i own from your collection). Does Asia have a special meaning to you?
I would love to go to Japan or China. I love the clean lines and the connection with nature that Asian design has. I also grow orchids, which are really popular in Asian culture. I have 20 plants right now and all of them bloom periodically throughout the year. Many of them bloom twice a year. I even have some planted in a protected area of my garden. Those are about to bloom for me in a few weeks as they are late winter bloomers. I have people giving me orchards all the time because they know I'm probably the only one they know that can get it to bloom again!
Q: Do you drink tea? Does tea mean something special to you? Or maybe you're a coffee addict? Please tell me more.
I am a huge fan of tea and coffee. They are both very important to me. Coffee is a must for me in the morning. I suffer from degenerative disc disease in my spine, so mornings are very rough. But the smell and taste of that first cup is a big help.
Tea on the other hand is my go-to remedy for all sorts of ailments; upset stomach, insomnia, the flu, and just needing to relax. I have a little get together with several girlfriends every other Weds evening and we drink tea and eat snacks. I set out all my varieties of tea for them to choose from and we get to chat and do a little Bible study over our tea. It is great fun and very special to me. I even recently purchased a coffee maker that has a side just for hot water!
You can find Rachel Unger Jewelry here on Etsy.
Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36855996@N02/
Contact: via Etsy
-Naomi of TeaButterfly.